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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 April 3, 2019

How to Nix Your Credit Card Debt in Less Than 3 Years

How to Nix Your Credit Card Debt in Less Than 3 Years

Debt is never a fun thing to be in. But, there are many actions that you can take that will help you rid yourself of the burden of debt once and for all.

By coming up with a set plan, eliminating your debt can feel much easier than constantly thinking about it.

This post will provide some tips on how you can do this to help you nix your credit card debt in less than 3 years.

Hint: there are ways that are easier than you think.

1. Consider Consolidating Multiple Credit Cards If Possible

This may not be applicable to you, but if you have multiple cards – it is something to consider. Keeping up with multiple bills is time consuming.

It will depend on the balance you have on each. Consolidate ones you can but do not do it to the point that you get too close to the maximum limit. Also, it is ideal to pick the card with the lower interest rate.

Consider if there are any fees or alternatively, rewards, with transferring a balance to another card. Watch out for fees. Note that some cards offer rewards for transferring a balance to them. This is extra cash that can help go towards paying off your debt.

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Having one or two cards can make nixing your debt much simpler than keeping up with the balance of a bunch of cards. Keeping track of paying the minimum towards a bunch of cards is time consuming. Spend the time to consolidate instead to make the overall process simpler going forward.

My tip: Have one main credit card. Have a second one that you use for necessities – such as groceries or gas – that offers rewards for those purchases (a lot of cards do) and set the second one on auto-pay. You should be able to pay off a smaller amount on auto-pay if it is a necessity. If you think you cannot, then you may need to cut down a lot on expenses.

Why do I suggest doing this? Having one thing set to auto-pay is one less thing to think about. One less thing to waste time on. Same idea with consolidating to one main card. Tracking down too many is a hassle.

2. Try to Pay the Full Balance You Spent Each Month at the Very Least

You need to pay off the amount you are spending each month when that bill comes in. This is the amount you spent THAT month.

Do not let the debt keep accruing while you work on paying any unpaid debt that has accrued. It will become a never-ending battle. Try as best as you can to be current on paying for each month’s expenses when that month’s bill comes out.

If this is a strain, consider why. You may need to cut expenses. Or you may need to consider other cards. Or look at where this money is going.

3. Pay Extra When You Can – Every Small Amount Counts

This cannot be emphasized enough. If you are looking at a lot of credit card debt, it can look daunting, but each extra amount that you can put towards the debt will really add up – no matter how small it is.

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It does not just reduce the principal amount that you have left to pay off, but it reduces the amount that is collecting interest. You will always save money with that reduced interest.

4. Create a Plan on How to Pay Extra

Back to the main point, having this plan is giving you one less thing to think about.

This plan should be a plan that works for you. If it does not work for you, your spending habits, and your views on debt, then it will not be an effective plan.

For instance, if a set plan of an extra $50 (or another amount that you know you can afford) works for you, then do that. Set that aside every month and pay that extra amount. Treat it like a bill. Choose an amount that works for you and pay it like clockwork as though it was a bill you had to pay each month.

Little amounts will not nix it entirely, but they will help tackle it and having a set plan can make it less of a chore. Creating a new plan of how much to put towards it each month is an unnecessary added stress.

5. Cut out Costs for Services You Do Not Use

If you are signed up for subscriptions that you do not use because of some free trial or for some other reason, cut it out. Your overall financial position will look better.

In turn, that will make cutting your credit card debt easier. Look at your statements to find these expenses. If you do not use them, you may forget you are paying some unnecessary amount each month. Cutting it out can really add up in savings that you can put towards other needed expenses.

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6. Get Aggressive About It

Consider these points:

Depending on the interest and the level of debt, you may need to give up a few indulgences. For example, instead of ordering delivery or going out to eat, cook at home. Everything adds up.

Other things may be more of a sacrifice. It may be a trip you wanted to go on, or a daily latte habit you’ve picked up. In these instances, consider how important it is to you and if it’s worth the sacrifice. And if it is a costly expense, think whether you can wait to indulge.

Cutting an extravagant expense can really help make a dent in your overall debt. Try not to add to debt when you are trying to pay it off. It will be a never-ending battle. Make it less of a battle with these tips and it will feel easier.

Bottom line: Do what you can to make this process easier for you. Implement steps that do this. It takes time now, but will help overall. Also, keep track of your spending and paying down of your debts. Which is the next point.

7. Reevaluate Your Progress at Set Intervals

Doing a regular check-in can help you see your efforts pay off or maybe indicate that you need to give this a bit more effort. If you check every 3-6 months, it will not feel so much like a chore or feel so daunting.

By doing this, you will be able to better understand your progress and perhaps readjust your plan. Bonus: if you see it pay off, it will feel great to do this check-in. You will get there.

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Finally (and most importantly)…

8. Keep Trying

Do not get discouraged. Pushing it off will make it worse. Just keep trying.

Once your debt becomes lower, each monthly payment will reduce the balance more. Why? You are paying less towards interest. It will be a snowball effect eventually and it will become much easier to manage. Just get to that point. And know once you do, it will feel easier and motivating.

Start Knocking out Your Debt Today

The best way to eliminate debt is to get started right away. Begin by implementing the above steps and watch your debt just melt away. Try out some of the above strategies and see what works best for you. Soon you’ll be on your way to a debt free life.

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Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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