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6 Tips for Small Business Owners: How to Recruit A Debt Collection Agency

6 Tips for Small Business Owners: How to Recruit A Debt Collection Agency

Small business owners face the challenge of managing their debt levels at acceptable level because if they don’t receive the cash against their services or products, then they are doomed to get into bank debt and their cost of doing business increases.

Small business owners also face the challenge of finding right debt collection agencies, so that they not only ensure cost optimization, but also make sure that their receivables remain at lowest level. Let me demonstrate to you how you should go about recruiting a collection agency, with examples from three collection agencies.

1. Experience

Experience is probably the single most important thing to consider when choosing a collection agency. Cumulative experience of over a decade is nice decent experience and speaks volumes about the success rate of the company. Companies which are relatively new in the market can try to beat others with pricing, but experience always count.

For example, New World Collections is probably one of the oldest debt collection agencies in one of the US States, working since 1997. Twenty successful years of business means, the agency has mastered all the legal risk and complications of collecting your money from your clients.

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Our second example, Eagle Accounts Group, has a total experience of approximately 7 years in industry,

2. Recommendations

The experience of a friend-social signals (i.e. the word of mouth) is another extremely important criteria to look for. Approach your friends who are doing business and ask for their suggestions. If you cannot find one, try to contact your local associations and trade bodies and they will greatly help by sharing with you the experience of their members with any collection agency you want to work with.

New World Collection is important to me because a friend has first-hand experience of working with them. What I learned from the personal experience is that the agency specializes in debt collection for dentists and carries other medical debt collection expertise also.

3. BBB Accreditation

Responsibility and conduct are other important criterias to look for as collection related matters can push you to the court. The legal risk of hiring a collection agency remains; you should therefore look for the ratings of external agencies, such as BBB, to understand the past behavior of the collection agency with others. Reading online history of the company on BBB website is a good free way to firm up initial opinion.

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If you review BBB profile of New World Collections, you will find that it has zero complaints since last 3 years and some excellent reviews. Eagle Accounts Group’s website does not provide any indication whether it has been reviewed by BBB or not. However, my search on BBB website indicated that it has been reviewed by BBB. BBB received 1 complaint during last three years for collection issues and the website indicates that consumer did not accepted the resolution. It even contains 1 negative review about the service with no positive reviews.

For a small business owner, it is extremely important that the debt collection agency works with responsibility and provide the value for the service. To establish a long term relationship with any debt collection agency, it is extremely important that both parties mutually agree and work out affordable solutions.

Our third example agency, Allied Collection Services’ BBB profile suggests that the agency received 4 complaints during last three years however, there are no reviews available. BBB is being an unbiased, and professional bureau offers a good opportunity to any small business to actually understand and review the service before working with them.

4. Reviews

Reviews on yelp or yellow pages is also another great starting point. What I have found great about New World Collections company is that it has some really great reviews on the sites which are unbiased and credible.

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5. Size of the Agency

Large collection agencies have diverse experience therefore they cover different industries. They may not be good for you as their overall breadth of services may not be tailor made to your requirements as a small business owner. Big agencies can offer you cost advantage because of their expertise and reach into the market.

If you want to cut the cost and recover your debts with minimum cost, large agencies may be of great help, but make sure you are not getting minimum services with such low costs. Large agencies may also offer you help in terms of legal advice.

Allied Collection Service is relatively large collection service with more services to offer and to me, it is also one of its weaknesses. Generally, the businesses which offer large amount of services tend to lose their standards and fail to develop specialized set of services.

If you are a small business owner and not in the medical profession or provider of medical services, large service may not be for you. For effective and specialized services, you need a small but focused collection agency.

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6. Other Services

Increasingly small businesses are working outside their original States also by providing online services. New World Collection is great in the sense that it also provides services in States such as Georgia, Indiana, and Kentucky. You can even track your account status through their well-developed web portal.

