Small Businesses are the heart of the community, they benefit the economy, and provide jobs and we dedicate a day just for them on Small Business Saturday. This year this day is Saturday, November 30th and it is coming fast. Here at APR we work with many small businesses every day, and one thing that we hear is that they have a hard time getting paid on time. On time payment is critical to these small businesses that rely on these payments to keep their business running.

Many of these business owners are managing many tasks at once, including accounts receivable, and we know that when working with us their number one priority is getting paid on time, but they also want to keep their customers.

So the question is: How do you get paid on time and keep good relations with customers?

Strengthen Internal Process: Bill your customers on time and at regular cycles. If you’re a lawn care company or medical practice for example, you may bill at the time of service. Other companies bill at the first of each month, no matter what you choose, pick a plan and stick to it.

Follow up with Diplomacy: Occasionally a late bill is just an oversight on the customer’s part. If that’s the case then a reminder by phone or letter can resolve the debt quickly. In some cases, a late bill may be the start of a pattern of non-payment. Regardless of the core issue, it is always best to follow up using diplomatic but firm language.

Don’t be Afraid to Ask for Help: If you are struggling to get paid on time then you need to find a collection agency that is a good fit for your business. Find one that is cost effective using a low-cost collections system, is diplomatic in their approach with your customers and one that knows your industry.

Want more advice? Check out this video, and let’s keep our small businesses growing.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cgfkusxr58Q[/youtube]