Late payments are suffocating UK SMEs
UK SMEs are turning to debt collection agencies for guidance and support Alev Takil/

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the UK are facing a growing concern over late payments, according to a report by the UK's Federation of Small Businesses (FSB). With the cost of living crisis and rising inflation, delayed payments add to the many issues these businesses are experiencing.

As the UK economy continues to face ongoing challenges, small businesses are fighting hard to stay afloat and prove their resilience. To ensure their financial stability, many SMEs are turning to debt collection companies for guidance and support.

Just like the meteoric rise of BNPL schemes in the country, people are developing a habit of delaying payments for the things they purchase and services they use. The study by FSB found that over half of the UK's small businesses had experienced delayed payments in the previous three months, with construction, education, administration, science, logistics, and IT sectors being the most affected. Frontline Collections, a Debt Collection Agency, has advised London business owners to take immediate action in the event of a late payment or risk never receiving money at all.

Almost a million small businesses are located in London, and if nothing is done to address the problem of delayed payments, according to experts, millions of jobs could be at risk. Expert debt collection companies are aiding in mitigating the problem and recovering millions of pounds in the process.

Tony Meadows, the New Business Manager at Frontline Collections, stressed the importance of swift action, warning that some businesses wait too long to act and ultimately, risk going out of business.

He said: "Whilst we can help most recover what they're owed, unfortunately for some, they leave it too long to act."

Meadows noted that UK businesses that interact with the public more frequently are now having problems. He highlighted some sectors, like veterinarians, nurseries, private schools, and dentists, among others, as UK SMEs currently experiencing non-payments.

Late payments not only affect a company's cash flow and resources but also have negative impacts on business owners' mental health, according to a recent poll. The British government has made several efforts, yet many firms still experience payment-related problems on a daily basis.

Moreover, thousands of businesses were forced to close throughout the winter since the energy cost cap did not include them, which has only worsened the issue. The FSB has made several recommendations to the government to address the issue, including urging large companies to commit to maximum payment terms for small business suppliers by 2027.

According to some estimates, the severity of the problem could result in hundreds of thousands of enterprises failing by 2023, putting millions of jobs at risk. There is an increasing need for greater controls in this area, given that 37 per cent of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises seek credit to manage their cash flow, and 62 per cent of the public thinks that business payments should be made within a week.

The UK's FSB recently published a report titled 'Time is Money' that included alarming figures on late payments in the small business sector. Surprisingly, 52 per cent of UK small businesses reported experiencing late payments in the corresponding quarter last year.

To avoid the time-consuming and expensive chore of pursuing unpaid invoices, UK businesses are turning to professional debt collection specialists for assistance. It can be time-consuming to pursue past-due accounts when that time would be better spent concentrating on clients already making payments.

As a result, many UK small businesses seek assistance from reputable UK debt collection companies. UK businesses of all sizes have significantly benefited from the support provided by debt collection companies in the country as they battle late payments and unpaid debts.