2013 SHM BUSINESS QUARTERLY_QUARTER 1_CLIENTS WHO DO NOT PAY – WHAT TO DO ABOUT IT.

Text: 1 Timothy 5: 18.

At Salvation House Ministry, one of our tasks is to raise successful business people who will bring kingdom principles to bear in the business world. So, at our Business Quarterly Briefings, we will help with tips of how to maximize your job of adding value to your business and therefore your lives. God bless you.

This installment is how to stay afloat in business. Unpaid bills will ruin any business, so it will not do to have customers in your business that cannot, or will not pay. So, what should you do if you find that clients or customers regularly pay late, or that some do not pay at all? Here are a few pointers –

(1) DRAW UP A SCHEDULE OF PAYMENT.

If you are a service provider, it is advisable to break the service into milestones no matter how small, and demand for payment as each milestone is accomplished. This can work for projects too. This will give you an opportunity to check that everyone is satisfied with the progress you are making.

Also, this will limit your financial exposure. Rather than spend all your savings or bank facility on a transaction which could leave you exposed, it is better to commit funds per diem.

Finally, milestone payments will give you more control over your cash flow. My own experience is that some customers prefer this too, as it also affords them the same benefits it gives you!

(2) ASK FOR SOME PAYMENT UP-FRONT.

I have discovered that may young companies are reluctant to ask for up-front payment because they feel it makes them look young. But the truth of the matter is this – if you are a start-up, then you are young, isn’t it? And trust me, it is better to be honest about it and secure your client or customer’s trust and support. Remember that as heirs of the kingdom, our weights and balances must always be correct (Leviticus 19 vs. 36).

The best way to go about this is to show your customer that there is also something in it for them if they pay you upfront. My law practice still does this even though we have been around since 1992, and are blessed, praise God! You will be surprised to know that in very large deals, some companies even prefer to put money in escrow accounts. The principle being that if you commit money to a business or project, so should your customers or clients too.

(3) OPEN A DISCOUNT FOR UP-FRONT PAYMENT.

Now, see here. As an ‘Ijebu-centric’ person (Ijebu being a part of Western Nigeria noted for frugal spending! Apologies to all my Ijebu kindred! Lolz), I do not like leaving money on the table. But the truth I have discovered is that this option has the advantage of giving your client or customer a justification for paying you upfront!

Also, if you have penny counting customers, you make them feel they got a brilliant deal too, isn’t it?

(4) CONDUCT DUE DILIGENCE.

Now, this is one thing I have discovered many business owners often tend to overlook. But I tell people this – you can be sure that before you got that business or job, due diligence would have been done on you. So why not do the same? Do credit checks on your customers. You do not have to necessarily engage specialists to do this (although if you can afford this, it is a better option).

A simple rule of the thumb is I have acquired is this – ask friends or colleagues who know your customers or clients. You will get better information this way, and cheaply too! If you cannot find more people who can vouch for that customer, then let your red-flags be up! Simple.

(5) TRUST YOUR LEADING!

This leading is what many outside the kingdom banner will call instincts, but we call the leading of the Holy Spirit. We have been given the Holy Spirit to profit withal. 1 Corinthians 12 vs. 7. It is His job to teach us all things – John 14 vs. 26. So, my dear friend, ask the Holy Spirit for help regarding your customers. See, I have tried this many times and on account of His leading turned down some business. The result has been this – it did not end well for those who scrambled for those jobs!

My dear friends, under the unction of the Spirit of the Living God, I decree that you will excel, that your business will witness expansion – vertical and horizontal. The only way you can be of good use to yourself and those around you is if your venture(s) prosper. So, go out and excel in that job, business or trade.

Feel free to get in touch with us at salvationhouse@gmail.com if you have need for any help. God bless you. We love you!

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