Monday, 18 January 2010

The Secret To Securing Your Cash Flow – Identifying The Problem

Over 80% of SME’s in the UK have customers who expect goods or services to be offered on credit. In other words, most UK businesses don’t start to receive payment until, say, 30 days after the invoice date.

With the exception of the retail sector, one of the risks you face as a business is the possibility of late or non-payment by clients. The following graph shows that late payment continues to be a significant business problem. Perhaps you’ve experienced this in your business?

Graph 1

Recent figures (from the UK Government’s Annual Small Business Surveys and SME Business Monitors) have been analysed to reveal the extent of the problem identified above with 26% of SMEs regarding late or delayed payments as a ‘Big Problem’.

Graph 2 shows the increased number of company liquidations that have taken place over the last 10 years. Can you spot the broad correlation?

Graph 2

The link between the two sets of data (late payment and business failure) is supported by the EU Commission for Enterprise & Industry which confirms that the high level of insolvencies (one in every four) is due to delayed or non payment.

So it’s clear that delayed and/or non payment of your company’s invoices could have severe implications on the financial health and long term success of your business.

Don’t miss the follow up post entitled ‘an effective solution to guard your liquidity’.

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