Every day I work towards my goals

Never did I think I would be a collection specialist, but here I am four years into my career. Every day I learn more things that help me for the next call and a lot about having patience. Who would’ve thought I would be sitting here today loving what I do?  I certainly didn’t.

When I first got hired, I came here with one goal, to be a manager. Every day I work towards my goals while trying to motivate others to achieve theirs.  When I got promoted to collections work team leader I became one step closer to my goal. During the time of my current position I have worked side by side with my coworkers and discussed their goals and help develop ways to make difficult topics easier for them. This has been very rewarding watching people who may struggle with a topic get answers they need in order to move forward and be better. Continue reading “Every day I work towards my goals”

We’re breaking down barriers and shutting the stereotypes down…

Whenever friends would ask me where I worked, I could think of a million and one jobs to claim before claiming my job as a debt collector. I couldn’t prepare myself for the funny looks accompanied with the not so funny jokes that were thrown my way. I mean, let’s just be honest. Before working at American Profit Recovery, I wasn’t a huge fan of debt collectors either. So I completely get it. Though I’ve only been working here for a short time, my views on debt collectors have changed tremendously. Well, at least those who work with American Profit Recovery.

If it isn’t clear just yet, I’ll admit that I like what we do here. In the midst of making what others may consider annoying phone calls, our main goal is to maintain the idea behind ‘The Big “H”’.  While you may be expecting the Harassment, we believe in Helping.

We want to make sure that both client and consumer are in the best position possible. We understand that life has its way of taking over and that’s why we’re here. To offer assistance or additional time if necessary.  We’re breaking down barriers and shutting the stereotypes down. Now, if you ask me where I work, I will proudly say that I work with American Profit Recovery as a Debt collector. There’s no shame in my game. –Nyiah Daniel

We help each other to help those we call…

Before I started at American Profit Recovery, the thought of working in collections scared me. I did not want to be locked at a desk staring at an auto-dialer for 8 hours a day. There are so many assumptions about the industry to get caught up in. I never imagined myself in a collections office. I thought this work would drain me completely.

However, from my first interview onward I learned that APR is an incredibly supportive and fun place to work! My colleagues are always positive and have my back when I need them. To me, the culture here is something I find indispensable. With great people surrounding me, I feel energized at work most days. Even when I do not, I know I have an amazing group of colleagues ready to help pick me up and help me give my all at work. We help each other to help those we call. –Erin Lucas

This job does not make me feel any less…

A collection agency is roughly defined as a third-party entity used by creditors to recover funds from past due accounts which they were unsuccessful at collecting themselves. American Profit Recovery approaches this in a way that allows our clients, the creditors, to preserve their relationships with their consumers. Our approach also embodies much more of a customer-service feel than what most people would associate with a typical “collection call.”

It was apparent to me within days of working here that this collection agency would be different than the expected. When asked where I work, I almost always get the same reaction, as if collectors are the “bad guys.” But I also always give the same positive response. Our approach at American Profit is not the stereotypically aggressive, “hunt you down” to pay your bills kind of approach, but rather an approach that shows we are calling to help people who are experiencing hardship and need additional time. I use the word “help” at least 50 times a day here. This job does not make me feel any less kind, respectful, or understanding than I would be anywhere else, and I’m happy to be a part of a company that I feel is taking such great strides towards thwarting those stigmas. –Delaney Gloger

 

Protect your business from financial loss

No one likes to lose money. And as a collection agency that serves all types of business, we can certainly attest to that fact. We have never found one business in all our years helping others that liked to part with their money. And in many cases, it can be avoided if you are prepared and you plan out your business and your growth.

Protecting your business from a financial loss can come in many forms.

Proper Insurance:

We have all met that insurance guy that might be kind of a pain. But the fact is, one of the best ways to protect your business from a financial loss is to have the right insurance as well as the right amount of insurance. It can make the difference between staying in business and closing your doors when you have the right insurance. Continue reading “Protect your business from financial loss”

Ways to stop wasting time and money in your business

Hopefully we all agree that in business, time is money. Every minute you are running your business is an opportunity to make and save money in some way.

Wasting time and money is not something most business owners like to do. And if you are a small business with limited resources, then you want to maximize every aspect of those resources to ensure your business is operating as efficiently as possible.

As a collection agency that works with small business and larger types of business, we know a few things about losing money. We are that safety net for many to make sure they are not in fact losing money. You and your team worked hard for that money, gained the confidence of your customers and you should enjoy a profitable business in turn. Continue reading “Ways to stop wasting time and money in your business”

What do our sales professionals hear?

