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Dealing with late payment can be tricky for small and medium sized businesses. Handle it wrong and a customer could be lost, ignore the issue and it can stifle business growth, have a huge impact on cash flow and even cause a company to go bust.

Staggering figures published in a government paper in May, revealed that small businesses spend around 130 hours a year chasing late payments, equating to an average cost of £1,500 per business.

The problem is endemic with two thirds of SMEs suffering according to research by the IOD, but follow this 12-Step plan and you’ll be able to minimise the damage late payment causes.

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With late payment problems a constant burden for small business owners, we look at the most common delaying tactics used by customers, and how you can overcome these late payment excuses.
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Small businesses with outstanding tax liabilities are being warned that HMRC has doubled the use of its ‘power of distraint’, which allows its staff to make unannounced visits to firms’ premises in order to recover unpaid taxes.
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If you’ve got a business headache right now, there’s a pretty good chance it’s to do with clients owing you money.

It’s almost as if the economic downturn has become a prime opportunity for anyone who fancies improving their own cash flow to help themselves to better credit terms from their suppliers… but without asking permission.

That has a knock on effect right down the line. And it’s no wonder that small, cash poor companies at the bottom of the chain are the ones that suffer the most.
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The single biggest cause of small business failure in the UK is poor cash flow management, most often brought on by late payment issues.
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You see County Court Judgments, or CCJs, mentioned on debt-related adverts all the time, but what are they, and how do you enforce one?
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A recent survey has found that small businesses spend an average 130 hours each year chasing late payments, and wait 30 days beyond the contractually agreed terms before payment is actually received.
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A recent survey shows, once again, that late paying customers remain the biggest single threat to the health of the UK’s small businesses. Here, we provide some tips on how to avoid late payment problems.
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When you are starting a new business you have a million and one things to think about. As a new business owner, many of the issues you will need to tackle, will be completely unfamiliar to you.

With so much to do, you will need to learn quickly. If the financial side of the business isn’t your strong point, here are 10 tips from ByteStart to help you stay on top of your business finance.
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If you’ve always been employed by someone else, managing your own business finances will be an interesting new experience for you!
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Being a freelancer has many advantages (especially compared to being a wage slave employee), but one big disadvantage.

And that’s the fact that you are your business: you have to do everything in it. Which includes chasing payments owed to you by clients.
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There has been much talk recently about freelancers and contractors struggling to get their invoices paid by the agencies or end clients.

With the credit crunch hitting cash flows hard, the bigger companies are often guilty of extending credit terms without your say so. If firstly the client delays in paying the agency and then they delay in paying you, it’s added weeks on to money that would be better off in your bank.
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As late payment problems consider to plague small businesses, we have teamed up with a leading debt recovery service to ensure ByteStart visitors can receive help getting their invoices paid.
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Sadly, there is a real culture of late payments in the UK. For business to business transactions, most firms automatically expect 30 days credit. In fact, if you don’t agree different terms, the law says businesses can take 30 days to pay by default.

If you find yourself lucky enough to be supplying very big companies, you will sometimes find they demand 60 or 90 days to pay, or maybe even longer.
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Here are some tips on how to ensure that your goods and services are paid for correctly and on time, provided for Bytestart readers by HSBC.
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