Many of us have applauded the government’s initiatives to help businesses in these difficult times. One of their ideas is to have “payment holidays”. It’s not a novel concept. For example, for some time HMRC have given businesses extra time to settle their tax bills. Whilst very welcome, we must always remember that this will simply defer payment and not write the debt off. Eventually, there will be a day of reckoning when the debt has to be paid. So if you, as a supplier, are prepared to give extended credit terms at some time in the future, you’ll want the bill to be paid rather than it being cancelled.
Whilst giving extended terms will be very welcome, in many respects it’s simply kicking the can down the road. The problem may be deferred but not resolved. Once the crisis is over, many businesses will face insolvency once creditors start demanding payment. This will be particularly acute if one bears in mind that many creditors will have taken additional borrowing to fund the extended credit.
In short, if you are providing credit then it will have to be managed. You will need to put a process in place now to work out how you’ll get paid once the crisis is over.
A key component of your survival will be managing the cash which is already due to you. If you don’t, then your own business may struggle to survive.
Yuill + Kyle is here to support you through these difficult times. We are able to advise how you are able to approach your customers during this difficult period:
- What you should say in a phone call or email?
- Empathising with your customer
- How to ask your customer for payment
- What to do if your customer refuses to engage with you
- What will “escalating” involve if your customer goes silent?
Yuill + Kyle is still open for business and able to offer advice on all aspects of credit control and debt recovery. If you would like any advice on your credit control issues, please contact me. Above all, keep well.