For small businesses, every penny counts, and even a small bill left unpaid by a customer can make a big difference in your bottom line. For some customers, a missed payment might be a simple oversight and a quick reminder may do the trick. But for others, it might take a bit more work. As frustrating as debt collection can be, it is possible to recover payment on past due invoices. Here are some tips for keeping the bills paid and collecting on those that are late.
Begin With a Detailed Credit and Invoicing Process
Make sure you have a clearly laid out credit policy and that customers are fully aware of the terms and conditions. Invoices should be detailed with amount due, payment due date and terms, description of the transaction and company address and contact details. The quality of the invoice has a big impact on whether a payment will be made.
Keep Current Records of Customer Payment Histories
A customer that has a history of paying on time should be much easier to collect from should they miss an occasional payment. Those who regularly miss payments may need a more aggressive approach. It is wise to require upfront payment from customers who are currently or habitually late.
Keep Detailed Records When Attempting to Collect a Past Due Payment
Take thorough notes every time you speak to the customer or send any type of correspondence about money owed. This could be very helpful for your defense if it were to escalate to a legal proceeding. Successful debt collection can take time to master, but maintaining a calm demeanor and keeping your contact attempts to a reasonable, non-harassing limit can often lead to a favorable outcome.
No matter who the client is or how much they owe, it is your right to collect that debt. Each situation should be looked at individually to determine the best course of action. When legal assistance is needed, Churchill, Quinn, Richtman & Hamilton can provide their years of debt collection expertise to help you understand your rights and legal options, and collect the moneys owed to you. Contact us at 847-223-1500 to speak to one of our highly qualified attorneys.