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Update; Can I really take my business online?

We first heard from Sarah from Sarah Everett Photography in late April. Sarah bravely admitted that lock down and Covid 19 were damaging her business mindset as she balanced business, 3 young children and her husband’s business too. Not surprising right?

We knew it was going to be tough for many of our members and so we ended March looking at ways to grow your business even if we couldn’t physically network with you.

In all our networking events we added a 1 hour free coaching from our Founder Mandie Holgate (international coach, author and speaker) and we have heard some great results that business women are getting and here Sarah shares a fabulous update on how her business is growing excitingly in these new, challenging times.

“Thank you again for inviting me to be a part of the BWN blog. It’s been a great boost to be featured in the media. Things are starting to pick up and hopefully that continues. Here’s what happened for me since that networking event in April…

A photograph of my daughter playing hopscotch was chosen from over 3000 entries by Historic England as part of their collection Picturing Lockdown. Just 100 public images were chosen.

I have to admit I was beaming from ear to ear when I got that email!

I had to keep this amazing news to myself for 3 entire weeks, until the day the collection went public. And what a day that was! I had no idea that my image was to appear on both BBC Look East and ITV Anglia, including my name being mentioned. I even had a congratulations tweet from Will Quince.

I created this image whilst on the way home from capturing some of my neighbours as part of my Doorstep Diary. Having this beautiful photo of my daughter entered into their archives was made extra special to me since she has accompanied me on each photo walk with her little notepad of addresses.

Next came something I’ve never done before, I decided to contact the Gazette to see if they’d like to run a story about me. To my delight they came back to me with a yes, they would like to cover this on a two page spread! A lovely bit of positive news amongst all the difficulties we are all facing. Turned out it was on the centre page, it still feels a bit surreal.

But it’s taught me never to shy away from contacting the media, they are simply normal people with a job to do. I gave them a lovely story complete with images – now to be framed on my office wall as a reminder.”

We are so pleased to hear of Sarah’s successful project, achievement and free PR. Over on the Insiders (Our confidential mastermind group – learn more here) we have been looking at how to help you be a thought leader and get in the press. And Sarah is not the first Insider to get her first free PR this month! We are very proud to support you and will do all we can to protect the success of women in business.

  • June 16, 2020

A Woman’s Struggle becomes her Passion

Business Woman, Aly Wilson from Red Rocket Studio attends our Essex Networking events and sometimes steps in as corporate photographer too. We appreciate that a successful business and career relies heavily on good health (physical, emotional and mental) and really appreciate Aly’s honesty. What do you do to look after yourself so that you are ready for any change in your business life?

Aly Wilson’s passion for swimming with a difference!

A few years ago, I was in so much pain, I couldn’t do up my bra, but now I’m over halfway to swimming the channel! Everyone knows someone struggling with pain and / or depression so let me tell you my story as it might be able to help you or a loved one in a similar situation.  

I started swimming regularly in my early twenties as I knew it would be good for a bad back. I used to do gymnastics, trampolining (as well as coaching them) and a whole host of other sports but after a skiing accident at 15 my back got worse and had to stop. I loved it and used to get up at 5.45 am regularly to go for an early morning swim before work and sometimes managed to fit one in in my work lunch break.

Fast forward a few years and depression had made an annoying entry into my life. I still swam but mornings were out for me, so I just managed to fit it in where I could. I knew it would help and with back trouble, that and a bit of cycling and Pilates were the only sports I could really do. It really helped with my mental health, and with being bullied in my awful NHS job, it was one of my lifelines.

In 2009 I did the Great East Swim which was a mile in open water. I’d never done any open water before and it was great. I promptly booked in to do the one the next year. I had started having some shoulder problems (rotator cuff tendonitis / impingement) after a scooter accident the year before – some nice driver thought it would be a great idea to see me flying over his car bonnet – which had affected my left shoulder as I’d landed on it, and then out of nowhere my right one started playing up too and got so bad I had to unfortunately withdraw from the next Great East Swim.

This obviously came with extra issues related to mental health. Swimming was good for me, my mental health and my back but the pain I was in meant I couldn’t swim, which made for one big vicious circle.