Allied Collection Services also offers secure online access to the web portal and offer language interpretation services also, which ultimately increases the cost for a small business.

The above demonstration gives you some important insights to look for when reviewing or searching for debt collection agency. Experience is probably the best indicator of whether the agency is worth working or not. Apart from this, you also need to see if the business has been performing ethically and responsibly for which checking BBB profile of the business is must. It gives you an indication of whether there was any complaint against the agency and if there was any, what was the outcome.

Irrespective of your location, if you are facing the uphill task of collecting your debts from customers, you need a debt collection agency and above is just a demonstration of how and what you should look into initially when you plan to hire external help for your debt collection. Good online reviews and a search on BBB can offer you a good initial feedback before you narrow down your search to hire debt collection agencies.

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Adnan Manzoor

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Last Updated on January 2, 2019

How Personal Finance Software Helps You Get More Out of Your Money

How Personal Finance Software Helps You Get More Out of Your Money

Do you know what mental health experts point to as the biggest cause of stress in the United States today? If you said “money,” then ding, ding, we have a winner!

Three out of four adults today report feeling stressed out about money at least part of the time. People are either worried about not having enough money or whether they’re putting the money they do have to use in the best possible way.

Your money is either in charge of you or you’re in charge of it, there’s no middle ground. Using some type of personal finance software can help alleviate some of that money stress and better allow you to manage your money effectively. Without it, you may just be setting yourself up for constant financial worry. Life is already tough enough and there’s no need to make it more difficult by simply hoping your money issues will all work out in your favor. Hint: they won’t.

This guide will help you to understand how personal finance software can better assist with both accomplishing long term financial goals and managing day-to-day aspects of life.

Whether it’s tracking the savings plan for your child’s college fund or making sure you won’t be in the red with the month’s grocery budget, personal finance software keeps all this information in one convenient place.

What Exactly is Personal Finance Software?

Think of it like the dashboard in your car. You have a speedometer to tell you how fast you’re going, an odometer to tell you how far you’ve traveled, and then other gauges to tell you things like how much gas is in the tank and your engine temperature. Personal finance software is essentially the same thing for your money.

When you install this software on your computer, tablet, or smartphone, it helps to track your money — how much is going in, how much is going out, and its growth. Most personal finance software programs will display your budget, spending, investments, bills, savings accounts, and even retirement plans, levels of debt, and credit score.

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How It Leads to Financial Improvement

It shouldn’t come as a surprise, but people who regularly monitor their finances end up wealthier than those who don’t. When you were a kid, keeping track of all of your money in a porcelain piggy bank was pretty easy. As we get older, though, our money becomes spread out across things like car payments, mortgages, retirement funds, taxes, and other investments and debts. All of these things make keeping track of our money a lot more complicated.

Some types of personal finance software can help make things a little less complicated, setting you up to meet financial goals and taking away some of the stress associated with money.

Even if you already have a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) some type of personal finance software can be of great benefit. Whereas CFPs focus on the big picture of your money, they don’t handle the day-to-day aspects that determine your overall financial health.

It’s also not nearly as complicated as you might think and can take out a lot of the tedium that comes with doing everything on an Excel spreadsheet or with a pad and pencil.

Types of Personal Finance Software

When it comes to personal finance software, it generally fits into two categories: tax preparation and money management.

Tax preparation software such as Turbo Tax and H&R Block’s software can help with everything from filing income taxes to IRS rules and regulations and even estate plans. Plus, there’s the benefit of filing online and getting your refund check a lot faster than if you were to mail off your forms after waiting in line at the post office.

For the purpose of this article, however, will be focusing more on the personal finance software that aids with money management.

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Money management personal finance software will help you to see the health of your cash flow, pay down debt, forecast for expenses and savings, track investments, pay bills, and do a host of other things that 30 years ago would have practically required a team of accountants.

When to Use Personal Finance Software

So far we’ve gone over what exactly personal finance software is and how it can be a benefit to your money. The next logical step in this whole equation is determining when it should be used and how is the best way to go about getting started using it.

