Small Business Debt Collection tips every UK SME owner should know

If you are a small business owner then it really does pay to think smart. With Covid-19 taking a grip on the UK’s economy, a more tenacious approach is needed to deal with those pesky customers that do not pay.

Leading UK Insolvency experts have already predicted a tsunami of companies going bust as a result of unpaid invoices. So, what can you do as a small Business owner? Whether you are self-employed, a sub-contractor or a Limited company, there are things you can do.

Late-paying customers or customers that have not paid at all is nothing new. What is new is the current unprecedented climate. Swollen backlogs of claims at country courts and reduced legal processes have put over 600,000 UK Companies at risk. A recent study showed that more than 60% of small businesses have unpaid invoices that are at least 60 days old.

A simple Small Business Debt Collection strategy can certainly help get you paid. And there are other valid avenues you can go down to make sure you get paid. The UK is a hotbed of Professional Debt Collection Agency solutions.

Here are five basic expert tips to help make sure you get paid during coronavirus.

Top Tip 1 – Send A Reminder

Seems logical but many don’t. Following up on an invoice in an essential for any SME Owner.   Some accounting software can automatically send a reminder to clients or to remind you. Sometimes customers ‘forget’ to pay invoices. By sending a reminder, it delivers a gentle push to let your customer know you are waiting to be paid.

Top Tip 2 – Expect to get Paid


Expecting to be paid is part of the commercial merry go round. Regardless of coronavirus, you should expect to be paid on time. Your customer expects to be paid also from their creditors.

Understand the difference between an excuse and a genuine reason. Some unscrupulous business owners are manipulating the current landscape for their own purposes.

Top Tip 3 – Call your customer

If your agreed terms are well exceeded despite your ‘reminder, it is time to act. Do not be shy and get on the telephone. Your Small Business could be at risk and sometimes a proactive approach is needed. Phone calls are a lot harder to dismiss than a simple mailed reminder.

By engaging the customer, you will at least understand the situation better. Why have you not been paid yet?

Top Tip 4 – Stay calm and don’t lose your cool

If your mailed communications have been ignored and your phone call not returned, it can be frustrating. Rule Number one though is do not lose your composure. If you are at the point where you are losing your temper with a customer…don’t!

Try to understand the situation. Politely request they contact you to discuss it. Make them aware that you can be understanding of situations. At worst you can accept an agreed repayment schedule, right?! 

Top Tip 5 – Use a Professional Debt Collection service

This is an extremely valid option in 2021. Solicitors are more costly than ever and the County Courts are clogged up due to the pandemic. With inflated Court and Legal Fees, it is no wonder more UK Small Businesses are using Debt Collection Agencies in the UK

Gone are the days of the stigmatised burly ‘Men in Black leather jackets. Under the regulation of the Financial Conduct Authority, the UK’s Debt Recovery industry has morphed into a popular cost-effective solution for Small Business Debt Collection.

Which Debt Collection Agency you use will have a significant bearing on the prospects of success. As with any sector, there are good and bad. Working with a Professional reputable company is a no brainer.

Notable Debt Collection solutions

The UK is a pinnacle of the world’s debt collection industry. Innovative business-like practices are a norm for the country’s elite debt collection practitioners.

For B2B Debt Collection, Federal Management are the notable stand out solution. They collect millions of behalf of Small Businesses and SME’s in the UK every year. They provide a Free Legal assessment of your cases and operate a no collection – no costs policy.

For B2C or Private Debt Collection, Frontline Collections are the famous name. They were appointed the ‘Gold standard Approved Supplier’ on behalf of the Independent Schools Associations such is their high standing. They were also recommended in the Times Newspaper as being a Small Business essential – In addition to Private Schools, they assist small businesses from Dental practices to Self Employed tradesmen. A Free appraisal is offered to all Small Business Owners and their service is on a low fixed cost basis.

For Overseas recovery and International Debt Collectors, either of the aforementioned can help. Debt Collection Agencies in the UK are not limited to this jurisdiction.

It is important to remember

No Small Business has ever lost a customer just because they were required to pay their invoice. If your Small Business is owed money, stop procrastinating and follow the above expert tips. It might just save your business!

About Shahbaz Ahmed

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