5 March 2013

According to Emma Cooksley-Lewis of C2it Commercial Collections women are fantastic at providing a great service, but often find it hard to ask for the money they are owed.

Talking about how to avoid the pitfalls of debt at March’s meeting, Emma emphasised that cash flow is king regardless of what type of business you’re in. Unfortunately, the average UK SME now has to wait 43.4 days beyond their payment terms.

Late payments can have devastating consequences on small businesses, but many don’t have adequate credit control policies and processes in place, they have inadequate or no Terms & Conditions to rely on, and they depend on too few clients for their income. When late payments become a problem, a small business often can’t afford to allocate resources to chase payments, and many business owners don’t have the confidence to ask for payment and keep chasing. Instead, they avoid it hoping it will resolve itself.

Having robust T&Cs in place can make a huge difference. They can give you the ability to stop providing a service if the terms are broken, and they can support your case if you have to get a debt collection agency or legal services involved.

It’s also worth remembering that debts of up to six years old can be recovered, and that any recovered debts go straight on the business’s bottom line and can help to improve cash-flow.

Most importantly, you must value your own business. If you don’t, who will?

You can contact Emma Cooksley-Lewis at C2it Commercial Collections Ltd on 07899 885225.