A combination of late payments from debtors and lack of knowledge of business skills and support available is sending self employed and small business owners into an average of £10,000 of debt according to a study.

A study has found late payments, paired with business management skills shortages are affecting the self employed. The study by a leading debt charity said over half of those seeking them owed more than £10,000 last year. With 15% of UK workers “self employed”, the government is being urged to address the problems.

Late payments and lack of assistance are sending self employed business owners into debt

Late payments causing headaches

Over our experience, AYOM has encountered many cases of late payment. This often happens after debtors ignore 30, 60 or 90 day term periods. This is compounded when inexperienced self employed business owners don’t know what help is available. There are calls for the government to provide more education and support to the self employed. It is very hard work to own your own business but with the right tools, it can be rewarding.

We urge small business owners to call if they are experiencing trouble. There are places to get advice such as Business Debtline. If you are a business owner needing help with debtors however, we have expert advisers able to lay out your options. To find out more, check out our commercial debt page.

Small business power

There was some hope for small business owners recently. The budget last week indicating a business rates cut by a third. The cut should benefit 90% of small UK businesses. The downside of the budget however sees self employed workers’ tax bills rising from 2020.

Joanna Elson OBE from the Money Advice Trust spoke to the press about small businesses. “Many of the people behind these businesses are in need of advice and information at an earlier stage of their journey. There is support out there but the government needs to do more to proactively champion these opportunities to ensure that these businesses receive the help they need.”

The same trust has suggested more work including a single financial guidance body could be an answer. With small business owners needing advice and education, a unified advice body would be welcomed.

6 Week breathing space

Last year we wrote about a 6 week debt breathing space period. The move was being considered by the government at the time to help those in debt. While it has not yet come to fruition, it is still being considered with many feeling favourable over the idea. This would be a good move to help small business owners manage their cash flow.

To be effective, it would require both a grace period and advisory body to manage. The system could be abused by those putting off debt for 6 weeks, when ideally it should be a planning period. Whatever is to be put in place, we echo the trust in saying more support is needed for self employed and small businesses.

The vast majority of our customers are sole traders and small businesses. Many come to us as a last resort because they don’t have the support or knowledge with credit control. If you are a small business owner needing help with unpaid invoices or late payments, ask the experts. We are here to help whether it is just providing advice or collecting debts on your behalf. We also trace debtors and can perform credit checks for due diligence. If you’d like to contact us we are available on 0800 130 3357 or by emailing enquiries@ayom.co.uk. Get in touch today and make sure your business, no matter the size, has a positive cash flow.

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