Our team is on the phone just about every day talking with business owners and others that may be responsible for keeping a business profitable. While some may call them sales professionals because in the end, we are trying to gain them as a client, they are also problem solvers at the core. Yes, they talk about how our system can help their business when it comes to cash flow and as a collection agency, that is what we do.

But they also listen intently to hear what those potential clients are saying and what their areas of pain are in a small or medium sized business. When we listen, our team can do a much better job of making sure they get on the right track to getting more timely payments from their customers.

Here are just a few of the main themes we hear often. Anything sound familiar?

Customers are not paying us!

The obvious first thing we hear is that their customers are not paying them or paying on time. That’s why they called us and why we are on the phone. And if we called them, (Because yes, we do cold call…) in many cases we still hear the same thing after chatting for a bit. Not all of their customers are current in their obligations to that business and it’s starting to take a toll on cash flow.

In a lot of cases, when we talk with a business, we find out that customers not paying is nothing new and in fact, it’s been going on for some time, even years. Maybe they just dealt with the issue as they knew how and never really got serious about making sure payments came in on time. And when we get the call, it’s become more than a nuisance. It’s starting to affect cash flow.collection agency questions

Our cash flow is down.

Speaking of cash flow, it’s another topic that comes up in just about every conversation with a potential client. When customers don’t pay or pay late, your cash flow will suffer. And when we get into more detail with a business, we find just that. Cash flow is starting to become a problem. When the business takes a step back to figure out why there is not as much cash in the bank as they thought they had, they begin to figure out that they have more than a handful of customers that have not paid them yet.

Cash flow as you know is the backbone of your business and when it becomes an issue, more problems arise because you lack cash flow. One of the first places to look is your receivables.

We’ve hesitated to use a collection agency.

We understand when a business tells us that they are unsure about using a collection agency for their business. And there are a few reasons why some businesses hesitate to take that next step. The first is they do not want to lose their customers. Most feel that as soon as you take that next step and place a customer into collections, that you have lost them forever. That’s not always the case and in fact, if the debt collection process is done diplomatically, the chances of a business keeping that customer are far greater. Diplomacy, tact and respect not only help you keep a customer, but by being nice, you have a better chance of resolving that debt with your customer.

Cost is also always on the mind of a business when it comes to debt collections. Most businesses think that the only way to place a customer into collections involves giving up most of the original amount of the bill they are trying to collect. Because they don’t want to part with that money, many businesses decide to work a late customer internally for months and even years. What surprises many is when they find out that there are low-cost collection agencies out there. And we are one of them. You can develop a dialog with customers that don’t pay for a small fee and get them back on track. If you are worried about how much it will cost to hire a collection agency, it makes sense to ask if they offer a low-cost debt collection solution.

Are your employees well trained?

We’ve all watched some of those nightly news magazines and seen poorly trained employees in all kinds of industries. When you have any company contacting your customers, you want to know that they are trained properly, and they are treating your customers fairly and respectfully. If you are looking for a collection agency and you’re speaking with a representative, asking about their workforce is a fair question. Employees at a collection agency should be trained regularly, have a firm understanding of laws and regulations, be able to negotiate with your customers and have the skills to diffuse a situation that gets uncomfortable. In the end, that employee is working on your behalf and representing you. They should be treating your customers as if they were theirs.

When can a get my money?

We have a philosophy here and it’s based off of decades of experience. The sooner you act on a late or non-paying customer, the sooner you’ll get paid. The longer you wait, the more difficult it is to resolve that matter. We are always asked how soon a business might see money coming in. While that varies according to the business and how long those invoices have gone unpaid, acting quicker when someone doesn’t pay you, has proven to be more effective than waiting too long. Developing a regular system for your accounts receivables, follow ups and collections will prove to be beneficial to your cash flow in the long run.

What questions do you have about collection agencies? Let us know.

Starting a Job in a New Industry

By Porsha: 

I started working at American Profit Recovery about five months ago and it is the best job that I have ever had. I have customer service experience from working at fast food restaurants and being a waitress but being a customer service rep for a collection agency is different; a good kind of different.

