1. Don't put 'all your eggs in one basket'

If you're careful not to do this then debt from one customer should not mean the collapse of your business.

2. Know your customers

Will the customer be able to pay their bill? Carrying out credit checks is vitally important and credit limits should be set for each customer.

3. Consider different payment terms

Cash on delivery, staged payments, discounts for prompt payment are all options you may want to explore.

4. Utilise the legislation

Remember you may well be able to add interest and collection costs to the debt.

5. Keep a tab on things

Is there a reason the customer hasn't paid? Have you got a procedure in place for flagging up unpaid invoices?

6. Talk to your bank and HM Revenues & Customs

Are you able to get access to increased borrowing or take advantage of invoice discounting or factoring services? Remember to tell HM Revenues & Customs if your customer folds as you should be able to reclaim VAT and may even be able to arrange deferral of VAT and PAYE.