After various injections the left one calmed down but the right one got so bad, I couldn’t drive for 5 months, had trouble getting dressed – doing up a bra was a complete nightmare – and even pulling up clothes I had to done one-handed. It affected my thumb as well and actually found it more debilitating than my usual back pain. This one got to the point of being a frozen shoulder. No amount of injections seemed to work on this one (which I didn’t really want anyway but didn’t feel I had a lot of choice at the time) and it was only through some intensive private treatment and a lot of money spent that I started to improve.

Since then – around 2012 or so – I started swimming again. There were times I had to pull back on it, times when I doggedly wanted to swim so could be seen doing one-handed back stroke because the other shoulder was too sore, times when I didn’t do any at all, so never got any momentum up. For those who struggle with exercise, I do encourage you to do something. Sometimes I would only be in for slow 15-minute swim, but it still gets you doing something which can help heaps with the mindset.

Eventually about 2018 I started again properly. A few blips with shoulders and viruses have put me back now and again but I finally feel I’m built up my swimming mojo again! I just have to go with the flow, and I know there are times I need to be gentle or lay off for a bit. The shoulders are way improved but still have their little grumbles!

Last year, 2018, I was looking into where I could open water swim as I wanted to give that a serious go! I’d seen “The Doctor Who Gave Up Drugs” who had covered open water swimming as a treatment for depression. The only place I knew of was Gosfield Lake at Halstead which is a good 45 minutes from Wivenhoe. After some searching, I found a new place called Curve Wake Park which had recently opened in St Osyth and offered open water swimming, about a 25 minute drive from us! So, I started there and went a few times last year and regularly this year. When the water’s a bit cooler the staff always say they don’t know how I can go in without a wetsuit! I also went regularly to the Brightlingsea Lido which whilst it’s not ‘officially’ open water, is colder as it’s unheated. On my first swim of the season in Brightlingsea it was 15 degrees! I got out and felt a bit wobbly so decided it best to swim when it was a couple of degrees higher! J A proper swimming wetsuit is on my “to get soon” shopping list! That way I can keep going for longer when it’s much cooler!

Recently I saw the Aspire Channel Swim advertised. This is a challenge to swim 22 miles (wherever you are able – open water or pool) in 12 weeks in aid of Aspire – a charity helping those with spinal injury. So, I signed up. At the time of writing I’m at 13 miles, with 9 miles to go. I’m absolutely loving doing it.

We go to S Africa every year to see my mother-in-law and there’s the biggest open water event in the world held in Pietermaritzburg called the Midmar Mile (which isn’t that far from where we stay and happens to be on whilst we’re there) … so I signed up for that.

I’m also going to be signing up for the Great East Swim which used to be 1 mile, but now does a couple of shorter events for children as well as 2 miles 5k and 10k. I’m still deciding on the distance as I want to do the 5k but want to be sure I’d be good to do it! I only swam my first 2k a week ago … but know I have until June to prepare! For both these (Great East Swim and Midmar, I can raise sponsorship for my own choice of charities and I already have those in mind).

I know there are other local events and will be looking into joining into those too – the chilled out Mill to Mill from Dedham to Flatford is one.

I’d love it and really appreciate it if anyone can support me in my Aspire Channel Swim. “

Here at The Business Womans Network we help look after every aspect of a woman’s success. Her skills, her mindset, her connections and we are even here for their personal lives too. It matters to us greatly that you get to work with quality people that will respect you and your business too. We know that with the awesome structure to our events, there is time to build great relationships that really support a woman in businesses success.

Get in touch to learn more and the Insiders is an awesome support and business growth mastermind group that you could love too!

  • November 5, 2019

Coordinator’s Love your business – here’s why

We are very proud of our coordinators. They care passionately about your success and work hard to deliver the very best networking and business growth events in your area.  Here we hear from Nadine Gamble from Utility Warehouse who hosts our Tendring events and has jumped at the opportunity to host our Bury St Edmunds events from September too!

Why do you love the BWN so much?

There are many reasons that I love the BWN so much, I had never been to a networking event of any kind andNadine Gamble networking at the Tendring BWN in Essex helping women in business the BWN was my first foray into this world.  Initially for me it was the timing and the financial aspects that appealed, that was before I got to know more about the ethos of BWN.  So many other networking groups run very early in the morning (not suitable when you’re a single mum that needs to get children to school)  and often come packaged with some rather steep membership fees and rules.   The fact that the BWN doesn’t charge a membership and doesn’t incur a penalty if you can’t make a meeting is the flexibility that I need to have.

