Ask Dr Louise

YOU (South Africa) - - CONTENTS -

I run my own busi­ness but times are tough and I find my clients aren’t pay­ing their bills and want credit more and more. I’m a real softie and feel sorry for them but the re­sult is that my own fam­ily are start­ing to feel the pinch as we’re re­ally strug­gling to make ends meet and keep the busi­ness afloat.

What can I do to make my­self tougher and more re­silient so I can be stricter with the peo­ple who owe me money? Mike, email It’s an un­for­tu­nate re­al­ity that peo­ple are strug­gling fi­nan­cially at the mo­ment. But the fact is that busi­ness is busi­ness, and no busi­ness can sur­vive if cus­tomers keep liv­ing on credit and there’s no in­come.

It takes a cer­tain kind of per­son to col­lect debts and most peo­ple find it very dif­fi­cult. You’ll find it es­pe­cially dif­fi­cult if you know your cus­tomers on a per­sonal level.

The so­lu­tion is not that you should change, but rather for you to use the ser­vices of a debt-col­lect­ing com­pany. Find a pro­fes­sional one with a good track record and you can rest as­sured they will know the le­gal rights of your clients and you as a busi­ness­man. What they charge gen­er­ally de­pends on the amount of money they col­lect, so it could be worth your while.

What you need to do is fo­cus on your busi­ness and what you’re good at, and leave the busi­ness of col­lect­ing debt to those who know how to han­dle it. This will give you peace of mind and save you a lot of stress. One thing you can do is to start stream­lin­ing the list of clients you can give credit to and those you can’t.

‘The most painful thing is los­ing your­self in the process of lov­ing some­one too much, and for­get­ting that you are spe­cial too’

– ERNEST HEM­ING­WAY IN MEN WITHOUT WOMEN

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