I was nervous at first for I knew nothing about a collection agency or the laws that they are regulated by. I hate messing up a on a job and want to always strive to do my best and I thought I would fail, but here I am and I was definitely wrong.working at a collection agency

This company is more than a workplace for me and the people are more than co-workers. They treat me like family! The people here never hesitate to answer any of my questions. It is astonishing how everyone will go out of their way to teach me and guide me to having a successful career here at APR.

And the management is awesome! You don’t find many workplaces where the management is so hands on and get their hands dirty with the work involved.

Last but not least, I am grateful for the customer service team. They have held my hand every step of the way. Working with them, my confidence has skyrocketed, and I come to work every day ready to problem solve and help the clients who use our services. Not only are they the best workers ever but they are my family!

What are my best resources for staying profitable?

There are many ways your business can increase profits and hopefully increase cash flow by doing so. As a collection agency that specializes in working with all types of business, we are always fielding questions from concerned business owners and others about their lack of cash flow and in many cases, lack of profits. It’s a question we get often.

How can I increase the profits in my business?

There are many ways to increase the profits in your business. Some are right in front of you and others need a little searching but if you’re committed and stick to a process and, get the proper resources, you’ll be on your way to increased profitability. Continue reading “What are my best resources for staying profitable?”

You should be able to answer these questions about your business

Running a business is much harder than it looks. If you see all these gurus on social media telling you that you can make millions sitting on a beach and never worrying, you should be careful of what they are telling you because in most cases, it’s just not accurate. Do some people make money while enjoying the sound of crashing waves? Yes, but if they’re smart, they are still keeping a pulse on everything.

They know their numbers, know what their customers and clients need and don’t need, and they are well tuned in to the health of their business. If they don’t know these facts and figures, they’ll be out of business before they know it.

There are several aspects of your business that you should be well up to speed on. Having a firm grasp on the health of your business is not only good for your business, but mission critical.

So, what should you know about your business?

Revenue:

Sounds basic right? Yes, it is. You should know what your revenue is for any given period of time. At the very least, you should know what your monthly revenue is that comes into your business because that can help you determine trends that are forming with your business. Are sales up, are they down? Last month we made XX and now we see sales are slipping. You wouldn’t know that unless you kept a close eye on revenue.What should I know about business

We know that for some, you have your busy seasons such as the lawn care professionals we serve, swimming pool companies and others. But please take time out to just check on your revenue.

Cash Flow:

So you know what you have for revenue but do you understand your cash flow? They are not the same. Cash flow is the money that is going in and out of your business. For most businesses, cash comes through sales of products and services. But it can also be generated by investments. Most businesses track their cash flow by the month.

You can have great sales but if you are sending out more money than is coming in, you’re going to have a cash flow issue. Cash quite simply is what you have on hand.

There are several factors that lead to negative cash flow. Out of control expenses, unforeseen expenses such as repairs or buying new equipment and of course, customers not paying you on time.

Accounts Receivables;

Speaking of customers not paying on time, that’s where your knowledge of your receivables becomes very important. Maybe your revenue looks great, but revenue can also be on paper. Which means you have not been paid for what you did or supplied. As a business, you never want to be surprised by how many people owe you money. You need to stay on top of your receivables for many reasons.

First, it’s all about cash flow. And when people owe you money, at affects your cash flow immediately. It also affects your attitude because most of us get upset when people don’t pay and you don’t have any legitimate reason why. You think you did a good job and met the clients’ needs but you didn’t get paid.

But keeping track of who owes you money is also about accountability. If you don’t have the systems in place to effectively track the customers that have not paid, or paid on time, you will lose money. The more time you let go by without getting more assertive in getting clients current in their payments, the less likely you’ll get paid for your services. Let months and months go by, and for some, they justify not paying you.

Chasing after payments that have not come in also costs you valuable resources in time and money that could be used in other areas of you business.

Know who owes you money and how long they have been late and have the systems in place to take care of that. That includes internal and the services of a reputable collection agency for more stubborn accounts.

Who is your ideal customer?

You should have a handle on your ideal customer because those, hopefully will be the most profitable for your business. You might have different criteria for your ideal customer but we feel that your perfect customer is profitable, easy to work with and even returns for repeat business.

Defining the perfect customer will allow you to find more like them, hopefully increase your profits, reduce the stress of working with less than ideal clients and give everyone on your team a roadmap to follow as you go out and find more customers like them.

There are so many more aspects of your business that you need to have a handle on but if you know where your cash is, where your cash is coming from and how to find your ideal profitable customer, you’ll be far ahead of many who don’t have a firm grasp on these parts of their business.