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How to keep up your cash flow

View profile for Catherine Rickett
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Health, wealth and happiness are the three most important things in our lives. But if you are a small business owner (less than 50 employees) the fact that your clients are failing to pay your invoices on time, may be making you ill. Not having the money you are owed means that not only may your health and family suffer, you will not have the capital to re-invest in your business, forcing you to stagnate, instead of grow.

Do you chase your clients for unpaid invoices day after day?

Are you becoming frustrated with empty promises of payment and ignored correspondence? Does the issue of money keep you awake at night?

Are you worried that taking action against a late paying customer would damage your relationship?

Would your time, quite frankly, be better spent on doing the things that you are good at, rather than spending your time chasing payment from bad payers?

Imagine a world where you could logon to a website and enter the details of your debtor and the amount owed, and on the same day, a letter could be sent by a solicitor for just £5 plus VAT.

Imagine being able to pick the phone to a legal expert, someone who can take control of your unpaid invoices and even better, having the costs of that service being sought from the debtor too!

A client recently said of us:

‘We have been very fortunate in many years of trading and haven’t found the need to take legal action to recover monies owed to us.  With the current challenging business environment however, we have found ourselves in need of support to recover an outstanding debt. We have no experience of the legal process involved and were recommended to Roythornes via a third party.

Roythornes have made the entire process extremely easy and pain free!  They completed every single stage for us, we just needed to supply the relevant information and leave them to it.  They have been approachable, efficient, friendly and professional and have recovered our debt plus all our costs involved in taking action.

I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend them to anyone.  A first class service!’

In the recently launched whitepaper ‘Taking Notice of UK Business’, prepared by the Small Business Commissioner, Paul Uppal and Growth Street, it was found that 75% of SMEs said they would fear taking action against a late payment at the risk of damaging client relationships and that 76% said that not getting paid at all for their work was a serious issue for their business. It follows then that potentially the same people who were fearful of taking action, were those who could lose more than just a night’s sleep, if that issue were not resolved.

Further research undertaken by Xero and Paypal has found that 43% of small business owners have had sleepless nights worrying about unpaid invoices, with 26% saying that they would have improved health if late payments were no longer an issue.

The late payment of invoices between larger firms and small businesses is ultimately having a negative effect on mental health. It appears that larger businesses are throwing their weight around and asking for extended payment terms, in order to maximise their own cash flow. Ultimately, though, this practice of failing to pay on time is having a detrimental effect on the UK economy, as small businesses make up 99.3% of all private sector companies, so are crucial to the economic structure of this country. The standard allowance of time to pay an invoice is 30 days, but many larger companies stretch this to 60 and sometimes even 90 days, meaning that one unpaid invoice could leave you a quarter behind in paying your own bills.

Here at Roythornes, we are here to provide you with a better work/life balance, and to place a buffer in between you and your debtor. We have had so many cases where the debtor had previously been a good customer to our client, but had itself fallen on difficult times. By acting as a mediator, we manage to preserve that all-important relationship, as well as obtaining payment.

Whilst we are told that the Government is trying to create a better environment for payments to be made sooner and create a culture change, at the present time we cannot do much to force the indebted companies to pay the invoices on time. What we can do, however, is to take the pressure off our business owners. We can take over the stresses and strains of chasing those payments, and pass the costs of doing so to the debtor, meaning that, provided we successfully recover the money, it will be the debtor who pays our fees. In some cases, we will also be able to recover late payment compensation and interest to you, at 8% above base rate, meaning that the interest you will recover will be higher than you could earn if the money were in the bank.