By Lee Murphy,Founder,Founder of Pandle (www.pandle.com) the cloud bookkeeping software specifically for small businesses and the self-employed.
Every year 50,000 businesses in the UK are forced to close because customers have failed to pay on time, if at all, for services provided. The late payment culture is fast becoming the norm, but it comes with a price tag with the Federation of Small Business estimating that £2.5bn is lost annually to late payers.
The collapse of construction giant Carillion earlier this year highlighted the scale of the problem, with the company accused of forcing onerous payment terms of 120-days on an army of small scale suppliers. Carillion, MPs said, showed ‘utter contempt’ for its suppliers by using them as a line of credit to shore up its balance sheet while concealing the scale of its debt.
The full extent of the damage done by Carillion’s collapse is yet to be fully realised. In 2016 the company spent £952m with local suppliers in 2016, using an extensive network of small firms. In the wake of its failure it emerged that up to 30,000 small businesses were left with unpaid bills. The long-term future of those businesses has been jeopardised simply because they had not been paid on time by a client many had presumed reliable and solvent.
Build UK, the representative organisation for the UK construction industry, claimed that in the past were contractors have failed, around 18 per cent of creditors did not survive the next five years.
Of course, Carillion is an extreme example of what can happen to an army of contractors when a big business goes bust. Nevertheless, the Carillion saga has served to highlight the late payments culture that has come to dominate UK businesses, with those at the smaller end of the commercial scale most adversely affected.
Whether you are a micro-business employing a small team of people or working as a self-employed plumber, getting paid on time is essential if you are going to keep the bank happy and your business thriving.
For a row over late payments to escalate and threaten the ongoing flow of work is a situation most business owners want to avoid. The aim must be to try and maintain a sustainable relationship.
Remember, not all late payers are cynical, there may be a valid reason that the cash is yet to hit your commercial account.
Managing money is a tough regardless of the size of your business. It is tougher still for those at the lower end of the commercial spectrum, where the chances are the same person who is doing the day job is also doing the administrative work.
The good news is that there are plenty of tools online to help business owners get to grips with admin, many of which are free. Pandle, for instance, can automate the process of chasing and reminding customers for you, something that will have an immediate impact on reducing the number of debtors you have.
There is plenty that business owners can be doing to make sure they get paid on time. By following my advice and making a few changes you can boost your productivity, get paid on time, and ensure you remain on friendly terms with your bank.
Be clear about your payment policy
Regardless of the size of your business or the size of your clients creating a clear payments policy will put you on the right path to getting paid on time.
If you are in the contracting trade, for instance, you may want to include a link to a standard note on your estimates on your website, whereas if you are an IT contractor it may be preferable to issue terms and conditions tailored to the clients’ needs.
If you send a letter of appointment or contract, make sure your payments policy, whatever shape it takes, is mentioned on this. If you ask customers to sign the document, it is an enforceable contract that you can later rely upon should matters take a turn for the worse.
As well as having the customer name and address right, your invoice should include your business details with the correct VAT registration number, any purchase order number and bank details. Also, be clear about who you are sending it to, so you know where to chase.
Essentially, the policy should include details of any penalties for late payers or, to entice early payment, offer discounts to customers who pay on time.
Let software take the strain
Getting organised with your payments and keeping track of who owes you what and when can be a stressful task, especially if you have had a long day working.
If doing the books and checking payments and expenses are being handled properly takes too much time, then it is worthwhile looking online for cloud-based applications and bookkeeping tools that can do the job for you.
Many of them are free and do lots of things automatically, such as send reminders to late payers. Pandle, for example, also gives real time cash reporting and forecasting so that you can easily spot current or future cash flow problems and react.
Simply by sending payment reminders to customers you will see an improvement in payment terms.
It may come as no surprise that the longer a customer waits to pay the less likely it is that they will. It is not uncommon to wait 60 or even 90 days for payment from larger businesses – or 120-days in the case of Carillion. If there is an error on the invoice it will be longer.
It may be tempting to take on larger contracts as they can be profitable, but make sure you work out the impact on your cashflow before agreeing to work. Most businesses that go insolvent are profitable, they just don’t have the money in the bank to pay the bills. Beware of falling into this trap. If the payment terms are bad and put you under pressure, think about whether it is worth the risk.
You may want to consider your payment terms. If like most small businesses you are quoting 28 days as standard, you may want to consider reducing it to 14 or fewer. Also, some businesses are willing to pay in advance if you offer a discount, so think about these sorts of options and negotiate them at the start.
Get more money up front
It is worth considering whether to ask a client for a deposit on the payment should the work be cancelled so you are not left out of pocket. If you have set a week aside for a projectthat falls through or gets postponed, you are left with nothing to show for it.
