It’s not easy when you are forced to put an account in collections. People who owe your business money may be valued clients and require hand-holding, while any effort put into recovering what you are owed is taken away from projects and operations.
The process, however, does not have to be too bad if you approach it strategically. That often means planning before an account would ever be delinquent enough to require action.
You can start by segmenting potential cases based on what is owed and for how long. This will help you respond to any collections needs, as well as help set expectations with clients. Many contracts include these policies in the text so it can be shown everyone agreed to them.
A contact strategy is also important. How will you try to get in touch with clients and others who owe? Will it be worth the attempt? Perhaps most importantly, is it the form of communication that may be needed as evidence in the future?
Consequences should also be worked out ahead of time to set your own expectations as well as others. Some businesses require a penalty fee for late or incomplete payments. This is partially to incentivize prompt payment, but also to go towards reimbursing them for the trouble of using collections practices.
A lawyer can help set up these practices for the future or help deal with current collections needs. Businesses need their revenue to survive, and relationships require trust and verification to work well over time. No one should struggle with collections without help from an attorney.