This year’s Business Show featured presentations and panel discussions with experts from across the industry. We’ve collated our highlights for those who missed the event.
Invoices aren’t always paid and they’re not always paid on time. This can impact cash flow, leaving your company tight on the resources it needs to grow. Here Paul Uppal, Small Business Commissioner, shares some advice for managing cash flow and what to do if a client fails to pay you.
Tips for managing cash flow
‘Cash flow is king,’ Paul says. Without cash, businesses can’t grow. Yet over half (52%) of small and medium-sized businesses in the UK are owed monies from late payments. Prevention is better than cure, so avoid a cash flow crisis by ensuring you provide detailed payment terms to clients, submit invoices on time and chase any money you're owed.
- Payment terms. Make sure all your ducks are lined-up from the start, otherwise you will get pushed to the back of the queue. Check your contracts, agree your terms and conditions in writing and include statutory rights.
- Submit your invoices without any delay. Some large organisations have payments terms of 120 days or more and still pay their invoices late.
- Chase late payments. It’s your money, you’ve worked for it, so chase it.
When a client fails to pay
Sometimes no matter how hard you chase, a client still fails to pay you. In this case Paul suggests reaching out to the Small Business Commissioner, an independent public body that provides free advice and support in resolving disputes and dealing with unpaid invoices.
‘Businesses only come and see us when they’re at the end of their tether,’ says Paul. People don’t like talking about it. Yet some 50,000 small businesses go bust every year because of late payments and the Small Business Commissioner can help.
- Ensure you set clear and robust payment terms with a client.
- Don’t be afraid to chase late payments. Cash flow is crucial for business growth.
- If a client refuses to pay, contact the Small Business Commissioner for free support.