How does it help your business?

The BWN has helped me in so many areas of my business.   The biggest,  aside from the natural progression of gaining new customers, is it has helped my confidence levels rise in general which has helped me enormously with my work.   Just this week I hosted my businesses regional monthly meeting with around 40 people, I would never have said yes to doing this had I not had the positive experiences with the BWN.

For what reasons do you love being a coordinator?

I wanted to try my hand at being a BWN co-ordinator to develop and push my own personal skills further.  Public speaking has always been something that has filled me with dread, even the 60 second pitches would scare me.  Rather than running away from something that made me uncomfortable I knew that the only way I could get better  was to face it head on and actively look to improve myself by taking on new challenges.  I love being the person responsible for giving business women a great morning, filled with relevant information that is key to them not only in business but on a personal level too.  Being able to connect women who could really help each other out is a great feeling.

Would you recommend it to business women and why?

Hosting the BWN events has really helped me to grow as a person and develop my skills.  Being totally honest, there were moments when I wondered why on earth I had taken this on, and thought there were some things that a technophobe like me would never get the hang of! However there was, and continues to be as much support as I need in order to make a success of my events.  I would recommend to any business women who is thinking about hosting a BWN networking group to stop thinking, and start doing!  Obviously it is great for raising your own profile, but the biggest reward for me is bringing other ladies together who can really benefit from each other.

What inspired you to take on the role of a second venue? It’s not even in the same county!

On a personal level this year has been particularly challenging to me, but without a doubt I always feel 100% better when I have hosted a BWN meeting.  The amazing women, the support, the knowledge, the learning, the inspiration,  it all goes such a long way in keeping me motivated within myself.  Seeing a group of like minded women connecting with each other is wonderful.  When I heard that a new location was in need of a host I knew that it was the next step in my BWN journey, it excites me that I can now bring to BSE what I have to Tendring.

What do you want to do for Suffolk business women?

I want to spread the BWN love and build a really solid group of business women in the Bury St Edmunds area.  Somewhere ladies can feel comfortable not pressured, empowered not judged, motivated and inspired to lead their best lives, personally and within their businesses.

How do you see your role?

Facilitating this, bringing people together and providing them with speakers who will add value to each and every woman who attends.  I want people to leave my events feeling awesome, feeling that they have invested a few hours into themselves and their businesses that will continue to have lasting effects.

What is your best/happiest moment of hosting a BWN event?

My first ever event was in November 2018, and I was terrified!  But I was also excited! 10 years networking for women in business It went brilliantly, and for the first time I allowed myself to believe that I could actually do this!  But my happiest moment from being involved with the BWN has got to be when I was poorly in December 2018.  Mandie sent me a video clip of all the BWN ladies singing, just for me as I couldn’t be there due to my incarceration in the local hospital.  For me it sums up the true ethos of the BWN.  Yes, we are all about business, and effectively helping each other, but we are also about looking out for each other, and that for me is where it all begins.

  • August 1, 2019

Google My Business – your how to guide courtesy of Kate Everett – Colchester networking event

We are keen to ensure our speakers at our events never sell at you and deliver high quality business and professional development ideas and solutions for women in business. We are already lining 2020 speakers and if you know of one you’d love to see at The BWN please do get in touch.

Here Kate Everett from TWI talks about Google My Business for women in business. It was fascinating and really useful stuff. Let us know how you get on and already over on the Insiders we are looking at ways to maximise on this. Not in yet? You can learn more about our confidential mastermind group here. It’s 24/7 and it’s epic – not our words, the Insiders!

  • July 23, 2019

How to find your target audience, tribe, niche and communicate powerfully

target audience how to find yours

If you are looking to find your target audience you can get bogged down in too much detail, too many questions and too many possible directions to go in;

  • Should you be tweeting?
  • Should you be blogging?
  • Should you be hosting events?
  • Should you be getting in the press, if so which press!
  • Should you be networking more (or less!)

This guide (that you can down load and use again and again) will help you focus your mind. So that whether it’s a new niche, a new product or service or you are just looking to increase profit, secure your section of the market or keep on everyone’s agenda you can focus on what you need to say, to whom, where, and why.

