Last month I was on the road for nearly three weeks visiting Brigantia members in various parts of the country catching up with old friends and seeing how things are going generally at the coal face. Over the next few editions of PCR I intend to use the feedback I brought back to cover a few areas that impact on all indies big and small, wherever they are located in the United Kingdom.
The first area I am going to cover is what to do with small business customers that you have given credit to but who are late paying you. I discovered on my travels that most members had an average of three very overdue accounts and that over half the monthly accounts were at least a month behind, with an average balance on each account of around £300. When you consider all the indies throughout the country, this is actually a massive amount of money outstanding and a very serious issue.
Jason Foster at Creditor Enforcement told me that the average settlement time now is nearly 40 days outside agreed terms, which is actually between 70 and 100 days depending on whether the original terms were 30 days or end of the month following invoice. Foster told me that often this happens because a business does not want to lose a customer by pushing them too hard.
Foster and the team at Creditor Enforcement fully understand this and are geared up to deal with this issue. I would recommend that if you have habitual late payers and want some ideas on how to deal with them without losing them as regular customers, that you take a look at their website, which can be found at www.creditorenforcement.com. There are many other firms that offer this kind of service and a simple search engine search will find you others that can help.
Next month I intend to cover the thorny subject of the lack of availability of Android and other pads and tablets in the indie channel, that seems to be a contentious point and highly topical currently.