Are you thinking of starting a business? Then there are loads of things to think about … but one thing we recommend everyone to think about, is what you’ll do when a debtor doesn’t pay your invoice. We know it’s not a fun thing to think about, but it’s bound to happen. Luckily for you, we know just what to do! In just three steps we can explain how you can get your well earned money back.
Step 1: Call your debtor if you have a personal relationship
In many sectors, you work pretty closely together with a partner business/ client, so you end up having quite a personal relationship. If you notice one of them forgot to pay your invoice, it’s easy to think the worst of them. But that’s not always the case! Especially if you’d like to continue working with this partner/client in the future, it can be a bit tricky to come at them aggressively. That’s why we recommend calling them up and explaining you’ve noticed something odd with your finances. Who knows – something might have gone wrong … maybe they didn’t receive your invoice, maybe they just forgot … If this call goes well, give your debtor a new payment term and hopefully everything is fixed then.
If you don’t have a relationship with your partner/client, you might as well skip this step. And if you notice that your new payment term is also ignored, you can assume the unpaid invoice is a sign of bad will and it’s time to take the next step: hiring a collection agency (Dutch: incassobureau inschakelen).
Step 2: Check out reviews to find a reliable debt collection agency
Debt collection agencies can be hugely successful in retrieving your well-earned money. Sadly, there are some ‘cowboys’ in the market that waste your time and money. You don’t want to sign a contract with them! That’s why it’s a good idea to do your own research – preferably before you need a collection agency (Dutch: incassobureau). Ask around to fellow entrepreneurs if they’ve worked with agencies before and if they recommend anyone. Check out Google Reviews and read what other people liked/disliked about the collection agencies.
Step 3: Hire a good debt collection agency
Once you’ve found an agency you think is trustworthy, it’s time to call them, visit them or just apply online. A few things to look out for or ask for are their success rate from the previous year, their payment method and how quickly they can start working for you. Make sure you know the details before you sign your contract!
A good debt collection agency should be able to start working on your case straight away – or at least in the same week. They should also give regular updates on what they’re doing, e.g. they’ve sent a debt collector to the debtor’s house, they can call in a collection lawyer and more. With good overview, you always know what they’re doing and when you could possibly get your money.
Good luck getting your money back!