It is inevitable for any business big or small to avoid bad debts. There are instances when they come across:
- Customers who don’t pay or refuses to pay for the services you rendered to them
- Customers who usually pay on time, but are unable to due to financial issues
- Customers who have tons of bills and debts, and are paying them one by one.
Most businesses will prefer to have customers in the last two categories. It is because there are more chances that after their financial conditions improve, they will pay back the money. The same is not true for the first group of customers.
Whether you are a big enterprise or a small business, you need a well-defined set of rules when it comes to tackling the first group of customers. If you have an internal debt collection department, you can start with that.
But most companies especially startups and small businesses don’t have one. For them, the best option is to hire a third-party debt collection agency.
Defining companies collecting debt
- A company collecting debt
If you as a business owner are collecting debt, then you are acting as a collection firm. Usually, you don’t have to comply with too many rules and regulations.
Still, if you are using any method or tactic that a debt collector will use for collection, you need to follow the law. For example, using a different name for a collection is a red flag.
- State laws
Now, every country has national laws, like the USA has the FDCPA. But every state in this country has its collection law. So, for instance, if a business defines itself as a debt collector under state laws, it has to comply with the state regulations.
It will be a local debt collector though, which has no power in different cities or at the international level.
If you wish to collect debt on your own, you will fall under these two. Also, the collection rules are strict, and you have to adapt to different situations. That is why it is best to hire an international third-party debt collection agency. They know how to work with the debtor, without breaking the law and collect the outstanding amount quickly.
Tips for small business to collect on outstanding debt
No matter who the client is, if they are not paying or refuse to pay, you need to take immediate action. Here are some tips for you to remember while initiating the collection process.
- Be professional and calm
It sucks when you provide a service, and the recipient of the service refuses to pay for it. At that moment, you may get frustrated and lose your calm. But no matter what, you have to be professional and calm.
You cannot abuse the client or customer or give them a piece of your mind. It not only decreases their chances of cooperating with you, but it can also ruin your future relationship.
Thus, remain calm, and figure out a plan. Start with a friendly reminder, if they don’t react to that, you can send a first demand letter, and move on from there.
- Be aware of your rights
As a business who is facing delinquent customers, you need to be sure of what rights you have, and what the debtor has. It is especially important for a business that has no clue how to work account receivables.
So, educate yourself on what are your legal options, and filing for a lawsuit in the first go is not great. Know what you are allowed to do legally, emailing, and calling the debtor is okay. But you can ring a bell to their house to collect the outstanding amount.
- Documentation is important
Document everything, from your talks to the emails you sent, and so on. Make sure you have an authentic copy of the contract, as well as the original one. It is important to have these documents, as it can help you in case you ever have to go the legal route.
Getting some amount is better than nothing. If you come across a client who is bankrupt or is refusing to pay the whole amount, offer them a payment plan or settlement.
- Go with a professional
If you are unable to collect, don’t file for a lawsuit, it is costly. You have one more option-hiring a debt collector. They can convince the debtors to pay without harassing them, or so on. They have tricks, the only thing you should do is get them involved quickly. But just don’t hire any other third party service, research a bit and close the deal with a professional one like cedars business services. Read this article to know more about such third-party debt collection services.
To conclude, no matter who the customer is, if you have provided a service, you deserve the payment. So, don’t let it go, but be professional.