Being a debt collector isn't the most inspiring part of this journey (and honestly something I've put off for a while), but wanted to share here for transparency and to share lessons learned as we go 🤐
So, the background - since we introduced our first products earlier this year, we've issued 141 invoices in Australia, with the majority paid on time and in full.
In the last week, our freelance bookkeeper Carla has helped explain how to generate the list of outstanding amounts, to see what's missing after reconciliation (matching incoming amounts to invoices issued)
Here's where we stand at the moment:
- Total amount owing: $8090.27
- Number of shops overdue: 31
- Median amount owing per shop: $189
- Average amount owing per shop: $289
Yesterday I started the process of sending messages to the shops, re-sending the invoices and asking for help to check them. Felt awkward to send them, but it's something that have to get over and get comfortable with.
It's early but the handful of responses I've got back since then have been positive - folks who just missed the original emailed invoice, or thought it was paid by someone else (common in larger teams), or commitments to follow up - and a few payments have come in already which is nice.
Of course the real test will be over the next week as we see how the outstanding figure goes down, and if any don't reply and ignore our requests..
I guess the big lesson so far learned is to check on a regular basis for overdue payments, rather than hoping for the best that there would be little late payments. Anyway, better late than never and we're all set up now..
Having over $8k outstanding is a big cashflow problem, which as a bootstrapped project and one operating at zero profit (ie any shortfalls take us immediately into the negative) isn't great at all.
So, fingers crossed for the next week...
ps - figures are in AU and only for Aus customers, will do the check for other countries later on...