Some of these include:
- Having robust terms of business which clearly include your credit terms.
- Making sure customers sign your credit account application. Try to get home addresses for the business owners included – this should dramatically improve recovery prospects if court action has to be taken. To have an idea of what should be included, a sample application can be found in our 'DIY Toolbox'.
- Credit check your customers. There are some really good and affordable online services.
- Ensure that you invoice rapidly and accurately. Any customer complaints should be dealt with quickly so you’ll get paid faster.
- Make sure you contact your customers as soon the invoice becomes overdue. Phone, letter or email at least once a week over a two week period and try to get an agreement to be paid by your specified date.
Hopefully these self-help measures will reduce your ‘debtor days’ and bad debt. And with ‘cash being king’ business owners will no doubt endorse this sentiment.
But we live in an imperfect world and despite your best efforts accounts will remain outstanding. To prevent a ‘slow payer’ becoming a ‘bad debtor’ the quicker you pass this to a third party to collect the more likely you’ll be to get paid.
Many customers will settle their invoice once they receive a prompt from a lawyer. We offer a comprehensive pre-litigation service incorporating letters, emails and phone calls. And starting at just £6.00, these inexpensive measures can generate significant amounts of cash, often within just a few days. There is no commission payable, no set up fees and no obligation to take matters to litigation.
Instructing us is straightforward. You will be notified of communications sent and received as well as being able to view all correspondence and details of contacts made over our extranet – all at no additional charge.
If all else fails then court action can be taken. If the customer has still not paid then once we receive the court’s judgment a variety of enforcement options will be available.
In a nutshell, considering the legal route should lead to a successful conclusion for the majority of slow or stubborn payers. But remember you ‘can’t get blood out of a stone’. Taking a customer who simply can’t pay their debts to court is unlikely to produce a positive financial return.
This is why we have introduced the ‘Scottish Judgment Centre’ to evaluate whether the debtor is worth suing before court action is taken. This is a complimentary service. Why not try it? You have nothing to lose but your debts!