Below are four of the most common and practical ways to use personal finance software. If all or any of these apply to you and your money, then downloading some type of personal finance software is going to be a smart move.

1. You Have Multiple Accounts

There’s a good chance that when it comes to your money, it’s in more than one place. Sure, you probably have a checking account, but you may also have a savings account, money market account, and retirement accounts such as an IRA or 401k.

If you’re like the average American, you probably have two to three credit cards as well. Fifty percent of Americans also don’t have loyalty to just one bank and spread their money across multiple banks.

Rather than spending hours typing in every detail of every account you have into a spreadsheet, many programs allow you to easily import your account information. This will help to eliminate any mistakes and give you a bird’s eye view of everything at once.

2. You Want to Automate Some or All of Your Payments

Please don’t say that you’re still writing out paper checks and dropping each bill in the mailbox. While it’s noble that you’re doing your part to keep postal workers employed, we’re 18 years into the 21st century and you can literally pay every bill online now.

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There’s no need to log into every account you have and type in your routing number either.

With personal finance software you can schedule automatic payments and transfers between all of your imported accounts. Automatic transfers will help to make sure you have the necessary funds in the right account to ensure all bills are paid on the appropriate date. Late fees are annoying and do nothing but cost you money. It’s time that you said goodbye to them once and for all.

3. You Need to Streamline Your Budget

Perhaps the best feature of personal finance software is that it allows you track everything going in and out of your virtual wallet.

Nearly every brand of personal finance software out there has easy-to-read graphs and charts that allow you track every cent you spend or earn, should you choose. You might be pretty amazed when you see just how much you spent on eating out last month or if you splurged a little more than you should have on Christmas gifts last year.

Every successful business on the planet has a budget and using personal finance software can help you trim the fat on your spending in ways that affect your everyday life.

4. You Have Specific Goals to Meet

Maybe it’s paying off debt or saving for up something like a European vacation. Whatever your financial goal is, whether it’s long-term or short-term, personal finance software programs are one of the savviest ways to go about reaching those goals.

You can do everything from set spending alerts to notify you when you’re over budget to automating what percentage of your paycheck goes to things like retirement investments. The personal finance software that you choose should show you exactly how close you are to hitting those goals at any given time.

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How to Get Started

From AceMoney to Mint and Quicken, there ’s no shortage of personal finance software apps out there. Many of these programs are free to download and will allow you to pay bills, invest, monitor your net worth and credit profile, and even get a loan with the swipe of a finger.

Other programs may only offer you limited services and will require a one-time fee or subscription to unlock all that they offer. These fees can often vary from as little as two dollars to 50 bucks a month.

It’s best to start off with the free version and then gauge whether you’re able to accomplish everything you’d like or if it’s worth exploring one of the paid options. Often times the subscription programs come with assistance from financial planning and investment experts — so that can be a real benefit.

When deciding which personal finance software program to use, it’s also important to look at how many accounts you wish to monitor. Certain programs limit the number of accounts you can add. Be sure that if you have checking, credit card, and investment accounts to monitor, that you choose a service that can monitor them all.

Finally, when looking around for the right personal finance software that meets your needs, make sure that you’re comfortable with the program’s interface. It shouldn’t be expected that you recognize every single feature instantly, but if the features don’t seem readable and manageable to you, then you’re not as likely to use it and get the full benefits.

Final Thoughts

Personal finance software can go a long way in helping you to take control of your money and meeting your financial goals. It’s important to note, however, that some focus more on budgeting and expense tracking while others prioritize investing portfolios and income taxes. Explore several different programs and read reviews to find the one that’s right for you.

In this day and age, managing one’s personal finances in a secure manner that allows the user to have a real-time visual representation of their money is easier than ever before. With the numerous applications that are out there — both free and subscription-based — there’s no reason that every person can’t take control of their money and ensure they’re making smart money moves.

Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

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