RISK ASSESSMENT: GET PAID!
Look up the history of printing and Wikipedia will tell you: “The history of printing goes back to the duplication of images by means of stamps in very early times. The use of round seals for rolling an impression into clay tablets goes back to early Mesopotamian civilization before 3000 BCE, where they are the most common works of art to survive, and feature complex and beautiful images. In both China and Egypt, the use of small stamps for seals preceded the use of larger blocks. In China, India and Europe, the printing of cloth certainly preceded the printing of paper or papyrus. The process is essentially the same – in Europe special presentation impressions of prints were often printed on silk until the seventeenth century. The development of printing has made it possible for books, newspapers, magazines, and other reading materials to be produced in great numbers, and it plays an important role in promoting literacy among the masses.”
AS OLD AS PRINTING IS, SO IS BAD DEBT!
This Labor Day, where we celebrate the workers that keep our country afloat, it’s important to remember not only the history of where this industry has come from but the workers that ensure a comfortable life. When extending a line of credit to a company, the risks involved aren’t just risks that the investors or sole-proprietors take on, these risks have the ability to potentially affect your work-force and, in effect, your entire company. Taking the time to manage those risks with the appropriate amount of research is essential to the livelihood of all. In the spirit of entrepreneurial rewards, and the cognizant appreciation of the labor force that goes into it, here is PICB’s definitive breakdown on how to establish lines of credit.
Guarantee your terms through a proper credit application that requires a Federal Tax ID #, bank and trade references, & a signed authorization for release of proprietary information. If they can’t provide the specifics they shouldn’t be awarded a line of credit.
Evaluate the information provided by your potential customer using resources available through public records that are easily accessible at PICB-US.Com / You Check It. State, County, and City governments have consolidated valuable data regarding licensing requirements at every level. Check to see if your customer is properly licensed as required. It is a good indicator of credit-worthiness. If they can’t even spring for the required city/county license that is required, how difficult would it be to recover funds in the event of non-payment?
Take your time. Whenever there is the potential for profit we tend to want to move faster than slower. The money isn’t going anywhere. Remember, your potential customer came to you. Researching the business and assuring they are credit-worthy is more important than rushing into a job hoping to get paid in the future. Due-diligence insures that your risks are not without reward. If they can’t wait for your credit process then they need to pay cash in advance!
Participate in the process. The more questions you ask about what type of business your customer runs, and how they profit, the more data you have to see where the money comes from before there is an issue. If your customer ends up being slow-pay or delinquent they will be less likely to divulge information once a payment is late. Asking questions about where your customer’s revenue streams come from, while the relationship is friendly, is a valuable source of information in the event that non-payment occurs. If you can’t explain how you make money, why should I give you money?
Anticipate the worst case scenario. What happens if a customer doesn’t pay on services that have already been rendered? Do I have legal counsel? Do I have a collection agency in place? When am I supposed to be concerned? These are questions that need to be asked when minimizing risk in any credit situation. Don’t wait for your customer to tell you there is a problem. Be aware of your customer’s business and then you’ll know, before you’re told, that it’s time to bring caution to the credit. PICB can help answer those questions based on your credit terms and expectations. If you can’t monitor changes in the market, you won’t be able to monitor your profit.
Invite your customer to share in the process of profit. Knowing your customers needs and how they operate allows your business to best serve their needs. The more open you are to what they do the more information you have to not only serve your customer’s needs, but to know what recourse is necessary in the event of non-payment. If you can’t have an honest relationship with your customer then your customer can’t have an honest relationship with you.
Do your homework.
- Does the company have any court records where they failed to pay back a line of credit?
- How many secured loans (UCC) does the company have registered with the state?
- Are they operating out of multiple locations?
- Do they have the proper licensing for each location they operate?
- Is their corporate status in tact and active with the state they are operating in?
- Have I secured a personal guarantee from riskier lines of credit?
- Have I been invoicing my customers properly and updating their credit lines by re-checking references once a year?
- Do I know of any changes in corporate leadership or major setbacks in financing?
- Is the customer’s product line subject to extreme changes due market evaluations?
These are just a few of the many questions that need to be asked before a line of credit is extended. If you don’t ask the questions you don’t get the answers.
Taking the time to manage those risks with the appropriate amount of research is essential to the livelihood of all. In the spirit of entrepreneurial rewards, and the cognizant appreciation of the labor force that goes into it, here is PICB’s definitive breakdown on how to establish lines of credit and