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Receiving Your Due

-- KNOW YOUR CUSTOMER: Investigate prospects' creditworthiness. Places such as Dun & Bradstreet (800 333-0505) or Experian (800 520-1221) sell company credit histories.

-- BE SMART ABOUT BILLING: Send invoices more than once a month, and add urgency by dating it with the next month.

-- CONSIDER IN-KIND PAYMENT: Accept free services, for instance, when a customer really can't come up with the cash.

-- WRITE FIRST, SUE LAST: Hire a lawyer to send a demand for payment on letterhead; it doesn't commit you to filing a costly lawsuit.

-- USE A COLLECTION AGENCY: Farming out bills can get results, but on average agencies take a 30% commission--and collect only 22 cents on the dollar.

Updated June 14, 1997 by bwwebmaster
Copyright 1996, Bloomberg L.P.
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