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Worse, it seems that larger business, less likely they are to pay on time. “Net 10 days” might as well be a foreign language in Fortune 500 land. The long-standing advice given to B2B businesses and self-employed people is that money is in big corporations. But good luck getting it from them before your rent is due.
What I Should Have Done
Looking back on my experience with deadbeat corporate client, my biggest mistake was doing it all myself, with writing letters and making phone calls. With an hourly rate of about $75, I ended up spending time equivalent of a large chunk of my $2000 fee.
I should have gone to a collection agency. I just didn’t know then that were collection agencies that would take on small business debts and run whole process for you for as little as $20 per debt.
Of course, I also didn’t know that going to a collection agency didn’t necessarily mean “putting an account in collections.” Many collection agencies are in fact refashioning themselves as “accounts receivable management” specialists; they’ll even manage your invoicing from end-to-end if you want. The client may not even realizing that person on phone is from an outside agency and not your own personal assistant.
When I think of all value of time I spent collecting that last $2,000, I could kick myself for not handing it over to a collection agency. But, I can always look forward to putting this knowledge into practice next time I have a client who’s slow in paying.
Joel Walsh suggests you start here to learn more about commercial collections: http://www.collection-agency-information.com?%20commercial%20collections [Web publication requirement: create live link for the URL/web address using "commercial collections" as visible link text/anchor text.]