By understanding your favourite clients you can get to really appreciate why people work with you and how to replicate it.

Download your copy here target audience work sheet insiders 

And don’t forget to post your completed forms on the INsiders Facebook page and or sections you are struggling with so we can help you get maximum benefit.

  • January 29, 2019

How to get the most out of networking with The BWN

If you are looking to grow your business, your confidence and your profit, we are so much more than just somewhere to network once a month. Here is how to get the most our networking with The BWN.

1.Help yourself to our social media. We actively encourage our members (and a member is someone who walks through the door once a month) to talk about what they are doing, creating, building, winning or even struggling with on our social media;

  • On Facebook you can post to our page and we will like and share your content.
  • On Twitter if you mention @BWNcouk we will like and retweet your content for you.
  • On our LinkedIn page you are welcome to post discussions, ask questions and talk about your business.

To access all of our social media just visit the home page and click on the right social media logo.

2. A Golden Ticket means you get to network at one venue for better than the early bird rate and you get all these discounts and benefits too;

  • Write for our blog for FREE (Usual fee £75).
  • Guaranteed 60 seconds Promo Slot.
  • Give your 60 seconds to another business woman (We only have a maximum of 25 Promo slots at each event) and you can bring your banner to the event for FREE – Great evergreen marketing for you.
  • Feature on our website for FREE.
  • Discounts on sponsoring the website.
  • Discounts on sponsoring an event.
  • Discounts on exhibiting at an event.
  • Can’t make an event? Still get your opportunities and events mentioned in the Business Ops slot of that event and other relevant local events. (Please note this requires a minimum of 48 hours notice.)

3.How to make a Golden Ticket really sparkle. If you want even more out of your Golden Ticket you can purchase multiple events tickets and gain even more savings!

  • 1 venue – £125 (Full price £165)
  • 2 venue – £230 (Full price £330)
  • 3 venue – £315 (Full price £495)

4. The Insiders is a confidential learning zone, research centre and advice mastermind group that has helped business owners;

  • Increase profit
  • Take on new premises
  • Employ their first staff
  • Overcome fears – fear of the phone, fear of asking for what you want, fear of saying No to a customer when they ask for too much, fear of going live, fear of creating video, fear of blogging and getting your opinions out there to help you sell more.
  • Learn new skills that have directly led to new business, new opportunities and new sales.
  • Get 1st refusal on PR and other opportunities
  • Access webinars from our affiliate experts
  • Access discounts from our Insiders affiliates.
    Best of all it is just £5 a month – Business women say it is the best money they spend on their business, every month!

5. Do you find yourself making notes of who you need to connect with on social media and who to email or call and a list of  ideas thanks to the speaker then find you don’t get around to taking action and doing the things you learnt. You get back to the office and the business cards, notes and ideas get added to your long list of to do’s but don’t get actioned.

Annoying isn’t it?

The BWN Success Manual is a great way of putting your ideas, notes, your calendar, who you met, what you said you would do, and even create a strategy to ensure you do it, in one place. It includes;

  • A place to write who you met, what you said you would do and how you could help them, so you can build a relationship from day 1.
  • 2 x 1 year calendars.The BWN Success Manual for networking
  • Space to structure what you learnt from the masterclass and how to ensure you take action.
  • Top tips and ideas to help you network more successfully, follow up more effectively and make networking more cost effective.
  • Space to add additional thoughts and journal what you notice.
  • A way of looking at your networking strategy and results to see how to improve, where you are already improving and where you could do with some assistance.
  • Golden Nugget ideas.
  • Goal planning sections – short term, long term and the plan to achieve.
  • You can buy yours at any event for £10 or online for £16. We love seeing the BWN Success Manuals at events making life easier for you.

6. Sponsoring the BWN website is a great way to get seen by our audiences all year round. One of our sponsors has already signed up to the end of 2020 so you can see this could be very useful to you and your business.

7. Our blog is packed with ideas and solutions and some really emotional, fantastic and inspiring stories from our members. You can read it all here https://www.thebusinesswomansnetwork.co.uk/bwn-blog/

8. You can sponsor a BWN event. We only allow 1 sponsor per event so its a great way to stand out. You get 1 ticket, 1 exhibitors stand, your business literature on every place setting and your business promoted on all of the marketing for that event on and off line.

