Slow payers and your cash flow

My cash flow can’t handle you anymore. Please go away!

When you ask a customer to pay an overdue invoice the response can range from an apology and immediate payment to an aggressive reaction and a threat to take their work elsewhere. One of the more creative and cheeky responses I ever heard of a screen printer receiving from a customer was: “Why are you asking me for money? Do you have a cash flow problem?” Of course it’s an outrageous response for many reasons, but there is an element of truth to it.

The fact is that slow paying customers can cause cash flow challenges but we tend to deal with it by not dealing with it because we are terrified of losing a customer. So we end up retaining a bad customer. But we need to remember that a consistently slow-paying customer can often turn into a non-paying customer which has the same result as giving away our product for nothing. If you can’t turn a slow-paying customer into a prompt-paying customer it’s probably better to get rid of them before they become a non-paying customer.