|Small Business Information|
Business Debt Collection Letter Writing Secrets
Debt collection letters--an overview
"Debt collection letter" in the singular may be an oxymoron, since unfortunately, one is rarely enough. You should have a series of letters to send to deadbeat clients, each one becoming a little more insistent. Here are some ideas for a five-letter series.
Don't make your first letter look like a collection letter at all. Make it a friendly note. You're more likely to get money from someone who thinks of you as a partner than a dun.
If that first letter doesn't get a response--and usually it won't--send another the next week that's more urgent and directly asks for the money. Express your concern that you have not been able to contact the client. Ask if he or she is all right, and if he or she is having any trouble paying. The next week, if you still have not gotten a response, send a letter referring to the payment terms in the agreement you and the client originally made (you did have some kind of written agreement, even if it was just on the back of your invoice, right?). Mention the effect this nonpayment is having on your cash flow, and that your business's cash flow is just as important as theirs.
Still no response by the next week? State plainly that you are asking for the money for the final time before referring it to collections. Include a copy of the entire agreement between you and the client.
If you still have not heard back from the client, and are confident that you do not simply have a problem with their contact information, call a collection agency-in fact, you may have wanted to have gotten a collection agency from step one (more on that below).
More Tips for Successful Debt Collections
Don't wait to start asking for your money.
If it's been a week since the payment deadline passed, it's been a week too long. Send out that first "reminder" letter today. Don't hesitate to send these letters as little as a week apart from each other. The longer your bill goes unpaid, the less likely it is you will ever see that money again. If you've been sending email, try sending paper.
For whatever reason, there are people who take a paper letter more seriously. There's also the real chance that your emails really are not getting through reliably, or are ending up at the bottom of an overflowing Inbox.
If you do send email, make sure it's digitally signed. A digital signature proves that you sent the email to the specific recipient. In fact, you might want to make sure all your emails to clients and prospects are digitally signed, to have solid documentation of everything you said, and everything they owe.
Unlike with regular emails, the date, time, "to" and "from" fields can't be forged, so the email has legal standing, even more than certified mail. While web-based email programs cannot send digitally signed email, there are third-party services that will let you send hundreds of digitally signed emails from a desktop email program for only a few dollars a month.
Follow up your debt collection letter with a telephone call. As any collection agency will tell you, telephone calls are useful if your debtor has ignored the collection letters. But with caller ID, Caller Blocking and voice mail - if people don't want to take your calls it is hard to reach them. This technique could be especially effective in the case of someone with whom you know will answer their own phone.
Of course, your writing skills won't go to waste: you need to make sure you have scripted what you want to say. You should take the same attitude and touch on the same points as your letter. Whatever you do, don't let yourself get sidetracked, and don't be embarrassed. They're the ones who are putting you out.
Don't know your deadbeat's telephone number? Try looking up the "Whois" record of the business's website, which usually has the owner's telephone number.
Does all this sound like too much work? If you'd rather be writing proposals than collection letters, there are small business collection agencies that will take on debts for as little as $20 each. After all, your client had enough sense to go to you rather than doing your specialty themselves. Shouldn't you have as much sense when it comes to your debt collection letters?
Steve Austin is a regular contributor to Let No Debt Remain Outstanding (http://www.let-no-debt-remain-outstanding.com/), a website with articles on choosing a collection agency, along with recommended the best collection agencies.
Big Successes Never Happen Overnight
Treat your business as a serious, full-time business and be serious about making it work. Put your plans on paper. Neglecting to develop and follow a consistent marketing plan can be devastating to the growth of your business. Big successes never happen overnight. Market and promote your business everyday. There are subscriptions available that can assist in your conquest to success.
Small Business Spoiler - Procrastination
One of the most common issues that comes up for business owners is procrastination -wasting time, putting obstacles in the way of taking action towards goals, making excuses for delays, creating confusion/busyness etc. Procrastination is a self-defeating behavior.
Business Owner--Educate Thyself!
Remember the training programs, seminars, and workshops you had to attend when you were on the corporate side of the table? You were expected to complete course after course for professional development and skill enhancement. Well, where do you get your training now that you are on your own? Do you learn from your clients? Are they the best teachers? What about your competitors?
Credit Repair Business Opportunities - Huge Profit Potential!
In the world today, many people are further in debt than they realize. When they finally come to understand they need help, they are on the brink of bankruptcy. However, President Bush's signature on the new bankruptcy law has changed this option. He has created booming credit repair business opportunities.
QSR Quick Service - Fast Food Restaurants Labor Situation in United States
One of the major complaints in the QSR Quick Service-Fast Food Restaurants Industry is the deplorable Labor Situation. In United States teen labor has become somewhat slim on ethical standards, showing up on time, drug use (both recreational and problematic), work ethic and trainability. Who can we blame? Well we can start by blaming ourselves. What happened? Well it is the latch key kid syndrome, lack of school funding and discipline and many other obvious issues. The ages between 17 and 28 the normal ages of employees of Fast Food Restaurants have a lot to be desired in the inherent customer service realm and desirability for employment.
