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Don’t destroy our SMEs

Debt charities are calling for a freeze of collections to help struggling businesses. But Peter Wallwork, Chief Executive of the Credit Services Association (CSA), issues a clear warning in response. 

“When organisations call for a halt to collections, or even writing debts off altogether, they will be doing untold damage to our country’s small business community, many of whom are already under pressure to survive.”

Late or non-payment is more common within the small business community. Small firms take on average ten days longer to pay suppliers than their larger counterparts.

But now more than ever, prompt payment is essential to business longevity. Millions of sole traders and SMEs are currently dealing with bad debtors. Many of whom are hiding behind the pandemic as an excuse for non-payment. 

Wallwork argues that freezing or writing off these debts will effectively destroy small business growth across the country. 

6 steps to quick payment

Businesses continue to operate in precarious times. So in order to strengthen terms and conditions, and reduce administrative duties, it may be that sole traders or SMEs need to rethink their approach to invoicing. 

1 – Make your terms clear from the outset, and always ensure you have a signed copy of the contract or agreement, with comprehensive terms and conditions clearly laid out. A set time period for payment should be highlighted at this stage, so that the client is aware of your expectations. 

2 – Know a point of contact within your client’s business. 

3 – Telephone four days after you have sent the invoice to query the non-payment. Do so professionally and assertively. Follow this up with a written email. 

4 – If your client pays at this stage, send them an email thanking them for their speedy payment and custom. Remember, building relationships built on mutual trust will cement your reputation as a responsible and dependable business. 

5 – 7 days after an invoice has been sent, call the client again, and send over a copy of the signed terms and conditions. Once again, retain a professional tone in all forms of communication. 

6 – Radio silence, or a rambling list of excuses should set off alarm bells. Unless the company has a legitimate reason for late payment, begin to consider another course of action. 

What to do next 

Cobra Financial Solutions collect any debt of over £1,000. Once we have received your instruction, we can visit debtors within just 48 hours. No-nonsense. No excuses. No stress. 

With offices right across the United Kingdom, we provide a truly nationwide service. And with 75 years’ combined experience in the industry, you can put your trust in the experts. 

Cobra are the fastest growing debt collection agency in the country. We have built our reputation through continued partnerships with our clients. Recommendations are one of the main reasons behind our success. We know how much reputation matters, so we deliver a discreet, efficient and professional service, every time. 

No solicitors. No hidden fees. No mounds of paperwork. No drawn-out court proceedings. 

Just your money back in your pocket: where it belongs. 

If you would like to discuss your case with one of our agents, then call Cobra on 0151 526 4222.

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