A few days ago, a copy of the “Getting Paid Survey” landed in my mailbox. The survey was conducted by an independent firm for Intuit, the makers of QuickBooks, from Oct. 7-10 and included a sampling of 751 small business owners with less than 10 employees. The results say some really sad things about how small business owners are managing the cash side of their business. I know you know better, but I’ll share the results with you anyway.
Don’t Do This
- Let your invoices age
- Guess how many invoices are overdue in your business
- Forget to invoice
- Forget to follow up on an overdue invoice
- Manually handwrite your invoices
- Lose a customer because you don’t accept credit cards
If you’re not doing any of the above, good for you. But the survey results paint a different picture. Here’s what the survey revealed.
- Nearly 40 percent of small business owners have aging invoices of over 30 days with some not knowing how many days it takes to get paid.
You simply must collect on your invoices. Don’t allow them to age. Invoice as soon as work is completed, or better yet set milestones for payment and get that cash in your account.
- Nearly 20 percent of small business owners admit to forgetting to invoice or follow up on an overdue invoice.
There is no excuse for this. If you are uncomfortable asking for money from your customers, you shouldn’t be in business. Get this taken care of now.
- 66 percent of small businesses still handwrite invoices, use word processing programs and spreadsheets, or simply don’t have a standardized method.
Time to move into the 21st century. Get a financial software program like QuickBooks (or sign up for one online) and get those invoices generated.
- 20 percent of small businesses admit to having lost a customer because they could not accept credit cards.
Lots of people carry little to no cash these days. They can’t buy what you sell if you don’t take credit cards. If you can’t find a merchant account, check out PayPal online as an option.
What do you think? Please leave a comment.