Does anything keep you awake at night in running your small business?
For some such owners, the thought of not getting their customer payments on time can prove to be quite unnerving.
That being the case, it is important for small business owners to always do their best to be sure customers are not taking advantage of them when it comes to making payments in a timely manner. If that happens, a company’s financial books can become messed up in a short amount of time.
So, are you doing all you can to make sure customer payments get to you when you need them?
Avoid Financial Issues by Seeking Help
So that you can make sure your small business doesn’t get itself in over its head when it comes to maintaining a healthy financial outlook, keep a couple tips in mind:
- Invoicing – First and foremost, be sure that you are sending out your invoices on time. Yes, it can be easy to become bogged down, perhaps even forgetting that you need to do your billing on a monthly basis (preferably at the same time each month). There are two ways to go about reducing this problem, both of which you have control over. First, take the time to hire an accounting pro (if you do not already have one on staff). He or she should be solely responsible for making sure all your financial numbers add up. Whether they do the customer billing or oversee your team that does, it is important that someone has their eyes on the financial books at all times. Given you are busy running the business, it can become easy for you to take your eyes off the ball at times when it comes to your company’s financial well-being. Secondly, if your invoicing measures are not working out successfully, look to the idea of finding a factoring company to assist your business. With an invoicing factoring company in tandem with you, you can make sure there are no loose financial ends holding you back. In essence, an invoicing factoring company takes on your unpaid customer accounts (accounts receivable), providing you in return with the funds you need to meet your own financial billing requirements etc. As a result, you’re not strapped for cash all the time, especially when some customers are not meeting their financial obligations to you;
- Decisions – In the event you have some customers not paying you on time, you’re essentially left with two choices. One, follow up with them until you get the payment. The other option is turning them over to a collection agency, something that will cost you money, not to mention time and effort in locating the best agency for your needs. Keep in mind that using an invoicing factoring company gives you the cash you need up front to meet your own bills, thereby not leaving you stranded and left having trouble doing the same some customers may be doing. Speaking of those customers; when do you say enough is enough? While you never like losing a customer, you can’t let one or more of them dictate the terms of when (and if) they will pay you. While many small businesses require customers pay on the spot, others are a little more flexible, billing the customer for the products and/or services they agreed to. Either way, the bottom line is you need that money in your hands sooner rather than later, so don’t procrastinate in getting it.
Starting a small business in the first place was a major decision that you made, be it years ago or even recently.
As a result of that decision, you likely put some of your money up in order to get things rolling.
With that being the case, you may not have the cash reserves in savings that you had at one time, thereby leaving you in a little bit more of a precarious situation.
Take the time to reassess how your company’s financial matters are doing, looking for any and all solutions that will make things better for you and your business.
About the Author: Dave Thomas covers small business topics on the web.