Here, we share a few tips which should go some way in helping your cash flowing in.

1. Invoice your customer as soon as possible

Make sure you invoice your customer as soon as the job is complete, and be sure that the invoice is addressed the correct department.

2. Send the invoice to a named person

If possible, send the invoice to a named person – if you have their e-mail address, it is probably a good idea to e-mail it as well as posting it.

3. Encourage your customer to stick to your credit terms

Try to ensure your customer sticks to your credit terms. If payment should be made by 14 days from the date of the invoice and it isn't paid, phone your customer the following day to politely ask for payment.

4. Indicate a payment deadline date to your customer

Don't ask your customer when they can pay – politely inform that you want payment to be made by a certain date, and stick to this. If payment is not made by this date, follow this up with a phone call to your customer to tell them that pyament really has to be made by a certain date, otherwise the matter will be escalated and taken out of your hands.

5. Advise your customer of the terms of non-payment

You should remember to tell your customer that if you are escalating non-payment, their account will be put on hold.

6. Make sure you address all of your customer's queries promptly

If your customer raises queries and says that payment cannot be made until they are resolved, you should make sure that all issues can be addressed. If the dispute is easily resolved, contact your customer immediately – thank them for drawing this to your attention and say that as the matter is now resolved, you expect payment to be made by a defined date. If the dispute is entirely without foundation, you should tell your customer why this is the case – if your customer still raises this point as an excuse for non-payment, then you know that you have a problem and may well have to escalate this.

7. Ensure you keep the lines of communication open

Try to make things easy for your customer. If you sense that they are struggling, raise this with them. If appropriate, you may be in a position to accept payment in instalments. If you are able to do this, you will retain customer loyalty and hopefully be able to secure future orders.

8. Be flexible and empathetic if your customer appears to be in difficulty

If your customer is appearing distressed or under pressure, try to be sympathetic and empathic. Ask them what the issue is. It may be that they have had, or are still having, significant issues because of the pandemic. If you are able, you could perhaps offer a small discount against future orders. If you adopt this approach, this will go a long way towards customer loyalty and retention. Remember to be as sure as you can that any future orders will be paid for.

9. Always credit check your customers

If there any changes in directors or judgments registered (which could be a sure sign of financial difficulty), then you should be automatically notified.

10. Consider contacting Yuill + Kyle if your debtor is non responsive or uncooperative

Our initial pre-sue letter, for as little as £6:00, can transform what is a financial headache into positive cash flow. Please do not hesitate to contact us to discuss your circumstances with a member of our team.