Cash flow is a big issue for many SMEs. It determines how well they can run themselves. It is also a big factor in how well they can attract investors. If, in a given period, they have a closing balance less than their opening balance with a negative cash flow, then this can put investors, and customers, off. A key to cash flow is getting paid on time.
The Persistent Pain of Outstanding Invoices
Money, can be the source of very real worries, both in personal and business terms. When it comes to getting paid on time, businesses can face delays that eventually form a big, black hole in their finances.
“I have encountered people who are really suffering in this area,” comments Rachael Chiverton, an invoicing and credit collection specialist, based in Stockport. “People are having sleepless nights with the worry of not being paid what they’re owed.”
You can draw a distinction between working in and on your business, but with invoicing the line blurs. “Invoicing is an essential business administration task,” Rachael states, “but if it doesn’t go according to plan it can affect everything you do, from managing your cash flow to your actual ability to function, should the worry get too great.”
The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has reported that of 8,000 members surveyed, more than half had received a late payment in the preceding 12 months. This was from providing goods or services to larger, private sector businesses.
Rachael’s area of expertise is in managing the performance of invoicing and credit collection. “As a part of business administration, working out how to manage your cash flow, so that it doesn’t impact negatively on you, is absolutely vital.”
“Late payment can mean reduced profitability and a knock-on effect, whereby suppliers get paid late and growth itself suffers”
Spreading the News
Rachael recently expounded on this at an exclusive, invitation-only, Connections Event, jointly hosted by RBS (Future Williams & Glyn) and M3 Media Publishing. Regularly attended by 40-plus directors and business leaders, these events are designed to facilitate strategic introductions and connections, whilst providing a learning point presentation and interactive workshop
Rob Taylor, Relationship Director at RBS (Future Williams & Glyn) comments, “This is a clear example of how friendly and informal issue-led discussions between business owners make for a mutually supportive environment. Rachael’s work touches on late payment issues that many of us encounter all too often. Because of this, we can find common ground and, more often than not, a way to address these issues.”