Best Practices to Collect Cash from Customers Faster

Best Practices to Collect Cash from Customers Faster

podcast strengthen - endless cash Feb 23, 2024

In a recent episode of the "Keep What You Earn" podcast, Shannon delved into the critical aspect of cash collection for entrepreneurs. She highlighted the potential pitfalls and best practices to ensure that you collect the money owed to your business in a timely and efficient manner.

One of the common surprises for new entrepreneurs is the difference between sales that are contracted and actual cash collected. It's easy for excitement to build when a sale is made, but that excitement can quickly dissipate when there's a delay in receiving the payment. As Shannon emphasized, the power lies in having the money in hand, and until that happens, there is a level of risk involved.

Managing this risk and ensuring prompt cash collection involves implementing effective policies and processes. Shannon revealed several best practices to accelerate cash collection, starting with the crucial aspect of setting a proper deposit amount. She emphasized that a deposit should be at least 50% of the total price, as it serves as a commitment indicator for the customer and provides insights into their financial stability and intent to pay.

Additionally, Shannon highlighted the significance of having clear contractual terms and understanding that an invoice does not equate to the money being collected. It's essential to celebrate the commitment but hold off on recognizing it as a sale until the cash is securely in the bank. She also discussed structuring payment plans with a markup for those who choose to defer payment to mitigate the risk and incentivize prompt payment.

An important point Shannon raised was the role of a designated individual, dubbed the "cash flow chief," in monitoring and facilitating cash collection. This person could be anyone in the business responsible for keeping track of unpaid invoices, following up with customers, and assessing the likelihood of collecting the outstanding funds. This proactive approach can significantly contribute to the efficiency of cash collection processes, reducing the risk of delayed payments and potential losses.

Beyond the internal processes, Shannon stressed the importance of aligning incentives with cash collection. She recommended paying commissions based on cash collected rather than contracted sales, to motivate the sales team to focus on securing payments and solidifying customer commitments.

Moreover, leveraging accounting tools such as Wave or QuickBooks can provide valuable insights through aging summaries and open invoice reports. These reports help in categorizing and addressing overdue payments based on specified time frames, allowing businesses to develop clear policies on managing overdue accounts.

Shannon also emphasized the significance of clear communication and proactive measures when handling overdue payments. From initial reminders to the possibility of flexible payment arrangements, businesses should have a structured approach to navigate late payments while minimizing disruptions and financial risks.

In situations where payment challenges persist, Shannon suggested evaluating the potential for a balanced approach, offering customers the option of a flexible payment plan or negotiating a partial settlement to safeguard against complete non-payment.

The episode provided valuable insights into the complexities and challenges of cash collection in business, offering practical strategies for entrepreneurs to navigate and mitigate potential cash flow issues. Implementing these best practices can fortify businesses against the risks associated with delayed or non-payments, ensuring financial stability and sustainably accelerating cash collection processes.

In conclusion, the podcast episode serves as a valuable resource for entrepreneurs seeking to streamline their cash collection processes, manage risk, and optimize financial operations. By embracing the recommended best practices, businesses can foster healthy cash flow dynamics, enhance customer relationships, and safeguard their financial well-being in the dynamic landscape of entrepreneurship.

What you'll hear in this episode:

04:14 Monitor cash flow and celebrate sales cautiously.
08:54 Initial follow-up, escalate to termination if necessary.
11:47 Offer flexible payment options to improve collections.

If you like this episode, check out:

How to Generate Cash Without Increasing Price

The Best Places to Look to Find Cost Savings

Supercharge Your Income Goals for Real Results


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The information contained in this podcast is intended for educational purposes only and is not individual tax advice. Please consult a qualified professional before implementing anything you learn.