Consider whether it is worth asking for as much as 50% to make sure the work goes through?
Likewise, you may want to discuss phased payments with clients, particularly if you are working on a long-term project. Making sure you get paid for your time as well as the end product can be difficult. If you keep a note of hours and bill in phases you are more likely to be remunerated for all the workyou have done.
What if you still haven’t been paid?
Of course, there are those who simply don’t pay on time, no matter how friendly and professional your reminder service is. Unfortunately, these are the tricky customers who need a tougher line. This is particularly difficult if you want to keep their business.
There are a few different options you can take. Firstly, if they want more work done then you can insist that they settle their debts first. You can also insist on a different payment system going forward.
Other options include selling your invoices and getting someone else to do the chasing for you known as invoice factoring (an important option if you need the cash, but you won’t get anything like what you’re owed), or pursuing a claim for payment legally, perhaps through the small claims court.
Taking control of your payments policy needn’t be a chore. By automating the system and handing it over to someone else you will find more time to focus on making your business a success, and ensure you get paid for the services you provide.
How You Can Make Money From Home
There is no secret to making money online, the only secret is your persistence. Hidden away between the tips on starting a wine club, taking up a photography club or joining the wine revolution, there are smart tips that anyone could use to earn money online without having to quit their day job. We have written lots about the many ways people abroad to help finance their lives.
A good place to start with online jobs is with paid surveys. Surveys pay for your time and allow you to earn a bit of extra cash. The reason you will be able to earn more than what you are actually worth is that a survey company will pay to send you their questionnaire so that you can answer it. The more accurate and detailed your answers the more likely you are to get paid.
There are many survey companies available, you need to choose wisely and carefully as some surveys are paid better than others. For example, you may get paid well if you give an opinion on the health of wine or food. You may get paid just as well if you offer an opinion on which type of music you like.
Another great way to make money online is to write articles. You could write an article and then sell it to an affiliate. If someone likes what they read you will get a commission.
If you are unable to write or if you do not have the time, you could hire someone to write for you. This could be someone who has experience in web content writing or a freelance writer. You could also sell your own articles on an affiliate website such as Clickbank or Commission Junction.
It is easy to make money, it can take some time but it is definitely possible. All you need is determination and discipline to keep at it.
Many people overseas have chosen to live off the grid lifestyle. There are many benefits to living this way and one of them is being able to make money from home.
There are also a lot of opportunities to make money doing research online, there is a constant increase in the amount of knowledge that is available to the public. It is much easier to research and discover new ways of earning money. and you can get started in a short space of time. So, I encourage you to give it a go.
One of the easiest ways to make money online is by becoming a blogger. It really is very easy to become a blogger. Just type ‘blogging’ into Google and then fill in all the details. It is easy and it can even start to look lucrative.
Blogging is a good way to earn money if you have an understanding of the basics. You need to write about something that interests you. This could be about your family life, your interests or even a hobby that you like.
Once you have set up a good website for your blog, the next step is to get visitors to it. One way of doing this is by putting up advertisements. This is just the same as writing articles for other websites.
Some people choose to make money by selling products. You can do this in two ways, through a site such as eBay or through affiliate marketing. You could sell e-books or products related to the niche you are blogging about. The great thing about eBay is that there is always a steady flow of visitors.
These two ways are only two of the many ways to make money online. I recommend you look at all the options and find the ones that work best for you. Once you have found them, you will never stop learning about ways to make money online.
How To Avoid the Risks of Poor Credit
Security Finance is an unsecured debt collecting agency that, via a network of affiliated companies, provides “secure” personal loans to consumers who may otherwise struggle to meet their existing debts. Their loans are generally short-term, and their conditions often vary dramatically from those of traditional short term personal loans. The services they provide can be invaluable to both the consumer and the lender.
Security finance offers a wide variety of loans. These include: home equity loans, revolving credit lines, commercial and business loans, car and motorcycle loans, and other types of unsecured loans. These loans can be used for almost any purpose, and they will be more beneficial to the consumer than those offered by banks and other unsecured lenders.
Secured personal loans offer an excellent alternative to the high rate of interest paid by unsecured loans. The interest rates are often less, the terms are easier to meet, and they are often better suited to meeting a consumer’s unique financial situation. The collateral provided with the loan usually allows security that the loan will be repaid in a reasonable amount of time, with little or no difficulty.
Secured loans require the debtor to place collateral, such as his or her car, home, or other valuable asset, in order to receive the money they have been borrowing, and are therefore considered by the debt collector as an attempt to recover something that has been taken. Debt collectors will not hesitate to call a borrower who does not follow the terms of his or her loan agreement and in some cases will go as far as harassing them, calling and/or sending letters in an attempt to collect on a debt.
