Which businesses typically use a debt collection agency?
Whether it’s for one-off support on problem invoices or an ongoing credit control service, debt collection agencies are used by thousands of businesses in the UK.
There are numerous reasons why companies use an external provider when it comes to debt collection and credit control:
- Access collections expertise that will rival and eclipse in-house resources to bring results
- Regain time and resource to focus on newer invoices or core business
- Peace of mind that aged balances are in safe hands
- Services are typically provided on a success-only basis
- Avoid having to write off unpaid invoices
Typically, businesses who choose to use a debt collection agency have experienced one or more of these problems:
- Insufficient internal resources or expertise
- In-house collections efforts have failed or are underperforming
- A significantly overdue debt
- A customer that is uncontactable
- A customer that is disputing the invoice
- A particularly difficult customer
- Repeated excuses from customers
These challenges could happen to any business regardless of shape and size, but some companies experience these problems more often than others.
Here, we take a more in-depth look at some of the types of companies that benefit from using a debt collection agency. Could your business benefit too?
Whilst growth is an exciting time for a company, it also presents some challenges when it comes to collecting payments from customers.
Your team may not have enough time, resource or expertise to cope with an increased volume of invoices each month.
Plus, a steady cash flow is needed to facilitate growth, so it’s vital that payments are coming in on time.
Working with a debt collection agency can be really beneficial for new companies.
When you start a new business, typically all the roles fall into one or a few people’s hands. This often means that the person responsible for credit control may not have the experience or expertise needed to get the right results.
Using a debt collection agency allows you to access expertise that will bring results and also regain time and resource to focus on getting your business off the ground.
Plus, choosing to outsource rather than hire additional staff for the job provides the flexibility that’s required in the early stages of business.
Companies that experience highly seasonal trading patterns can find it challenging to successfully manage their credit control throughout the year. This can make minimising and chasing late payments difficult.
Some companies may not have enough of a requirement to hire someone for the job in slower periods, whilst others might need additional support during busy periods to help their team cope with an increased workload.
For these businesses, using a debt collection agency can be beneficial as the flexible nature of outsourcing allows you to access support as and when you need it most.
Thousands of small businesses refer their overdue invoices to collection agencies every day because they recognise that chasing late payment is not their expertise and a third party is likely to have better results.
When you only have a small team it’s unlikely you’ll have the time or resources to chase late payment without having to neglect key business tasks. However, by using a debt collection agency, you could free up time to concentrate on your business and still get paid.
Commercial utilities companies such as energy, water and telecoms providers often work with debt collection agencies.
The complicated nature of customer relationships in this sector, coupled with complex regulation can make chasing payments challenging.
By working with a trusted debt collection partner utilities companies can save valuable time whilst ensuring that their reputation is protected at all times.
The construction industry is widely acknowledged as a sector with one of the worst payment records in the UK.
The use of retentions combined with the hierarchy of contractors and sub-contractors are just two reasons for long payment delays.
Debt collection agencies have extensive expertise dealing with these challenges and will often excel at recovering your unpaid invoices.
Manufacturing companies need a readily available source of supplies and materials in order to remain competitive and meet demand. Unfortunately, the cash flow challenges arising from trading on credit terms can make this difficult.
Therefore, waiting for payments to come in so that new orders can be fulfilled can be extremely frustrating.
Fortunately, debt collection agencies can help speed up the debt collection process, reducing the wait for payment and improving cash flow.
Recruitment companies can find managing cash flow challenging due to the requirement to pay temporary workers and contractor staff while waiting for their invoices to be paid by clients.
Therefore, getting paid on time is vital to their success.
Working with debt collection agencies on any overdue invoices allows recruitment companies to focus on the rest of their sales ledger to prevent any more invoices from going beyond terms.
Long credit terms are typically standard practice in the wholesale industry, even more so when the company imports or exports goods.
This can put a massive strain on cash flow and increases the importance of getting paid on time.
Professional service providers such as architects, engineers, lawyers and financial advisors often place a big focus on client relationships.
Unfortunately, when trading on credit terms these relationships can be strained when forced to wait long periods for payment.
Not only is it time-consuming to chase the payments in-house, but there is also the danger of upsetting and potentially losing a valued client.
Working with a debt collection agency in these instances helps to maintain these customer relationships.
A good debt collection agency understands that maintaining your customer relationships is extremely important.
At Hilton-Baird, for instance, our preference is polite mediation when it comes to debt collection, just reaffirming their obligation to pay while explaining the adverse impact their tardiness will have on our client.
Printing and publishing
Most businesses experience some level of cash flow gaps between paying their suppliers and getting paid. But for printing and publishing companies, this problem is often magnified.
There are freelancers to pay, who may require payment according to different schedules, plus staff wages, equipment costs and various other overheads to account for all whilst waiting for payment according to clients’ schedules.
Therefore, waiting for payments to come in can be extremely frustrating and really damaging.
That’s why many printing and publishing businesses choose to partner with a debt collection agency.
So, what could a debt collection agency do for your business?
Get an instant debt collection quote to discover how much we would charge for successfully recovering your unpaid invoices. Alternatively, discuss your debt collection requirements with one of our expert team. Give them a call on 0800 9774848 or request a call back and we’ll contact you at a convenient time.