Here is blog post number 28 about getting paid by your customers. This material is taken from the article, “How to Collect from Anyone (Even Enron)” found in Inc. Magazine,
Way to get paid #28: Think Like A Retailer: Last year, for the first time since he’s been in business, Rolf Albers began accepting credit-card payments. That may seem unremarkable, but Albers’s customers are not consumers — they’re corporations like Lucent Technologies, Emerson Electric, and other makers of telecommunications and electronics equipment. So Albers, accustomed to receiving corporate checks, never thought he needed to accept credit cards. But he noticed that the following scenario happened a lot: A customer’s employee would be in the field wiring up business phones and would suddenly discover that he needed a part. The installer would call Albers directly — as opposed to going through his own company for the part — which would allow him to complete the job on the same day and not disappoint his customer. The installer would typically say something like, “Just bill it to my company.” And Albers, wanting to please his own customers, would comply. But that led to all sorts of collection disputes and problems. Typically, installers would forget to tell their companies that they’d needed the extra part. So now Albers accepts credit cards from the installers and contractors who work for his large customers. That way, the installer or contractor can still get a part immediately, but now it’s the installer or contractor who is facing the cash crunch. Albers gets paid right away, albeit minus the credit-card merchant fees.