Being an entrepreneur is fun and exciting – that much can any entrepreneur tell you. They can probably also tell you there are a few downsides: doing your taxes … and seeing that a client or even multiple clients aren’t paying your invoices. That’s really really annoying – after all you also have bills to pay! In this article we talk about the steps you can take to make sure you get your money back!
Stay on top of your invoices and try to get the funds back yourself first
If you own a business, it’s important to stay on top of your invoices. Make sure you know when invoices are due or use a program that alerts you when an invoice gets ignored.
If you have a good working relationship with your client, we always recommend you to call them first and ask if something is wrong. There might be a misunderstanding or a mistake that happened. An invoice got lost, there was a technical problem at the bank … Ask to know what happened. If you don’t know your client very well, you can also opt to send a payment reminder with strict new payment terms.
If you notice that your email bounces and/or you can’t contact your client by calling them, it’s very possible that they’re actively trying not to pay you for some reason. In that case, they’ll probably keep on ignoring you, even when you send formal payment reminders or call them daily. Time to take the next step!
Hire a collection agency
If you want to collect your money one way or the other, hiring a collection agency (Dutch: incassobureau) is a good idea. Check out which agencies work in your area and take a look at their reviews to see if they’re trustworthy. It might also be a good idea to ask fellow entrepreneurs if they recommend an agency.
When going in for a first conversation with the collection agency, make sure you ask how their fee works. Do you pay a flat fee when they start working for you? Or do they use the ‘no cure no pay’ method, which means you only pay when they’re successful in retrieving your money.
We wish you good luck in collecting your funds!