Posts Tagged Bradford

Cash Flow Management – How do you manage yours?

Getting customers to pay their bills on time is one of the biggest challenges a business owner faces. According to the Department of Business Innovation and Skills, last year 4,000 businesses failed because of late payments and cash flow issues.  Analysis of invoices highlights that many are submitted late or are deficient due to having the wrong details on them, leading to the incorrect processing of the invoices.

If a customer’s payments slow down, it’s advised that you should check them out as it may be a sign that they are in trouble, therefore it would be better to stop supplying than to suffer a bad debt. On average, small  businesses  in 2012 wait two months on top of their payment terms to get paid.

However there are a few tips for trying to ensure the invoice is paid correctly and on time:

  • Send invoices ASAP – and make sure they are sent to the right person. If they need to be passed from person to person, department to department, this will slow the process immensely.
  • Explain every single charge clearly and concisely.
  • Make deadlines clear from the very beginning – especially from when they sign the original contract.
  • More invoices to clients for smaller amounts.
  • Send a hand-written thank you note to the credit controller on a regular basis – get to know them, so that you are pushed to the top of the pile.
  • Find the best date to get the invoice to the customer so it doesn’t go past their cut-off date and another month is wasted.
  • Learn about customers’ internal accounts processes and work with them. Get your best customer to pay quickly.
  • Be tough and don’t accept excuses
  • Threaten to use winding up orders to excerpt more pressure on debtors as a last resort.

Aside from these tips, there are other methods that could potentially be utilised to secure payment on-time.

  • Take upfront deposits before you even start working. Since the start of the recession this is more acceptable.
  • Utilise discounts or loyalty rates to get paid quicker.
  • Only pay on set days in the month to hold onto your cash longer.
  • Use suppliers as a line of credit, instead of banks.
  • Swap excess funds in your operating account into an interest bearing account. Ask your bank to automatically sweep excess funds.

Invoice Finance– Is it only for struggling businesses?

That used to be the case, but now it is a good  form of finance. Invoice Finance bridges the gap between the point at which you make a sale, and the time payment is received. An  arranged percentage is released to you, which is good if the customer has long payment terms .

Choose either Factoring or Invoice Discounting- Either the finance company chase your customer or you chase your customer.

Don’t forget, under the law you can claim interest at 8% over the Bank of England base rate, and compensation of between £40 to £100 on each overdue invoice under the Late Payment of Commercial Debts (Interest) Act 1998. This does not have to be referred to in your Terms and Conditions, and can be applied to goods exported to the EU.

To summarise, getting paid on-time to keep cash flow projections on track is hard. Use your educated guesses to project cashflow which is based on a balance between understanding your customers payment habits and your realistic management of expenditure.

All points in the article above were taken from conversations at The Business Exposure Group where business owners and Directors are invited to take part in round-table discussions at venues across the North of England.

If you are a business owner or Director and would like to be considered for an invitation, please contact Philip Drazen directly at philipdrazen@bxgroup.co.uk

Advertisements

, , , , , ,

Leave a comment

Business Exposure Group events are providing valuable business advice

Last month’s Business Exposure Group meetings around the region were excellent and again generated some quality suggestions.

With 9 groups now operating across Manchester and Yorkshire, the main issues across several discussion groups included: –

–          Is there a need for a business plan, particularly during a recession?

–          Is social media a scary problem or a great business opportunity

–          Whether to rely on freelancers or employ full time staff

–          Techniques to control sales staff and make them accountable

–          Methods used to get your business message out to a new market

–          The value of purchasing a competitor in distress, purely to use it’s strong  brand

–         How to let go and have the confidence to allow your business to flourish

The high value of the group advice was commented on by the majority of the members.

Are you a Business owner or Director around Manchester?

Please let us know by return if you would like us to reserve a place for you around the table at our next meeting in Manchester city centre on the afternoon of Monday 4th July 2011.

The numbers are limited to 15 and this groups is getting full.

Outside the Manchester area, there are groups in Leeds, Bradford, Wetherby and Sheffield. Please let us know if you would like to attend any of these events during July.

Please email philipdrazen@bxgroup.co.uk for more information.

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a comment

Manchester – Business Discussion Forum Event

The next meeting of the Manchester 1 Premier Business Forum is on Monday 6 June at 1.30 – 5.00pm – please ask us for details.

Please let us know if you would like to attend any of our groups in Leeds, Sheffield, Wetherby, Manchester or Bradford over the coming weeks..

Last month’s meeting was excellent with some good quality discussion and suggestions from the guests that attended.

With 9 groups now operating, the main issues across several discussion groups
included: –

–          Increasing customer engagement, when your product range is limited.
–          Outsourcing to increase competitiveness.  The advantages and pitfalls.
–          How to build a pipeline of business based on listening to the issues your customers
are facing.
–          How to motivate senior staff when there has been no salary increase or bonus for 2
years.
–          The value of ‘competitor knowledge’ when building a robust business
–          Do I grow or do I stick?  – The fear factor.
–          Should the business employ more sales or more support staff, as a way of
increasing the size of the business?

The high value of the group advice was commented on by the majority of the members.

Please let us know by return if you would like us to reserve a place for you round the
table at our next meeting on the afternoon of 6 June 2011.

The numbers are limited to 15 and the groups are now getting full.

If you would like to attend, please contact Philip Drazen by email at: philipdrazen@bxgroup.co.uk

, , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a comment

Discussion summary from our January events

We now have 9 Business Exposure Group forums in Leeds, Wetherby, Manchester, Sheffield and Bradford.

This month’s January meeting went really well and the issues across several discussion groups included:-

  • How to make your business offering in 2011 stand out.
  • What techniques are we using to get past the” gatekeeper “and arrange meetings with new prospects.
  • How to offer discounts running alongside normal trading terms, without down- valuing your core business.
  • How to make your staff feel passionate about your customer service.
  • The value/cost of a pay per click campaign.
  • Business opportunities arising because of the recession and how to finance them.

The high value of the group advice was commented on by many of the members.

The dynamic within each of the groups is maturing well.

The next meeting of the Manchester Premier Business Forum will be on Tuesday 1st March at 1.30pm, at the Forsyth Centre, The Triangle. Exchange Square. Manchester.

Please let us know if you may be interested in being invited to one of our groups by emailing philipdrazen@bxgroup.co.uk

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a comment