Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Am Buried in Debts

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.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Chapos and Chicken

Ok you are probably wondering; WHAT, is this going to be? ramblings on food... or what? Well... yes but not in the way you think. This week I was doing a project for a restaurant. I know, mmmhh restaurant. It was one of those projects consultants like me get once in a while and think, yeah i like - where meetings are done in the main restaurant hall over tea and hors d'oeuvre.

It was also a good opportunity to participate in a non-conventional business. To use innovation in a nondescript script. Some of you might know the restaurant am talking about, KPs located on Utali lane, yes next to Mwenda's. It's been there for some time but received a full face-lift in January with the change of ownership. I'm not being paid to say this but they have the best chips masala and cocktail juice.

....Ok now moving away from my food ramblings and back to the business part. Restaurant as businesses are not an easy thing to work. As an unconventional business, the owners are required to not only meet the technical business aspect but be creative in their service delivery. It's business meets entertainment and the smiles associated with this part.

The point being...well business is not only a suit and paper agenda. There is a whole world out there of business that involves a goofy white hat and aprons that we sideline in the hard core business arena. KPs for me was a opportunity to see someone doing what they like and make a business out of it. From this I came out with this wise advice..."don't let desks and swiveling chairs be the criteria for defining business in your book, go for what you enjoy doing and invite consultants like us to help you put the hard core business structure around your idea".

There will be a networking meeting (speed networking) for professionals at KPs on 19th of this month (yes a monday) from 6pm. Entrance is FREE. Go and check it out. For more information on it contact Julia at j.adhiambo@afribusinessdevelopment.com.