16 April 2012
SMEs continue to show a marked appetite for improving their cashflow and are actively seeking out the expert advice and resources that will help them to do so, according to a leading business organisation.
The Institute of Credit Management (ICM) reports that downloads of its popular series of Managing Cashflow guides, produced in association with the Department of Business Innovation and Skills (BIS), have now exceeded the 300,000 mark and show no signs of slowing, as monthly download rates continue to rise.
Of the 13 guides available, the most sought after is the ICM's Payment Terms guide, which provides straightforward advice for small businesses on potential pitfalls when agreeing payment terms. In total this particular guide has seen more than double the number of downloads of each of the other guides, a trend which Philip King, Chief Executive of the ICM, suggests is indicative of the chief concerns of small enterprises:
"Since the economy remains a volatile environment for businesses of all sizes, more and more SMEs are turning to resources that can better equip them to improve their cashflow and their prospects," he says. "In particular, there is widespread interest in acquiring a greater level of awareness and understanding around payment terms and their implications."
The guide warns against the dangers of making assumptions about terms and asserts that formally agreeing them beforehand is essential. It also advises SMEs to be attentive of any changes to wording in documents from a customer, and provides suggestions for deterring late payment or prompting action from an evasive debtor.
After the Payment Terms guide, the Invoicing and Knowing Your Customer guides have also shown increasingly high download rates, says Philip: "The ICM fully supports businesses taking action to make themselves more informed and better protected," he continues, "and I am pleased that these latest download figures - reaching almost a third of a million in total - demonstrate that an ever growing number of businesses are taking advantage of our proffered help and support, and furthermore, show the continued success of the ICM's partnership with BIS."
The latest addition to the Managing Cashflow series, Managing Cash When It's Time To Invest, was produced in association with both the Finance & Leasing Association (FLA) and the National Association of Commercial Finance Brokers (NACFB), and is a guide on the financial assistance available for SMEs looking to invest in vital but expensive business equipment.
All 13 guides in the series can be downloaded from http://www.creditmanagement.org.uk/.