Boston Market; Mobile Auto Detailing
Boston itself covers 50 square miles of concrete and traffic, well city limits actually exactly 46 square miles, the entire metro area can be and is often over stated at 1100 square miles, but more realistically about 380 in our humble opinion. And you know some of that is water. And MASS is called MASS because of the number of communities and cities, similar to all the PA cities, townships, communities and three houses on a rural road deserves a new name game? In case you think I am kidding check this out.
How to Manage Your Pipeline
How is your pipeline structured?
FTC Franchise Rule if Enacted will Trigger Hardship for Private Sector
The FTC Franchise Rule maybe changed, as the Federal trade Commission has put out a report to the franchising industry as to upgrade the rule. If enacted will it will trigger hardship for private sector and cost many trees their lives; Paperwork. If this rule is passed; tree MUST die because everyone will have to their already 200 plus page franchise disclosure documents.
Setting Prices - Pricing Your Consulting Services
THE PSYCHOLOGY OF PRICING
The 5 Traits of Baby Boomer Business Owners
As a practitioner and student of Small Business Marketing, I was recently contemplating ways to enhance my business. I found it fascinating to realize that over 95% of my customers and hot prospects were Baby Boomer's who own a small business.
Image is Everything - Secrets to Cleaning Car Fleets
A recent survey indicated that clean Taxi Cabs Fleets have higher tip rates and repeat customers. How do you wash a taxicab? You do them four at a time and you go up and over and up and over when you are drying them. If they have a little taxi cab sign, dry that last. But you do the rest of the car the way you do a regular car. The only difference is you are going to spray three, four, five, sometimes six cars at a time. Then another crewmember is going to follow behind you and do all the windows really well. You do a quick vacuum with a taxicab. Seriously, you do not want to be in that taxicab for more then a minute or a minute and a half. Now most taxicabs are usually scratched and they look like crap. This is something you are going to have to deal with. This is just the way they are going to look which is good for you because they are not expecting a perfect job. They just want them to look clean because they have their logo on them. Taxi companies are very low budget operations and low cost will get you the account. Some taxicabs are owned by independent contractors. You will need to charge more since the volume is not there. Staging areas at big airports are a good place to find lots of taxicabs.
What is your Motto?
Company mottos can easily be printed on a business card.
FTC Report on Franchise Rule Making; What Purpose?
The Federal Trade Commission out of the blue decide in November of 2004 that they wanted to revamp the franchise and business opportunity rule; specifically addressing franchising. Now then, why now? To prove to the masses that the Federal Trade Commission is in control? After all it is nearly 10 years after the Federal Trade Commission considered revising the rule, before this report has surfaced again. Ten years?
Competition in the Mobile Car Wash Industry
We have all seen the mobile washing units cruising our city, usually they are trucks, vans or trailer set ups with a water tank and a pressure washer unit aboard. They market their services with flyers and business cards, however most of their business comes from weekly repeats and referrals. Some cities have hundreds of these units going around the city cleaning stuff. You may think what a great business, but like in any business there is a competitive component to the industry, which is not so obvious on first observation.
Understanding Franchise Releationships in a Franchised Business
Now that you have invested your time, energy and money in buying a franchise, how do you work within the system? How do you take advantage of all your franchisor has to offer? How do you deal with your counterparts, other franchisees?
How to Start a Carpet Cleaning Company
Opening a carpet cleaning business is a great way to earn money as your own boss. This is a relatively simple business to start, with low overhead, and little experience required. Start up costs can be minimal, if you shop around. Additionally, there is a steady market for quality work.
Top Ten Resolves for Building Your Business in 2005
1. Resolve to build a consistent network system.
Deciding Which State To Incorporate Your Small Business In
Once you've decided to incorporate your small business the next step is deciding which state to incorporate in. A common misconception is that businesses must incorporate in their state of operation. You can, in fact, incorporate in any one of the 50 states and the District of Columbia regardless of where your business currently operates.
Multiple Clients Create Your Independent Business
Would you rather have one good client paying you five thousand dollars per month or ten smaller clients paying you five hundred dollars each per month? Here are two good reasons for choosing multiple clients over just one client.
Boat Detailing Tips and Procedures
Auto detailers are often asked to clean boats and detail boat trailers. There is an easy and efficient way to do this with little effort. Washing and waxing boat trailers is an easy sale. Be sure to offer the boat owner a trailer wax. Let the owner know that a heavily waxed trailer is more rust resistant even when used in salt water. They can wax now or repaint later. To remove rust, brush on two coats of Ospho Acid, available in paint stores and marine supply shops. It will change the chemistry of rusting steel from an active to a passive state and stop rust cold.
|home | site map|