You can access all of these offers (and more!) via our website, and just head to the offers heading to find the offer right for you.

  • October 28, 2018

All change in Suffolk

All businesses go through change and our organisation is no different. In fact we actively look to hear from every woman in business that attends our Suffolk, Essex and Norfolk events to know what you want and if we are delivering it. (And our apologies if we are not in your region yet, we would love to be in your area, so get in touch to learn about getting paid to network.)

Therefore when Linda had to step down from our stunning Ickworth House, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk  events it was a quiet moment in the BWN offices. Mandie instantly decided that we had been supporting the success of women in business in this area for over 4 years and we didn’t want to see it stop. So Mandie hosted our September event and announced “Who would like to get paid to network?”

2 offers came forward on the day so we never got to spread the opportunity to the wider community (further proof you have to be in it to win it!) and we are delighted to welcome Nicky West, a corporate Suffolk based photographer to the team. Nicky said “I’ve decided to become a BWN co-ordinator! Let me sum up why. I believe networking is a wonderful way to empower and connect local business owners to be inspired by and inspire each other, in a friendly supportive environment, and I’m so excited to be a part of that process and grow my own business along the way too!”

We are very happy to welcome you Nicky and look forward to seeing your fabulous images and hearing your 2019 plans.

We have more exciting news coming soon and if you would like to learn more about joining the growing BWN team, we would love to hear from you. Just complete the contact us form or give us a call.

  • September 30, 2018

Looking For Creative Inspiration – How To Find It!

I know that for Insiders the issue of coming up with great content and what to write comes up a lot. Have you ever found yourself sat in front of the screen and thought “I’ve got 2 hours to come up with the content here, why can’t I think of anything?”

Or

“I only need to think of the name for this and I can crack on, why won’t my brain work!”

Or

“Aaaaa I haven’t got a single good idea in my head!”

If you have faced any of these scenarios you will know how frustrating it is. You’ve made some space in your mega busy diary to get creative and move your business forward but your brain won’t help and before you know it you’ve commented on someone’s Facebook video of a cute dog and not wrote a single word!

But you know that right? And so you end up getting more and more frustrated, staring at the minutes wasted away and worry some more. So how can you overcome writers’ block and come up with the great ideas?

  1. Stop panicking and looking at the clock and worrying about how much time you’ve wasted. It makes you worry more. It clags up your busy brain with negative emotions which further shut down your brain to be able to think productively. If you have been at it for more than 10 minutes and achieved nothing, walk away from the location you are in for 10 minutes. Do some filing (you know you never get round to it!) phone that person you were going to just email, check your to do list for the day/week. Get your brain concentrating on something else, and let it do that for at least 10 minutes. Studies show that working on something else creates mental space. Basically your brain is shouting “I know you need the answers, give me 10 minutes and I will keep hunting okay!” Have you ever struggled to remember someone’s name only for it to come to you in the middle of the night or randomly when you are doing something else? Your brain doesn’t stop looking for the answers you want, but it does need the time to process the request.
  2. Grab a pen and paper (this is ideal for the way it makes your brain work) and list every possible idea you have already come up with. They can be the obvious ones that you have dismissed, the stupid ones, the unrealistic ones, the unaffordable ones. Write them all down. If you have 2 pages of A4 paper filled then you are letting your mind think freely. It’s highly likely the first few that you come up with you will dismiss but the longer you write the more likely you are to come up with content you know your readers will love!
  3. Don’t dismiss anything, write it all down. And not just ideas. Random words. Random thoughts that you have no idea how it could become an article or a series of posts. Just get it down. We so often dismiss thoughts without fully exploring the answers they are trying to provide.
  4. Not one for lists? Draw a picture, use a mind map, cut pictures out of a magazine and create a mood board. Allow your creative juices to flow in a way that works for you, but keep it visual. This in itself could make a great article. Remember not all content is the written word, it could be a short video of you sharing how you come up with your ideas and what you will be talking about in the coming months thanks to your mood board.
  5. Ask others. Friends and relatives are not the best people to ask for ideas from. They love and adore you and have their own agenda and viewpoint already. As I always say your Nan loves you so whatever you come up with she will say “That’s nice darling.” So ask yourself who would be good to ask? Get along to a network like The Business Womans Network. Share your thoughts on social media groups where you feel you will get useful feedback. Ask us, Insiders. Create a focus group – that’s basically a neutral place where you invite some people along to share their views. I tend to give a free half hour session to say thank you, make sure there are goodies in the middle of the room and lots of beverages! Takes up about 2 hours.
  6. Think of one client. The one that said “xxx” how were they feeling, what were the issues they told you about? How did they find you? What were they scared of? What were they looking forward to? Thinking of one client can create enough ideas for the list in Top tip 2 for months!
  7. Research online, don’t steal other people’s ideas and creativity, however, it’s a great way to see what other people do and to helps you understand your creative needs.
  8. What worked in the past? This won’t be the first time you have felt stuck. What helped in the past? How could you recreate that environment to get the results you want?
  9. CTA. Call to Action. Ask people what do they want you to write about. Make sure they know they can ask you confidentially and you will let them get access to it and that no one will ever know you wrote that just for them.
  10. Years ago everyone wanted short blogs. Now I’m asked to write longer and longer blogs. In fact the one that had 40,000 views in less than a month was 1800 words! I would still say that at the start if you have no audience keep them short, keep them top tip format, short and snappy and easy to read. As you gain a following them write longer articles and more in depth content.
  11. Structure –  A bit like the essay’s we hated as students! You want to explain what you are going to cover, why you are covering it, what you can expect if you don’t do it and if you do the results you could get. Then layout in easy short paragraphs the top tips and finish with a recap and a this is what you should see conclusion. A call to action like “let me know how you get on” or “what would you like me to cover next?” can get the conversation going. And remember your blogs are there forever, keep it relevant. I get people sending me messages to work with me from blog articles that are 5 years old.

