Corona wave of unpaid invoices: 6 tips for entrepreneurs

| Anaïs Walraven

The Corona virus has already had an enormous impact on our economy, but the Corona wave of debts will only reach its peak at the end of 2020, according to the banking sector. As an entrepreneur it’s time to think about how you will tackle this situation.

Normally it goes without saying that you’ll be paid for the services you provide. In times of Corona, however, it becomes much more difficult. As an entrepreneur you probably fully understand the difficult situation other entrepreneurs are in. At the same time, your invoices must be paid. Otherwise you risk running into financial troubles yourself. You can avoid this by following these 6 tips.


Focus on your customer relationship

Unpaid invoices can be turned into payment without jeopardizing your customer relationship. Be diplomatic in your communication and talk about the changed situation with your customer. Acknowledge the difficult and unexpected circumstances, but also explain why you need to receive payment for your services. Try to remain positive and avoid sounding irritated or resentful. At the same time, you shouldn’t back down from your payment request. Before concluding the conversation, you should reach a clear and realistic agreement. This way you’ll adjust everyone’s expectations and reduce the chance of dissatisfaction further down the road.


Support measures for entrepreneurs

The Flemish Government announced/s support measures for entrepreneurs. You should follow up on this changing legislation. You can easily find the latest updates online. Inform your employees and customers about the latest changes. This way you’ll provide them with the correct information and tools, while showing your concern.

For Flanders visit the website of Vlaams Agentschap voor Innoveren en Ondernemen (VLAIO) or  Horeca Vlaanderen. For Wallonia visit the website of NCP Wallonie or Fédération Horeca Wallonie. For Brussels visit the website of Bruxelles Economie et Emploi or Fédération Horeca Bruxelles.


Follow up on your B2B invoices

Have you sent out an invoice? Don’t be complacent, but follow up on the payments every step of the way. Has the payment period passed without receiving anything? Then it’s time to send a payment reminder. Don’t forget to be clear and use an appropriate tone of voice. Communicate clearly and honestly with your customers and don’t let difficult cases run their course. Also maintain regular customer contact, while remaining consistent and respectful. After all, your customer is a human being who’s facing a lot of new challenges at this time.


Little bits make a big difference in the end

In most cases entrepreneurs who try to enforce unpaid invoices by involving an external partner, only do so when the principal sum is big enough. This is unfortunate. Entrepreneurs are missing out on a lot of revenue this way. Today, it’s even more important than ever before to receive payment for your unpaid invoices. If you don’t, your own cash flow position might be compromised.

Why do entrepreneurs ignore these smaller sums? That’s because they fear high legal costs and lengthy procedures. The administrative procedure to recover undisputed B2B invoices, brought this to an end some years ago, but unfortunately not all entrepreneurs are aware of this yet. This needs to change! Even unpaid invoices of only 20 euros can now be recovered quickly without an intervention of the court.

In the end, every little bit makes a big difference to your company.


Every customer deserves a personal recovery trajectory

What is the financial capacity of your (potential) customers? This is a question to which you must always know the answer before you plan a recovery process. This way you can estimate possible risks and develop a sustainable customer portfolio. Go Solid can help you with this. Especially when we accept a recovery file, we calculate the financial capacity of your customer. Based on this solvency information, your file will or will not be accepted.

Has your file been accepted? Then we will get to work for you and estimated the chance that we can recover the full amount. Has your file been refused? Then we estimated the chance that we’d be able to collect your invoice as small or non-existent.  You can receive ‘Bad debt certificate’. This way you can still recover the VAT portion of your invoice.


Outsourcing at no costs

Following up unpaid invoices can be time-consuming and can cost you quite a bit of money. Not with Go Solid. Our service is free of charge thanks to our partnership with D.A.S. Legal Aid. When you engage us as an intermediary, you assure a correct follow-up, a strict timing and a motivational wording that guarantee a customer-friendly attitude and efficient recovery. Keeping your good reputation and maintaining a positive cash flow can go hand in hand!