Credit control is an essential part of your business and ignoring it can be critical. The advice from the BWF is to be tough, but fair. You need to be in the front of the queue if a payment is to be released with your name on it. You therefore need to make sure you have all your ‘I’s’ dotted and ‘T’s’ crossed: your payment terms clear and unmistakeable, make sure all your invoices are backed with Proofs of Delivery (PODs) and statements are presented on time and accurately.
You might be pleased to get a new customer, but there’s no point exposing yourself to the risk of them not paying. Have you used the free credit checking service (log in to view) on the BWF website? Log in, enter the company details and you’ve got a credit report straight away. I know some members who swear they wouldn’t be without it. If you want to go further, there’s an option to set up a monitoring service which will keep you informed of the trading position and credit worthiness of any company you deal with, and alert you to a problem as soon as it arises.
It’s a constant juggling act, one that we are all too familiar with. But with little or no support from the banks, that means that small business owners have a difficult time ahead and have to look after themselves. The knock-on effect of not collecting what you are owed in good time is paying your own suppliers late, which in turn reduces your own credit worthiness.
If you have any concerns, the BWF is here to help - pick up the phone anytime. We can offer free advice and support on any matter concerning debt collection and credit insurance. As the lead member for finance, and having faced the problems in my own business, I’d be willing to offer personal guidance and help, if it would help you to talk your problems through on a confidential basis. Sometimes just having someone on the end of a phone to bounce ideas around with is enough. Just remember the BWF is here to help.
BWF Lobbying Work
BWF have both through our own direct lobbying activity and National Specialist Contractors Council Membership championed Fair Payment in the Construction Sector - to find out more about this activity visit our Campaigns Section Here
Remember more firms tend to enter liquidation on the way out of a recessionary period than on the way in as companies try to capitalise growth (see recent blog post on managing cash flow from BWF Past President Roy Wakeman OBE)
As well as the Guides above and the Free credit checking service BWF operate a free Legal Helpline for members via 0844 209 2610