It’s commendable to sit at your desk for hours looking to get your business seen and loved. But with some things in life it’s better to lean on others and find experts to help you get where you want to go. Just because you know what your dentist is doing you wouldn’t start sticking appliances in your mouth and doing it yourself, would you?

Sometimes it’s a good idea to outsource what is really challenging you. If you are finding this is consuming your precious time, it’s time to ask yourself how can I get the results I need faster? But remember even if you outsource it you are still going to have to tell that VA, PR company, copywriter or marketing company the following;

Who am I speaking to?

What do I want them to do?

What results do I want to get?

What do I want them to learn?

What matters to my target audience (s)?

How often do they want to hear from me?

Hope this helps. This is a confidential article for Insiders only. Please do not share this content. However please do share on the Insiders Facebook page how it helps, what you need next and your articles for us to read and review too.

 

  • June 9, 2018

The Insiders Week Planner

You have a busy week ahead how can you ensure you are not just busy but focused, accountable and actually working on the things that will grow your business?

If you want to help create some focus here is our one page INsiders planner for each week.

Don’t add too many tasks or actions to any one day.

Remember to factoring in follow up time after networking events.

Remember you are human and will need to eat, rest and not ignore your loved ones.

Use the Insiders Planner well and you could be ahead by Thursday!

Ensure you keep in mind your longterm goals, and if you don’t know what they are, ask for some help on the INsiders. We are here to help.

Download your INsiders Weekly Planner here

  • November 6, 2017

How to get paid faster

There are many good reasons for getting your customer invoices paid faster, the best of which is to keep your business afloat.  There are also lots of good ways to achieve faster payment.  Here are my top 7:

1 Credit-check the customer before beginning work.  There are many credit reference agencies who will supply a credit report for a fee.  Whilst these can be useful, they should not be relied on exclusively.   Get market intelligence of the customer, such as speaking to peers, your bank, or trade bodies.  If possible, get the customer’s latest data such as its monthly management accounts. 

If the customer is found to be a habitual late payer, perhaps with County Court Judgements or worse, then you might prefer to pass on the opportunity, or take greater precautions.  These could range from payment on delivery, shorter credit, splitting up your sales, or demanding a deposit.

2 Make terms and conditions of the contract, invoice, and late payment, complete and unambiguous, so there is no room for misunderstanding or dispute by the customer.  For example, avoid ambiguous terms such as ‘30d-net’ or ‘payment due on receipt’.  State consequences of late payment such as penalty interest, legal action, or cessation of further supplies.  State early payment discounts, bank accounts, and acceptable methods of payment such as card, online, or cheque.