When applying for a secured personal loan, many borrowers are worried that the debt will affect their credit score. The fact is that there is virtually no correlation between the amount of credit available and the credit score. However, secured loans will typically have a much lower credit score than unsecured loans. This is because the borrower is putting his or her assets in a bank account where they are likely to be liquidated for payment.
It is important to remember that the loan does not negatively affect the credit history. The only time it can result in damage to a credit report is if it is reported incorrectly. If a borrower were to try to pay off a loan on a credit card that was reported as being “lost”, he or she would then be making the error a second time.
Security finance offers consumers an exceptional opportunity for personal development through the use of online applications, and the ability to make several payments on the same day to avoid late fees and penalties. This service also makes it easy to avoid late fees when paying loans off at the end of the month.
The ability to apply for secured loans online provides a tremendous opportunity for the consumer to improve his or her credit score. Security loans can provide a large number of benefits to people who are in financial difficulty, including: low cost, low rate loans, low credit, and the flexibility of being able to make multiple payments.
If you are considering applying for a secured loan but have never applied online, you should take advantage of the opportunity to make several purchases in a short period of time, rather than waiting until the last minute to apply for an unsecured loan. By using the secured finance website, you can save yourself the time and stress associated with filling out an application and can ensure that your credit report shows your financial progress accurately.
Once you have applied for a secured loan, you should also make sure that you understand the terms and conditions of your loan, including any interest rate that may apply to the loan. Be sure that you understand the term of the loan in full and fully. Do not hesitate to ask any questions that may arise. You should always contact the company directly when you feel that you are not fully clear on a matter regarding a loan.
Secured finance loans are a great way to increase your credit score while avoiding the hassle and expense of filling out and paying off an application by mail. Because the borrower is making a direct deposit of money into an account, the credit report that shows up on credit reports is often inaccurate.
How To Find Free Rates On Money Exchange
Money is a common item that can be bought, traded, exchanged or sold. This usually includes the value of the currency as well as gold and silver. Money is commonly accepted as payment of certain obligations, including taxes, and payment of certain goods and services in a specific country or socioeconomic context.
There are three money systems in the world. The first is the use of coins or other units of currency, which are available in fixed denominations. The second is barter. It involves exchanging items of utility with other items of utility. In the third system, known as fiat money, there is no central authority that decides what the money supply is, and the monetary base is determined by political will.
The most common monetary system is the gold standard, which was used as far back as ancient Greece and Rome. In this system, coins were designed to be redeemable for gold bars. Gold, however, had a relatively high price at the time, and most individuals had no access to it. Barter is much more popular today, and most people live their lives in barter, trading items with one another.
In some nations, the second money system is called paper money. Most countries have national currencies, and each government issues money in the name of their country. This type of money is not backed by anything of physical value. It is not held by the government or bank. It is simply made from paper. Since most countries use this kind of money, it is known as the official “money” of the country.
Electronic cash was introduced in 1970. This system is very similar to barter. Instead of bartering for items, electronic money is created electronically. It is created electronically to represent actual objects that can be used as payment, and then is transferred to the buyer. The process is very similar to barter, except that there are no actual goods to be bartered for. It is considered a virtual currency.
There are many different types of money, and each one has its own characteristics. Money in the U.S. has a backing and is created by the federal reserve. Money in England is backed by the pound sterling, while the European Central Bank in Germany uses the euro. has a currency known as the Deutschmark.
Each form of money has its own advantages and disadvantages. People who use different forms of money have their own reasons for doing so. Many people choose to exchange one form of money for the other, to get the best rate on an item they need or want. Some choose the same form of money for more than one transaction.
Money exchange services offer different services to help people get the best rates on money exchange. They include a variety of methods that can help someone get a better rate. Rates vary depending on the length of time you wish to get money, the size of your order, and the current value of the item you are exchanging. Some of these services can also provide you with a credit card or other form of online payment to transfer your money through.
These services are available almost everywhere. You may call around to various companies for rates, or you can check out the Internet. There are several places on the Web that will give you free quotes, and compare rates among companies. It is important that you understand the rules and regulations that govern the rates you receive from these companies before you agree to any deal.
There are several different online providers. You will often find them listed under the names of a variety of different names, such as Money Exchange, Moneygram and eCash. If you are interested in getting quotes from multiple companies, make sure to ask around for quotes from at least three. so that you have a clear picture of how much the rates will vary and from which company to go with.
Many places will offer you a variety of free quotes if you fill out a form. Others will charge a fee for this service. To get an estimate, you should send out several free quotes. and then make sure to follow up with the companies.
To be able to get the best rates, it is very important that you get as many quotes as possible from different companies on the Internet. There are many sites that you can go to. Some will charge a fee to get these quotes.
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