Job keeper has finished and so have the government stimulus packages. Many businesses that were relying on these funds to assist their cash flow are now struggling to pay their suppliers as they hold on to cash to pay staff.

The media and the government is talking up businesses recording record sales and profits, but for many small businesses, this is not the case.  Payments are being stretched out to 60 or 90 days and small contractors in the construction industry, in particular, are telling us this is the case and they a having to fight harder to get every dollar in. So how do you make sure you get paid. How do you make sure you are first in line not last? 

Firstly, make sure you invoice as soon after the supply of goods or services as possible.  The longer it takes a business to invoice and collect,  the chances of non-collection increase dramatically.   

Most accounting programs these days produce computer-generated emails that let customers know that their accounts are due, overdue, 7 days overdue etc. These automated emails do not require much work on the part of the creditor trying to collect the money, but they do have a significant impact on collection times for the most part. Failing that,  a staff member dedicated to ringing all overdue accounts to ensure that there are no issues with the account which has caused the delay is also very effective.

Restricting supply on unpaid accounts is often difficult for small business owners to implement, especially in the case of long term customers, but needs to be very carefully considered in the case of delinquent accounts.

  • Do you have one for each customer?
  • Is it current?
  • Is the correct ABN that you are invoicing listed in the credit application?  
  • How much credit do you extend?   
  • Are customer accounts going over their limits?   
  • Does your credit application allow you to put security on the company/business to secure your debt?
  • Do you have a personal guarantee from the business owner?
  • If you are giving large amounts of credit do you have a charging clause that allows you to put a mortgage on any property owned by the director or guarantor in the event of non-payment? 

In the case of clients who you are very concerned about, it may be worthwhile to set up a free  ASIC Alert which will notify you of any changes to the company or appointment of external administrators. See more information on this at ASIC 

Most small business owners do not understand the significance of these measures, but they are a vital tool in ensuring the viability of your own business and making sure you get paid.  

For more information please contact Cheryl Stainsby of Strategic Solutions QLD on 1300 851 775.

About The Author

Cheryl Stainsby,
Managing Director and Executive Strategist

With 20 year’s experience in business and pre-insolvency, Cheryl has a wealth of understanding and expertise when dealing with business owners and individuals who are facing financial crisis in their lives.

Her early career experience gained from working in London and the Middle East has given her the ability to deal with clients from all walks of life facing a wide variety of issues. Her down to earth style and ability to understand the emotional turmoil faced by clients comes from a brush with insolvency via a family business 17 years ago.

Fortunately, due to a good business structure and some sound advice from a mentor with a wealth of insolvency experience, Cheryl and her family were able to survive the Voluntary Administration and eventual Liquidation of a much loved family business and move on with their lives.

This experience was the catalyst that encouraged her to pursue a career assisting others facing similar situations.

While her greatest area of expertise is in putting strategies together for business and individuals facing immediate solvency issues, she is passionate in trying to assist business owners in reviewing their structures during profitable times and put measures in place which improve outcomes during times of financial stress.