UK small businesses are increasingly turning to legal measures to when chasing bad debt, with the volume of County Court Judgements brought by small businesses increasing by 23% from the first half of 2015 to the second.
The new analysis from fintech start-up Ormsby Street, the company behind free credit-checking tool,CreditHQ, involved the analysis of data from its 27,000-strong customer base to further reveal that the average value of a CCJ pursued by UK SMEs in 2015, was £4,619.
"Late invoice payment is fast becoming the scourge of small business in the UK, causing cash-flow issues that can impact growth and even the very existence of a business," said Martin Campbell, Managing Director, Ormsby Street. "Almost £5,000 is a significant amount for any small business to have to go to court to chase, and it is hugely unfair that a small business should have to spend its precious time and resource on chasing payment for work that has already been delivered."
CreditHQ is an online tool that allows a small business to check the credit status, payment performance and general financial health of any customer or partner, taking credit data from a variety of sources and presenting the analysis to customers via a simple traffic light ratings system. It also comes with letter and email templates for customers to download, to help with chasing invoices, collecting debts and issuing credit terms to the companies they trade with.
Small businesses signing up to CreditHQ in February can do so at the reduced rate of £15 a month, receiving financial insights into every company they trade with. This is part of a Valentine's Day campaign that allows a small business to find its 'perfect business match'.
Using a Tinder-style swipe mechanism, small businesses are presented with credit information on a business and are asked whether they would do business with that firm or not. Interested parties should enter VALENTINEHQ into the registration box and will also be entered into a prize draw to win a meal for two.
"Few small businesses have the time to spend chasing bad debt and taking companies to court, and nor should they have to," continued Martin Campbell. "Credit-checking potential customers and partners is really straight forward and can save untold time, money and hassle in the future. Unfortunately, small businesses cannot rely on people paying their invoices on time and they need to protect themselves against this, by learning who is likely to be a good payer and who is not."