Crowding Out Bad Debt
The only thing worse than having no customers is having bozos who don't pay their bills. As a small business owner, you can't afford to work with companies that string you along for payment. Short of "payment in advance" terms, the only way to protect yourself from slow paying leeches and outright deadbeats is to have a good credit management process in place. You'll want to: Check new customers' credit rating with one of the credit reporting agencies (more on that later). Have a formal credit application process. Require and carefully check references, etc.