It’s in the timing!
December 10, 2014 at 12:04 PM
Holidays can be stressful for consumers. In any given month, many families’ budgets barely stretch to the end of the month. If you are a business that extended credit, or are a healthcare provider who bills a patient post insurance, you may find that payments are not forthcoming during the holiday season. Let’s face it – if the choice is making a payment or buying a child a present – we would all choose to buy the present!
How can you keep your cash flow healthy but also extend some kindness during the holidays? Crossing your fingers and hoping for the best isn’t the best strategy! Be pro-active!
Timing is everything. Yes, they may not pay during the holidays, but many will receive monetary gifts for the holidays and/or have tax refunds due after the first of the year. Have you sent out past due statements or phoned to make arrangements? Is the account ready to send to collections? Just a reminder that an account submitted for collections will get an initial letter, then the consumer has 30 days to contact our agency before collection efforts can begin.
If you are a health care provider, and are dealing with insurance, remember that most deductibles run the calendar year. Work with your patients to get their accounts cleared up before they build up larger balances.
If you process ACH or debit/credit card payments, perhaps you could set up monthly auto-payments beginning the first of the year.
Whatever strategies you implement in December will have an impact on your cash flow in the months ahead. Figure out what strategies work for you and are the most effective and implement with holiday cheer!