We won another award. Why should you care?

We have once again earned a spot on the Best Places to Work in Collections list. We have now been on this list for over a decade, 12 years to be exact, and we are very proud to have this as one of our main goals as a company. Creating a place where people want to come to work and contribute is a goal that any business should have in their sights. And it is one goal that we believe is paramount to building a thriving organization. When we founded American Profit Recovery, it was one of the things that we felt needed to happen to create a sustainable business.

But what does this mean for you the client, the potential client and even the person struggling with debt that we ultimately call on? Continue reading “We won another award. Why should you care?”

Why is my business losing customers?

As a collection agency that works with both small and large business, we encounter this question quite a bit. We often hear that a business needs to place a customer into the collection process but they really don’t want to lose that customer. It is very common for those two factors to be discussed in the same conversation.

We work hard to secure a customer and we don’t want to lose them if we can help it. Acquiring new customers can be a long process for some businesses and the fact that they are behind in their obligations to our business, should not totally disqualify them from doing business with us in the future.Why is my business losing customers?

Take a sales professional for example. If you are in sales, then you know this all too well. You could chase an account for a year or more before someone decides to do business with you. That was hard work and you put your time in to make sure they trusted you. You got the client. Now because of some bad experience, they are not a client anymore. That’s a shame and hopefully it could have been avoided.

There are many reasons your business might be losing customers and we feel that in a lot of cases, it could be prevented. Continue reading “Why is my business losing customers?”

What could you do with more cash flow?

There are so many balls in the air that small business owners need to keep an eye on. And for that matter, any size business owner. The general public might have a perception that running a business is easy and that most are just jetting off to the Caribbean every month but for most, that is not the case. And if you’re one of those business owners, then you know that all too well. And as a collection agency talking with small and medium sized businesses all the time, we can confirm.

collection agencies for smb

Let’s go through some of the more critical issues that many in business constantly have on their mind. First, you are always concerned that you’ll have enough business. And when you are busy, will that last. Then you have no doubt been stressed about staffing. Will you be able to secure the talent you need, and will they stay or find a better opportunity?

Will your industry drastically change over time and will you be prepared for that change? And just about at the top of every business owner’s list of issues they worry about is cash. Continue reading “What could you do with more cash flow?”

It’s all fun and games when we work as a team…

By Alexander:

What if I told you that not only did my boss (Brian Liberadzki) treat his entire team of eight, at that moment, to lunch at Dave & Buster’s, but paid for all of us to play games too. Out of his own pocket! How could this be true you may ask yourself? Well let me first explain why we were treated to a fantastic day of fun at the expense of a great mentor.

It began in March of 2019. Tax time was already upon us and calls were flying in left and right. Overwhelming some inexperienced may say, mainly me. Anyway, every collector was looking forward to this time to help out consumers and clients the same. Team Liberadzki was on a roll, I mean straight up just chugging along. About midway through the month Brian looks at our total Net collections as a team and sees we are close to breaking his teams’ previous record of monthly Net collections.

We crushed our previous goals, so the captain of the team decided to treat us all for are hard work we have put in to not only help clients receive past due payments, but to help consumers get caught up in their obligations. That leads us to the trip. Continue reading “It’s all fun and games when we work as a team…”

Funding educational opportunities with fun…

Our team seems to be always getting involved in something greater than themselves and this April was no different. Our crew has raised money for many causes including breast cancer research, Special Olympics and other noteworthy missions over the years.

This past month, they once again took on the ACA Collectors Challenge and raised close to $1,500 for this program. Our team has been raising money and having fun each April and they know their efforts are going to help many in the collection industry.

In the past decade, we have raised over $18,000 to help fund educational opportunities.

The ACA Collectors Challenge raises funds for the ACA International Education Foundation. And those funds ultimately go towards funding the Loomer-Mortensn Scholarship program that helps to fund higher education opportunities for those working the collection industry and their family members, including some of our own over the years. Continue reading “Funding educational opportunities with fun…”

This career is different

By Derek:

A few weeks ago I celebrated my one year anniversary working at American Profit Recovery, so I thought I’d take a moment to reflect on what I’ve experienced thus far during my tenure with the company as a collector. I should start by stating, that working here for the past 12 months, has sincerely been a pleasure. I’ve held various positions in the past, as I’m sure everyone else has as well, that made getting out of bed in the morning a constant struggle because I dreaded the work that awaited me once I arrived at the office. It’s extremely refreshing to say I have not had one of those mornings while working for this collection agency.

To be honest, I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect when I initially accepted the offer to work here. I knew I would be calling people all day long, the office looked nice and the people there seemed friendly, so I thought I’d give it a shot. I had experience with over the phone sales positions in the past, so I was used to making a large volume of calls on a daily basis, but I never enjoyed those roles. No matter how successful I was in those positions, I always went home at the end of the day feeling like I just spent eight hours bothering people and I was hoping this gig would be different. Continue reading “This career is different”

These are costing your business money and lost revenue

It probably goes without saying that the biggest reason your business could be losing money is because customers are not paying you on time. You do the work, or supply the product, and then if you don’t get paid, you start losing cash immediately. Collection agencies that work with small business, such as our company hear this type of thing all the time. It’s the single largest source of revenue loss.

But there are many other causes of lost revenue and some of them might not even be obvious to you and your team. Maybe they are and you’re just ignoring them. Whatever the case may be, there are a number of ways your business can be losing cash and if you’re not careful, it can only escalate if you’re not paying attention. Continue reading “These are costing your business money and lost revenue”

Where’s my cash?

