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You don’t want to be considered a Scrooge by your customers, but waiting to collect until after the holidays can cost you — and your business — a lot of money.

There are several reasons why waiting out the holidays isn’t such a good idea. The biggest reason: Once the holidays are over, many of your customers are likely to have a pile of invoices to pay and to be much busier than they are now.

Some businesses actually slow down between Thanksgiving and the end of the year, which makes it an excellent time to reach out to folks about unpaid bills. Plus, the longer you wait, the harder it will be to get paid. But the key to collecting around the holidays is being respectful.

For example, you may be able to catch some customers in their offices on Christmas Eve, but you have to ask yourself if you really want to make a collection call on that day.

When you do call, depending on the circumstances, you may want to offer customers some type of discount if they settle their unpaid debts before the first of the new year.

When it comes to effective debt collection strategies over the holidays, sometimes the best approach is to lean on an experienced collections firm that can help you figure out the best strategy for both collecting outstanding debts and preserving relationships with customers. That way, you can put a plan in place that will start off the new year right.

The best reason to wrap up collections now: If you are considering selling your business in 2014, having less in overdue accounts will add value to your business.

If you would like a confidential, no-obligation analysis and discussion of what you can be doing now to prepare for when you are ready to put your business on the market, please call (888-893-6661) or e-mail ([email protected]). I serve customers nationwide. To learn more about my background and see customer recommendations, visit my LinkedIn profile at http://www.linkedin.com/in/dolansales or look around my website www.dolansales.com.