Sometimes I wake up in the morning and I really don't want to go to work. Not because I don't like what I do because I love it. I simply dont want to go because I am so buried in debt i dont want to answer the calls of my suppliers. Its during these times I ask myself, how did this happen? Ok, I know how debts are accumulated but really, I've been working, been constantly busy and always offering more services. How did I get into debt?
The sad thing is the answer is simply my own debtors are not paying me. Today its frustrated me so much ive resulted to reading a book on chasing debts for answers. For those of you in similar shoes as I find myself, here are a few tips i got from my debt collecting book. Might come in handy to you too.
1. Make sure your credit terms are known to your customers. The best way is to print them clearly on the invoice.
2. As soon as your customer has overstepped the mark and the bill is overdue, ask for the money you are owed. This should be done politely in writing, prefarably by email with a followup on post.
3. Follow-up, follow-up, follow-up. Don't assume they don't have money, there might be queries on the amount or other problems.
4. Still no payment, keep ringing especially 2 or 3 days before their end of month
5. Keep the pressure up. Do not pester then drop for a few weeks, all your previous chasing is undone.
7. If the customer is always out on a meeting try calling different times of the days or calling as someone else to see if they will pick up your calls.
8. If the customer says the cheque is ready it is just posting that its waiting for, go collect the cheque yourself.
9. Check all the details of the cheque: your name, the amount, the date, the signature
10. Bank immediately.
If you are not able to get your cheque by step 8 condider using a debt collection agency of factoring your debt.
Hope the above helps a little. And hang tough, according to statistics even the most successful small business at some stage has to delay payment and will probably use the above delay techniques. So you being buried in debt is experienced by even the best in the game.