Small company Cash Flow – How to Improve Your Income

There is a saying among credit professionals; it is only a sale once the money can be collected, until then it’s a present and we’re not in the present giving business.

If you are a small business and are not collecting from your customers in a timely manor you need to re-evaluate your credit/collection practices. Many small business owners are experts in their field but may not feel comfortable about contacting their clients for money that is due.

There is also the particular misunderstanding that a credit /collection professional will stunt company growth by denying sales. Some fear they will lose customers by having someone call on invoices that are past due. Both are completely false; in fact a credit professional can actually help to increase sales for the business and improve customer retention.

The collection process needs to be a regular systematic approach. It is much better to become proactive than reactive; when it comes to your cash flow for your business.

When you are positive you are calling the customers and uncovering problems early on in the collection procedure. This gives you time to make the essential corrections or supply the customer along with additional documentation.

What this will perform is bring in more cash for your business; much quicker than if you sat around waiting for the customer to send in their payment.

12 Steps To Improving Your Cash Flow

1) Always be professional.
2) Start using a customer service approach, be a problem solver.
3) Run an aging of most customers each month.
4) Be prepared; review the customers’ file before phoning them.
5) Know what leverage you have available (is an order ready to ship)
6) Call all customers (once the invoice is 5 times beyond terms).
7) Confirm contact names, numbers and email addresses of Accounts
Payable personnel.
8) You afraid to ask for the A/P Mgr or Controller to get answers on past due invoices.
9) Keep Good notes; document everything.
10) Efficient follow up is a key success factor! Use Outlook to schedule follow up calls or a check promise. (Follow upward calls should be scheduled based on the details you have been told. If you leave a message; call back in a couple of days. )
11) When you do leave a message; also send out a fax or email with the past due invoice. This will keep your name in front of the customer and increase your likelihood of being paid.
12) Return phone calls promptly, delaying means less money for you.

Implement these steps on a regular basis and you will notice an improvement in your cash flow.
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For the small company owner who does not want to be bothered contacting customers or cannot afford the expense (salary and benefits) of employing an employee to do this job. You are faced with a couple of options; keep ignoring the problem and continue struggling with slow income or outsource your credit plus collection function to a professional credit score consultant.

Fact: Cash flow is the heart of your business; without it your company will soon come to an end.

In case you are a small business and are not collecting from your customers in a timely manor; you should re-evaluate your credit/collection practices. To be able to improve your cash flow you must have consistent and effective collection practices in place for the organization.

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