3 Invoice the moment you sell a good or service – before the customer (and you) forget.  Make invoicing an automatic step at the point of dispatch or completion of a service.

4 Sell your invoice for cash – this is now possible with single invoice finance.  It can be quicker and simpler than conventional debt factoring facilities because (if you use Cash for Invoices Limited for example), no security is required, you sell invoices only when you want to, and you pay just one fee. Invoices from as little as £250 can be sold.

5 Build a rapport with the customer.  They are more likely to pay you before a faceless business they also owe money to.

6 Have an action plan prepared in case payment is not made on the due date.  This broadly will be 1) contact the debtor for an explanation and simultaneously resend the invoice 2) if still unpaid then contact the debtor and state consequences of further delay  3) if still unpaid then take legal steps to collect payment.

7 Whatever the circumstances, always deal professionally and calmly with the customer and an attitude that is realistic, not stubborn.  If communication breaks down payment is likely to be delayed further or even withheld entirely.  In such circumstances, consider arbitration. 

There is no commercial sense in stubbornly pursuing a debtor who is unable to pay in full, when a voluntary agreement to pay over a longer period would recover at least some of the amount owed and would avoid costly debt collection and legal fees.

Dr P Singh is director at single invoice finance provider Cash for Invoices Limited and an Affiliate of the Business Woman’s Network which means you can work with Cash for Invoices and get a discount. 

www.cashforinvoices.co.uk

Sources

Forbes;Business.com; Sage; Entrepreneur.com; Xero.com; Huffington Post

 

 

 

 

There are many good reasons for getting your customer invoices paid faster, the best of which is to keep your business afloat.  There are also lots of good ways to achieve faster payment.  Here are my top 7:

 

1 Credit-check the customer before beginning work.  There are many credit reference agencies who will supply a credit report for a fee.  Whilst these can be useful, they should not be relied on exclusively.   Get market intelligence of the customer, such as speaking to peers, your bank, or trade bodies.  If possible, get the customer’s latest data such as the its monthly management accounts. 

 

If the customer is found to be a habitual late payer, perhaps with County Court Judgements or worse, then you might prefer to pass on the opportunity, or take greater precautions.  These could range from payment on delivery, shorter credit, splitting up your sales, or demanding a deposit.

 

2 Make terms and conditions of the contract, invoice, and late payment, complete and unambiguous, so there is no room for misunderstanding or dispute by the customer.  For example, avoid ambiguous terms such as ‘30d-net’ or ‘payment due on receipt’.  State consequences of late payment such as penalty interest, legal action, or cessation of further supplies.  State early payment discounts, bank accounts, and acceptable methods of payment such as card, online, or cheque.

 

3 Invoice the moment you sell a good or service – before the customer (and you) forget.  Make invoicing an automatic step at the point of dispatch or completion of a service.

 

4 Sell your invoice for cash – this is now possible with single invoice finance.  It can be quicker and simpler than conventional debt factoring facilities because (if you use Cash for Invoices Limited), no security is required, you sell invoices only when you want to, and you pay just one fee. Invoices from as little as £250 can be sold.

 

5 Build a rapport with the customer.  They are more likely to pay you before a faceless business they also owe money to.

 

6 Have an action plan prepared in case payment is not made on the due date.  This broadly will be 1) contact the debtor for an explanation and simultaneously resend the invoice 2) if still unpaid then contact the debtor and state consequences of further delay  3) if still unpaid then take legal steps to collect payment.

 

7 Whatever the circumstances, always deal professionally and calmly with the customer, and an attitude that is realistic not stubborn.  If communication breaks down payment is likely to be delayed further or even withheld entirely.  In such circumstances, consider arbitration. 

 

There is no commercial sense in stubbornly pursuing a debtor who is unable to pay in full, when a voluntary agreement to pay over a longer period would recover at least some of the amount owed, and would avoid costly debt collection and legal fees.

 

Dr P Singh is director at single invoice finance provider Cash for Invoices Limited and an Affiliate of the Business Woman’s Network

www.cashforinvoices.co.uk

 

Sources

Forbes;Business.com; Sage; Entrepreneur.com; Xero.com; Huffington Post

  • September 1, 2017
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