Two years ago, I was the business coach hired in the final few weeks as a last-gasp desperate move by a company that was terminally ill from bad credit control.
They had allowed their biggest customer to get away with late or missed payments for so long that they were owed over £30,000. They had not paid the rent for months either.
When their invoice factoring company pulled the plug on them, they went bust from lack of cashflow. It was a slow and lingering death that caused a great deal of distress for all involved.
Sometimes the quickest way to improve things in your business is to look for the symptoms of what’s wrong. Sloppy practice around invoicing is a serious illness for a business during a tough economy. Collect your cash while you can – don’t be the last one to ask for money!
Here’s a quick check-list of some symptoms to check if your business is suffering from invoice-itus…
- You often forget to send out an invoice, so you allow your customers to pay late, even when you’ve delivered your service or products.
- You make lots of mistakes on invoices, which lets customers argue with you for a while, keeping cash that should be in your bank.
- You feel embarrassed when chasing payments, so you are always the last person your customer pays.
- You are constantly running with low cashflow, even though sales are OK, but you don’t know how to change things.
- You stick your head in the sand and hope it’ll all be OK, too embarrassed to ask for help, you’ll let it get worse before shouting "Help!".
The worst thing that you can do is wait for it to get worse before you ask for help. No matter how bad it feels right now, it won’t get any better until you start to do something different.
If you recognise any of these symptoms in your business, a free consultation with your business coach, the "profits doctor", might be the smartest move you can make…