Don’t Let Late Payments Hurt Your Business
Take control of your cash flow so that customers’ late payments don’t have the ability to slow or stall your business.
Is money stuck in your accounts receivable due to late payments slowing down your business?
Finance news site PYMNTS.com reports that on any given day in the US, B2B companies are sitting on as much as $3.1T (yes, TRILLION!) in accounts receivables. Larger companies have two advantages when it comes to slow-paying customers than their SMB (small and mid-size business) competitors do.
- Relationship Power
Big companies are often the “power” player in the relationship, in the position of dictating payment terms to their customers. Conversely, SMB’s may have to play by the rules of their customers and may not feel as though they want to risk damaging a relationship by hounding a customer for payment.
- Financial Power
Large companies generally have deeper financial reserves than their smaller counterparts. Late payments from customers can make it difficult for small and mid-sized businesses to make payroll or meet other financial obligations, such as taxes, lease and mortgage payments, operating expenses, marketing and advertising, taking on new customers or bigger accounts, and so on.
In fact, a PYMNTS study found that 28 percent of businesses impacted by late payments from their customers also then end up paying their own suppliers late.
Are you running your business or is slow cash flow calling the shots?
An Inc.com article lists signs that indicate slow cash flow is stalling or stopping business growth and operations, ultimately resulting in a lack of liquidity – insufficient on-hand working capital needed to meet payroll, expenses and other operational costs. Two of these symptoms go directly to the heart of outstanding customer invoices:
- Late payments – overdue invoices
- Slow collections
When money isn’t coming in as scheduled because of late payments from customers, your ability to meet payroll and cover your own business expenses is hampered. Even if you are scraping by on expenses, you may be unable to take actions to grow your business, such as taking on bigger accounts or new customers while you are waiting for customers to submit payments on jobs you have already completed.
If your business struggles – occasionally or frequently – to meet expenses or lacks working capital needed to grow, slow cash flow is negatively impacting your operations and limiting your control. You can take control of your cash flow by expediting cash flow, whether or not you eliminate the challenge of slow-paying customers.
4 Ways to Speed Up Slow B2B Cash Flow Caused by Late Payments
1. Factor invoices
You can completely eliminate the challenge of late payments by customers by factoring invoices as soon as the first day they are created by factoring them with Corsa Finance. Factoring also benefits your customers in that they can still enjoy generous payment terms and can further protect your company from risk of bad debt if you choose non-recourse factoring.
2. Offer fast-pay discounts
You probably have vendors that offer quick-pay or cash discounts, giving you a price break or account credit if you pay immediately instead of on terms. One thing to consider before offering a quick-pay discount like this to your customers is whether the discount you’re offering would be more than the cost to factor the invoice. If your factoring fee would be lower than the amount you give back in a discount, then factoring could be the smarter financial choice. Your business still gets paid right away and you aren’t leaving as much money on the table.
3. Require large deposits
One of the consequences of invoicing customers on terms after a job has been completed is that your business is often required to pay for supplies, equipment, employees and other expenses long before the revenue attached to that job has been received. If customers are required to put down a deposit, some of that revenue can be matched up to corresponding expenses. However, this doesn’t completely eliminate the issue of the balance of the invoice coming in slowly or late.
4. Invoice in real time
Use technology to generate invoices in real time as soon as a customer has signed off on a job or one of your employees has indicated its completion. Waiting a day or even a few days to invoice customers means days in addition to the length of their payment terms before revenue will come in.
What would you be able to pay for today if you weren’t waiting on customer payments or commissions owed to you?
- Federal or state taxes
- Taking on new clients or bigger accounts
- Business credit card or loan payments
- Marketing, advertising and other promotions
- Automobile repairs, gas or maintenance
- Lease, rent or desk fees
- Employee or contractor wages
- Supplies and expenses
Call 866-855-6772 or by email using the form below to find out how we can help you take control of your cash flow to keep your business on a better financial footing.