Remember the movie “Dude, Where’s My Car?” Well, have you ever said to yourself, where’s my cash?

There are insights we have as a collection agency that works with small business. And we get questions all the time when we sit down and talk with small business owners and others like you. They are always asking where their cash is. “We see some of our money coming in, but not all of it.” A common theme when we consult with concerned businesses.

You need to know where your cash is at all times as a small business. Everything from keeping track of the cash that goes in and out of your business to the people that are paying and not paying you. If you let this critical part of your business slide, you’ll be asking that question too. Where’s my cash?

While our main focus here is to recover money that is owed to your business, we also understand that cash has several other ways of hiding from you.

A few items for you to keep track of on a regular basis are:

Accounts receivables:

We know a little bit about accounts receivables as you might imagine. As a collection agency, it’s what we do when the receivables don’t come in on time. We help.

There is a good percentage of businesses that do a good job at keeping up on the receivables in their business and there are equal amounts of businesses that could do better. We have helped both. When a business understands the importance of staying on top of their receivables and getting help before it’s too late, their cash flow should stay positive. But when a business lets late-paying customers go months without a payment, that’s when cash flow suffers.

Regardless of the type of business you are in, your accounts receivables need all the attention you can give them. That includes clear internal procedures such as regular invoicing and follow ups and that extra help when you’re not getting paid.

Make sure everyone that has anything to do with getting your customers to pay for services understands any and all internal expectations for payments. Submitting paperwork on time for time spent with a client, other billables such as products they purchased from you and any other details associated with payments to your business.

Monitor Cash Flow:

While in an ideal world, you would want to have a daily understanding of your cash flow, we understand that might not be possible depending on the type of business you operate. But regular should be the key word here. Make sure you have a regular understanding of where you stand on cash flow. If you are a consulting business, maybe your cash situation won’t change much in seven days. But if you are in the trades, your cash can change daily. It’s imperative you keep a close eye on your cash at all times, Not just once a month.

Cash Reserve:

If you are running a seasonal business, you’ll definitely want to listen up. You need to preserve your cash reserves. While the advice differs depending on who you talk with, having three to six months of cash on hand is a good measurement to stand by. One clear example is the lawn care and landscaping industry. While many supplement their income with snow removal, if it doesn’t snow that much, it doesn’t help that you depended on that possible income.

There is also a downturn in business you need to be prepared for. It could be a whole host of reasons. Maybe you lost a big account, or you have potential leads that have not turned into real business yet. You have to be prepared for a time when revenue is down.

Keep an Eye on Expenses:

Once again, it depends on your industry as to the number of payables you might have but you need to keep a close eye on these. And if you can’t, get help.

When you ask, where’s my cash?, you might also say, I had no idea I was paying for this… When you don’t pay attention, you’ll eventually find things you had no idea were costing you money. Look at everything you are paying for regularly and make adjustments where needed.

This also goes for inventory if you sell physical items. Inventory is money and it’s not doing you any good to sit on six months of a product when that money could be in the bank.

Get Help:

A common theme we write about here is getting help. You don’t have to do it all yourself or even delegate it to someone that might not have the skillset. Getting the proper help might cost you money but the money you can save by having professionals by your side could be big. Those include a qualified bookkeeper to keep an eye on your books and pay your bills on time. It can be a CPA which is almost a no-brainer in this day and age. And it can be a collection agency that specializes in small business. All these are smart investments in your business.

They will help you get your money, get it on time, keep it for when you need it and have you less stressed out in the long run.

You do what for work?

By Angela:

Often times I find myself in a position where someone is asking me what I do for a living and the reactions I get are pretty crazy. When I tell them I work for a collection agency, they either think I’m just a bad person, or they begin to understand, and are generally interested.

I recently went to a salon and they asked me what I did for a living and after telling them, the woman says, “Oh that’s got to suck”.  I love hearing this, because then I can take a few minutes to explain why it doesn’t and why what we do is important to the economy. It turns out the lady I spoke to was the business owner of the salon, and after I explained the benefits our industry has to businesses like hers, she then was very interested as her husband also owns his own business.

I think it’s common that most people assume debt collectors are just here every day to be mean to people, and trust me when I say that is FAR from the truth. We are everyday people who have at some point or another, likely gone through the same thing. We are nice people who care about our clients and their customers and stand by a collector’s pledge which everyone here takes to ensure we all treat people with respect.

While some may view what we do as a negative, the reality is much different, we help are here to help our clients, while maintaining good customer service so they can hopefully continue business with their consumers.

What we do isn’t a shameful profession but in fact a necessary one. Small business owner’s everyday are struggling and the collection industry plays a huge role in putting money back into their pockets and the economy.

Protect your money

When you are running a small business, every dollar counts. That includes cash that comes into your business and cash that goes out. It’s how you charge your customers for what you provide them, and keeping a watchful eye on what you are being charged by others.

It’s also about protecting what you have which includes cash, receivables as well as physical items such as assets and inventory. Maybe your customers are paying on time, but you could be losing money in other areas. It’s important to keep an eye on everything related to money in your small business.

Here are a few items to always pay attention to:

Cash Flow:

As a small business, you need to protect your cash flow at all cost. As a collection agency that works with small business, we are having conversations every day with small business owners just like you that are having issues with cash flow. And one of the main reasons is that customers are not paying on time or not paying at all. There are so many reasons a customer may hold up on paying you. Some are legitimate such as going through a trying time or they just plain forgot. But as we know, other times they are refusing to pay for other reasons. Continue reading “Protect your money”