Chartered Accountants & Business Advisers


Get paid quicker – 5 ways to avoid bad credit risks

A sale is a gift until it's paid for

These credit control tips help you reduce the risk of selling to bad payers in the first place.

The collection side of credit control is difficult enough so identifying bad payer problems before you have even made a sale can save you time and money.

1. Get paid upfront.

Never any harm in stating the obvious, and it’s so easily overlooked. If you don’t want a credit control problem simply ask to be paid upfront.

Once you have the money, don’t spend it all at once because you have to pay for providing the goods or services you’ve sold.

2. Use direct debit

Ask all of your customers to sign up to pay by direct debit using a service such as GoCardless.

You will get paid according to your agreed credit terms, save a lot of time and improve your cashflow.

And if a prospect refuses to sign up to direct debit you should be very wary of doing business with them.

3. Buy prospect lists with credit ratings

When you buy a marketing list, why not buy it from a credit ratings agency and ask for the list to include only companies that have a decent credit rating. You will get a smaller list but at least you know the prospects should be creditworthy.

4. Go with your gut

Often during the sales process it’s possible to get a gut feel as to whether you think you’ll have trouble being paid by the potential customer. There is no science to this, experience counts for everything.

Don’t ignore get feel. You’ve only yourself to blame if it turns out you were right!

5.  Agree in writing your payment terms

Before you do any work or supply any goods, agree the contract in writing first and make very sure that your contract included clear payment terms. It’s too late to introduce payment terms later on and if at the outset you experience some resistance to agreeing payment terms then you know there is trouble ahead and you might choose to walk away.

This blog looks at the start of the credit management process – before a sale has even been made. Keep an eye out for the rest of the series that explores tools and techniques further along the credit management process.

If you would like to discuss your credit management requirements, call me on 020 7125 0270.

Michael – @bluedotmichael

Related links:


She’s a bulldozer when it comes to credit control

Get paid quicker – 5 tips to improve your sales invoices