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Franchise question time: What Franchise’s business agony aunt answers your entrepreneurial conundrums

Franchise question time: What Franchise’s business agony aunt answers your entrepreneurial conundrums

Our resident business agony aunt Angie Coates, founder and CEO of Monkey Music, answers your business and entrepreneurial conundrums

What’s the best way to reduce late payment to a minimum?

I try to keep my three-year-old self in check, but when it comes to late payers I can’t help stamping my feet and shouting: “It’s not fair”. The reason for my frustration is because, according to the Federation of Small Businesses, 50,000 small businesses are forced to close each year due to late payment of invoices.

We all have the right to be paid promptly for any work we have completed. If we are not paid, there is a damaging knock-on effect to our cash flow and we waste hours of precious time chasing non-payers.

So let’s take a grown-up look at how we might reduce late payers:

  • Choose who you work with carefully and make sure you always seek a reference. You may wish to run a credit check.
  • Make sure you know the contact details of the person who will be paying your invoice.
  • Be clear from the outset of your terms and conditions of business.
  • If you’re working on a large job, you may want to take some money up front.
  • Make sure you invoice on time.
  • Schedule a gentle email reminder to go out just before the payment is due.
  • If the invoice is not paid by the due date, send another email the day after.
  • If there’s still no response, follow this with a phone call to your contact above and follow up your call with a final email.
  • If your invoice still remains unpaid, you may wish to make things more formal by sending a final warning. At this stage, you could consult your lawyer, who will advise on the best way forwards.

There will always be a few late payers who never change their ways, but if you’re polite, firm and consistent, everyone but the worst culprits will play ball. As for those who don’t, maybe you are better off without them?

Should I lease or buy the equipment that’s essential for my business?

In a world where we’re buying less and leasing more, businesses have more flexibility to choose the best deal for them. I recently had firsthand experience of this when we moved in to new offices. The move, which was long overdue, gave us the opportunity to upgrade our old equipment and review the pros and cons of leasing versus buying.

After looking at things in some detail, we decided to lease most of our new office equipment. We like the flexibility that leasing gives us and as ownership of a photocopier or printer isn’t on my wish list, I was happy to indulge in a top-of-the-range model, which we have the option to upgrade at any time. By choosing to lease, I believe we’re future proofing our systems, spreading initial costs and benefiting from superior products.

Since the new equipment was installed, there have been a few occasions where we have got a bit stuck and contacted our suppliers for assistance. Each time we have sought help, we have been impressed with the efficient response and helpful advice. One important last point: your accountant will be able to advise you as to whether leasing or buying equipment is more efficient for your business. Happy shopping!

Have a question you wish to ask Angie? Email editor@what-franchise.com Check out Angie on Instagram: angiecoatesmusic

What’s the best way to reduce late payment to a minimum?

I try to keep my three-year-old self in check, but when it comes to late payers I can’t help stamping my feet and shouting: “It’s not fair”. The reason for my frustration is because, according to the Federation of Small Businesses, 50,000 small businesses are forced to close each year due to late payment of invoices.

We all have the right to be paid promptly for any work we have completed. If we are not paid, there is a damaging knock-on effect to our cash flow and we waste hours of precious time chasing non-payers.

So let’s take a grown-up look at how we might reduce late payers:

  • Choose who you work with carefully and make sure you always seek a reference. You may wish to run a credit check.
  • Make sure you know the contact details of the person who will be paying your invoice.
  • Be clear from the outset of your terms and conditions of business.
  • If you’re working on a large job, you may want to take some money up front.
  • Make sure you invoice on time.
  • Schedule a gentle email reminder to go out just before the payment is due.
  • If the invoice is not paid by the due date, send another email the day after.
  • If there’s still no response, follow this with a phone call to your contact above and follow up your call with a final email.
  • If your invoice still remains unpaid, you may wish to make things more formal by sending a final warning. At this stage, you could consult your lawyer, who will advise on the best way forwards.

There will always be a few late payers who never change their ways, but if you’re polite, firm and consistent, everyone but the worst culprits will play ball. As for those who don’t, maybe you are better off without them?

Should I lease or buy the equipment that’s essential for my business?

In a world where we’re buying less and leasing more, businesses have more flexibility to choose the best deal for them. I recently had firsthand experience of this when we moved in to new offices. The move, which was long overdue, gave us the opportunity to upgrade our old equipment and review the pros and cons of leasing versus buying.

After looking at things in some detail, we decided to lease most of our new office equipment. We like the flexibility that leasing gives us and as ownership of a photocopier or printer isn’t on my wish list, I was happy to indulge in a top-of-the-range model, which we have the option to upgrade at any time. By choosing to lease, I believe we’re future proofing our systems, spreading initial costs and benefiting from superior products.

Since the new equipment was installed, there have been a few occasions where we have got a bit stuck and contacted our suppliers for assistance. Each time we have sought help, we have been impressed with the efficient response and helpful advice. One important last point: your accountant will be able to advise you as to whether leasing or buying equipment is more efficient for your business. Happy shopping!

Have a question you wish to ask Angie? Email editor@what-franchise.com Check out Angie on Instagram: angiecoatesmusic

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