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business owners  business  credit application  credit policy  credit  customer  customers  make  money  payment  policy  rate  sales  time 
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Preview: BizCreditPolicy

BizCreditPolicy



Credit Policy for businesses. A discussion of how to extend credit, how to manage credit risk, and how to set your credit policy.



Last Build Date: Sun, 20 Jul 2008 13:00:55 -0700

Copyright: Copyright 2012
 



Immediately Improve your Collections

Sun, 20 Jul 2008 13:00:55 -0700

You can immediately improve your collections if you follow these 4 steps right away with the accounts that have the largest past due balances.

You called John Smith this morning for the 18th time and left another message.  You found out that John recently bought a new truck and is renovating his home.  When you left another message this morning, you were told John is away on vacation.  You haven't collected any money from John in months and your boss is chewing you out.

Since your phone calls are obviously not working, you decide to write John a letter.

Take these 4 steps:

1.  Make your letter brief and to the point, being blunt is best.

2.  Use a larger font in the important parts of your letter.

3.  Give them a payment deadline day, date and time, tell them what will happen on that date if no payment is received.

4.  Send this letter in a flat rate priority mail invelope with delivery confirmation.

I know what your thinking, priority mail envelope? How much is that going to cost?! You pick up the envelope for free at the post office or order them at their website, the postage is less than a gallon of gas, and isn't that worth receiving much more in return?

5.  Bonus item! Email me if you do not get paid.  I mean it.

I have been consulting with companies for years advising them to do this and they all have had FANTASTIC results. So if you do not have great results please email me because so far this always works like a charm.

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What do you call customer's that don't pay their bills?

Wed, 16 Jul 2008 16:12:10 -0700

I found a great weblog for small business owners and ran across this great post I wanted to share with you because it simply explains something that every business owner who is avoiding calling a past due customer needs to be reminded of.

What do you call customer's that don't pay their bills?

 

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Time-tested advice to help Small Businesses weather the storm

Tue, 15 Jul 2008 09:45:55 -0700

The Better Business Bureau knows that a recession is a worrisome time for small business owners everywhere. I found some great tips on their website that can help you make it through this downturn.

1. Cash flow is King, be active in pursuing your accounts recievable

2. Marketing budget. Most companies cut back on marketing spending during a recession, don't make this mistake.

3. Sales strategy. Focus on existing customers and clients.

4. Pricing strategy.  Now is the time to liquidate old inventory.

5. Customer feedback. Focus on customer service and find out what your customers need and want and provide it.

6. Keep an eye on the competition. Know what is going on with the competition, learn from them and be prepared to respond to what they do during the recession.

 

 

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Collecting Money in a Bad Economy

Sat, 12 Jul 2008 04:06:18 -0700

BusinessWeek knows it is harder now, particularly for small companies with limited resources to collect from their past due customers during this troubled economy.

They interviewed me for a story on this topic a couple of weeks ago and that article was so popular they have now done a follow up with more detailed information to help business owners collect their money in a bad economy.

 

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What you don’t know about your customers can bankrupt you

Fri, 04 Jul 2008 16:14:34 -0700

How well do you know your customers? I bet you think you know them pretty well.  If you don’t know enough about them you can end up with a pile of unpaid invoices and no idea how to recover the money they owe you or the time to do it.  Don’t let this happen to you. 

Credit policies are a must for every business that extends credit.  Every business that doesn’t accept payment at the time of the sale must have a credit policy in place or they run the risk of losing money and sales with the end result being that they are working for free.  If this gets out of control, you can end up with many customers owing you money but no money coming in, causing your business to fail.  Some steps you can take to make your credit policy easy, quick and painless are: 

  1. Make it easy for the customer to get credit with you.  Have packets paper clipped together at the front desk; include the credit application, automatic payment permission forms and anything else you want filled out before opening an account.
  2. Make it quick, by having these packets ready and waiting for anyone who comes in.  Have pens and clip boards available so they can be filled out immediately.
  3. Make it painless, by either having them wait and running the credit application while they are still there or responding to them within a certain time period, say 24 hours.

Customers today, like everyone else are expecting convenience and speed, If you make opening up a credit account difficult or unorganized, you could lose the customer. 

Customers that are approved for credit, will buy more if they can pay later, so make the process as streamlined as you can.(image)



How to Boost your Sales & Profits by More than 50%

Fri, 04 Jul 2008 11:28:54 -0700

Most business owners do not realize that a Credit Policy is a channel where you can control your bottom line, sales and income. Using a Credit Policy to increase your sales and profits is a smart maneuver that most businesses ignore.

When a potential customer fills out a credit application you can get near-perfect information about that customer and how they pay their bills and if they can afford more credit. Most consumers that take the time to fill out a credit application are serious about buying from you; otherwise they would go down the road to where they can purchase without filling out anything.

Extensive research shows that consumers that can obtain credit will pay more for a product or service when they are extended credit.  The result?  More sales, income and happy customers for your business.  This can result in more credit approved customers through word of mouth advertising, the best form or advertising there is.

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With credit cards, a deal is not a deal

Wed, 02 Jul 2008 11:34:06 -0700

In the May issue of Consumer Reports under the Viewpoint column where they give the consumers perspective I found a great little "letter" that could be from any one of our banks. I wanted to share this with you since it is so true and if you are more aware of how credit cards and their banks work, you can protect your business and make better credit card decisions.

"Dear Credit card user,

You owe us money.  We can raise your interest rate just because we feel like it. We can do this even if you have always paid us on time and your credit is still good.

We gave you a 0% interest rate to entice you to transfer a balance to us.  Now that you have, we can raise your rate from 0 to our standard rate or even higher, to our default rate, if you pay us late or go over your credit limit just one time.

You may have to get your payment to us 20 days from when we mail you the bill.  Mail delays in either direction are your problem.  If your payment is late even once, we can boost your interest rate to as high as 29.99%.

And you out there on the West Coast:  Your electronic payment is late if you set it up after 2 p.m. Pacific time on the date that it is due.

Sincerely,

Your bank"

 

Special. 

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Dramatically reduce billing costs

Tue, 01 Jul 2008 05:29:22 -0700

I ran across a press release for a company called Striata which is offering electronic credit and collections solutions for business owners. I had never heard of this company and have never done business with them, but with the economy in the mess it is in, I wanted to pass along this informaiton as a resource for you to check out and see if maybe this can help your business.

The press release states that this company is replacing traditional paper dunning notices and reminders with electronic versions.

I don't know how this works in regards to the laws about dunning notices and the outside of the envelope and sharing information but they offer dunning services using public computers, mobile devices and they say this is for when the debtor does not have access to their postal mail.

Thoughts? 

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Traits of a good Credit Manager

Sat, 28 Jun 2008 10:00:57 -0700

Credit managers are in high demand right now. The economy is forcing business owners to look at other ways to make money. Collecting from past due customers is one of the most resourceful ways.

But what do you need to know in order to be a credit manager

Nancy Creamer has 5 great qualities that will help a credit manager be successful.

  1. An economic background.
  2. Creativity.
  3. Flexibility.
  4. A strong sense of the customer.
  5. A good credit policy.

 

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Can your CPA help with your Receivables?

Thu, 26 Jun 2008 18:59:50 -0700

Some accountants are beginning to advise their clients on more than just number crunching issues.  Some are adding the title "Business Advisor" to their list of services and advising their clients on credit and collection procedures. 

Many are asking some really good questions

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