Comic and illustration by Kristi Siedow-Thompson
Small businesses face a number of unexpected hurdles in their day to day operations (including late payments). But don’t blame your team (or yourself)! Late payments, for example, are anything but abnormal. In fact, 49% of small businesses have late payments every month! So instead of being reactive to your small business problems start ahead of time and proactively attack these problems in advance.
3 ways to be more proactive:
Set Late Payment Goals
In order to successfully plan ahead, you need to first define goals and objectives. Whether they be for revenue/sales goals or a budget for late payments, having a specific road map can get your team on the right track to eliminating unexpected small business problems. Don’t be afraid to set moderate goals at first, as it may take time for certain long-term objectives to meet. For example, don’t set a goal to eliminate all late payments by tomorrow if it simply can’t be done.
Plan your Late Payments Strategy
Now that you have your goals established, you need to execute. Develop a plan with your team on how they intend to reach their goals and to provide metrics along the way to stay on track. A goal is worth nothing if not properly executed, so don’t take this step lightly. If goals are more long term, perhaps establish benchmarks that can be met along the way to better understand progress.
Prepare for Late Payment Conversations
Even if with goals and a plan in place, it’s safe to say that unexpected things will still come up. Prepare for them head-on! Don’t wait to face your problems after they’ve happened (like our friend Mr. Shark in the comic), prepare for them in advance so your team can handle them with ease.