So, the dilemma is:Â what do you do when your customers don’t pay on time even though you have had discussions, you have agreed a way of working out the payments and then all of a sudden they stop taking your calls or not responding to emails?
Well, in the past this was the situation we were in and we naively thought that the customer in question would clear his debt and all would be well again.Â How silly were we?Â He ended up leaving us, still owing us a considerable amount of money, was verbally threatening on email and telephone and was so horrid that we ended up giving him the information he required to set up his website with someone else just to get rid of him.Â That was a year ago and to this day we have still not received the money even after spending more money asking a debt collection company to get involved.
So, you can imagine how awkward we now feel when we find ourselves in a similar situation with two more customers.Â Long standing customers, one of them is relatively local, and we are in the position where if we take the websites down we are effectively cutting off one of the major streams of income to their businesses.Â Whilst this pains us and makes us feel uncomfortable, from a business point of view we are in the position of if we take their website offline then we are almost guaranteeing that the relationship is now beyond repair and we are probably going to lose their business.
Well, we had to toughen up, one website went offline yesterday – and amazingly enough the customer has got in touch – the other website is due to go offline tomorrow – we will see what happens then.Â In the grand scheme of things, it is not cost effective having to spend time chasing payments so what do you do as a small business owner who doesn’t like to upset people?
I don’t know the answer!Â As always, keen to find out how you deal with this situation because I am sure we are not the only ones.