If commercial collections is not part of your B2B business plan, you’re losing money. Get your cash flowing again with these commercial collection secrets.
Commercial Collections: Fixture of New B2B Culture
If you’re in business-to-business field, or even if you’re a consumer products business that works through third-party distribution channels, you probably know what it’s like to check your mail anxiously each day, sifting through all bills for that payment that was supposed to have been in months ago.
It wasn’t supposed to be like this. If you were a good, honest businessperson who dealt with other good, honest businesspeople, “commercial collections” wasn’t supposed to be part of your vocabulary.
Back in good old days, an invoice or purchase order that had an established company listed in “bill to” field was almost as good as a cashier’s check. Nowadays, if you’re in business of serving other businesses you may find that your cash flow is less reliable than a small-time bookie’s.
Commercial Collections: A Personal Story
This past April I finally got $2,000 a client owed me for work done in December, after spending almost as much money’s worth of my time reminding them to pay.
No, this wasn’t one of those hand-shake deals—we had a 5-page contract specifying net-30 payment terms. Nor was this some guy with a lemonade stand. It was media division of one of largest retailers in United States.
The worst part was, I trusted this client based on my experience working with them a few years before. I actually spent money on Christmas presents, fully expecting payment to come in before my credit card statement.
Avoiding Outstanding Invoices
Of course, you can nip this problem in bud by cultivating strong relationships with clients who pay on time. But those clients are getting few and far between—and, as I found, good can go pretty bad pretty fast.