Play our Business Match game this Valentine’s Day!

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, do you know who’s your perfect match when it comes to running your business?

Pawsforthought
Could Paws for Thought be your perfect business match?

Check out our new Business Match game and sign up to CreditHQ this February for only £15 per month PLUS, we’re giving all new Standard subscribers a box of chocolates plus entering all new subscribers into a draw to win a meal for two at the fabulous Resident of Paradise Row in east London (or if you can’t make it to the big smoke, we’ll give you the equivalent in vouchers for a great national restaurant).

So head over to www.credithq.co.uk/businessmatch  to take advantage of this great offer and make sure you’ve found the perfect business to trade with. And good luck!

Fall in love with your business finances again this Valentine’s day, with one month’s free access to CreditHQ!

valentine

One of the major problems small business owners cite when questioned about running their own business is ‘cash-flow’, and knowing who they should be doing business with.

On average, nearly two thirds (60 per cent) of SMEs in the UK (according to research from Sage), have had to wait for 60 days or more for payment; while almost half (47 per cent) have experienced waits of 90 days or more. As a result, cash flow suffers, and small businesses suffer. Research by the Credit Management Research Centre reported that the average small business incurs £14,000 worth of bad debt write off every year.

So how do you go about resolving cash-flow problems and choosing reliable, credit-worthy businesses with whom to trade?

CreditHQ is a straightforward service, allowing users access to credit and payment reports from the leading Credit Reference Agency, Dun & Bradstreet.  For absolutely no charge, you can check all of your potential customers, and keep track of suppliers and competitors as well – receiving updated information when their credit or payment details change so you know what action to take.

CreditHQ is available FREE, providing users with access to over 7 million UK company records via simple-to-understand ‘traffic light’ financial indicators.

For more detailed financial records, such as net worth, assets, liabilities, sales, and details of adverse credit events; the Standard subscription is available for only £25 per month – and we’d like to offer you the first month absolutely FREE this Valentine’s weekend. 

Just enter “VAL15” in the promo code box when signing up for a standard account to track what others can see about your company’s prospects and to be the first to know the key information that impacts your business.* If you discover that CreditHQ isn’t for you, simply cancel your subscription any time within the first month.

 Use CreditHQ to keep an eye on your own business!

Maintaining awareness of your own company’s details and credit score is vitally important for any business, and even if the impact is less dramatic than in this example, your company’s credit score can be impacted by incorrect data, errors or data not reaching credit reference agencies like Dunn and Bradstreet.  CreditHQ is the simplest and most cost-effective way to set your mind at rest and closely monitor the credit status of your company.  Not only can you see the credit score that other companies use to assess whether to place an order with you, but you can also check Companies House information – ensuring you’re up to date.

Go to www.credithq.co.uk to get started!
*offer valid until midnight on 28th February

 

6 ways to avoid bad debt on Debt Collection Awards day!

It’s the “Debt Collection Awards” today – who knew there was an awards ceremony for that?

5899676716_ff0d235315_m

To maintain a healthy business and avoid bad debt, not only do you need to get paid for the goods or services you provide, but you also need to get paid on time. So, to reduce the risk of having to call the debt collectors, here are some tips:

1) Check your customers’ creditworthiness – you can use CreditHQ (it’s free), to search for the companies you trade with and find their credit worthiness. The lower the credit indicator, the greater the risk of a company facing financial difficulties.

2) Set credit limits – often smaller and younger companies will have a lower score, which doesn’t necessary mean they won’t pay, but you can consider setting a lower credit limit until you are confident that they can and will pay on time.

3) Know when you should get paid – manage your cash flow by forecasting when invoices are due and keeping an eye on any changes in payment patterns and delays with your existing customers.  For new customers who you are yet to trade with, check when they are likely to pay you. Search for the company on CreditHQ and look at the payment indicator – the lower the number, the greater the risk of a company paying their bills late.

4) Monitor the companies that you are trading with – you can set up an account on CreditHQ (did I mention, it’s free!), and create a ‘Watch list’; you’ll then get alerts when credit or payment indictors change for the companies that you are watching, so you’ll know if who you might need to chase for payments.

5) Give clear terms – make your terms visible to your customers by publishing them on your website, on your invoices and send a copy to your customers upfront. Include a clause stating that you continue to own the goods or services until they have been paid for.  You could offer discounts for payments made within 30 days, and charge interest on anything over (you’re legally entitled to), but if you chose to do this, make sure your terms specify this.

6) Manage your invoicing processes:

  • Send invoices on time.
  • Make sure you find out the right person or department to send the invoice to, and request an acknowledgement that it has been received.
  • Keep up to date records on who owes you what and when.
  • When an invoice is due, chase it.
  • Stop supplying customers who don’t pay on time.
  • Resolve any disputes quickly – payments are usually withheld until the customer is satisfied.
  • If you have customers who regularly pay late, increase the prices that you charge them, or cancel any credit facilities.

If you don’t get paid, even after chasing, then here’s what to do next..

Before you go down the debt collection path, try one last time to recover the debt yourself, phone and write to the customer and let them know that this is your next course of action, as this may be enough to get them to pay. Also try and find out why they haven’t paid, as it may be a problem with their accounts system, or they may be having problems, and you could agree a repayment schedule.

Decide if the amount is worth pursuing – it may not be worth your time or the cost to collect, so let it go and move on.

4105722502_a442444bb9_mIf you do decide to pursue the debt, then use a debt collection agency, or take legal action using a solicitor or via the small claims court (https://www.gov.uk/make-court-claim-for-money/overview). A reputable debt collection agency can chase late payments in a professional manner, without alienating the customer.

Make sure you check the costs – there may be a flat fee or a percentage of the debt recovered, or both, and ask about additional charges.

Don’t delay chasing any bad debt and good luck. Please do remember to reduce your risk though, by knowing your customers better – use CreditHQ to check them out!

If you on the other end of the debt collection process, and are being pursued by debt collectors, then here is advice on how to deal with it: http://www.money.co.uk/article/1009025-how-to-deal-with-debt-collectors.htm

It’s National Poetry Day!

 

poetryday

A little verse from our product team to celebrate National Poetry Day:

There once was a small business team
Whose boss was incredibly mean
They didn’t pay their bills
Making the boss very ill…
Use CreditHQ to stop making you scream!

The theme of this year’s National Poetry Day is ‘Remember’, and it’s worth remembering to pay your customers and suppliers on time to ensure you maintain or improve your credit rating and get your small business in the best shape possible!

Register today at: www.credithq.co.uk to check out our simple to use credit and payment indicators or search over 7 million UK companies and see how they’re looking.

 

What is National Poetry Day?