Good small business reads #29: How to hire, manage fast growth, and get money out of late-payers

I don’t know what happened to June, but somehow I neglected to put out an issue of Good Small Business Reads. So to make sure I don’t also miss July – which is also certain to fly by since I’ll be packing to move to North Carolina – here are this month’s recommended reads.

First up is help on a perennial problem faced by small business owners and those of us who are self-employed: clients who pay late. An article from YFS Magazine entitled “Liar, Liar: How Entrepreneurs Should Deal with Late Payment Excuses” offers great advice on how to deal with slow payers. This is an issue that can bring your business down if you don’t master the art of collecting what’s owed you in a timely fashion. I’ve seen many friends struggle with this because they hesitate to be the squeaky wheel, but, honestly, there is nothing wrong with asking to be paid promptly.

One trick I learned long ago is to make the accounts payable person at any client your new best friend. If you’ve opened a channel of communication with the person who actually cuts the checks, you can often get the inside scoop on when your check will actually be in the mail.

Donna Fuscaldo, writing for, offers up six steps for hiring the right job candidate. While most of the steps are common sense things that every employer should already be doing, I am always amazed at the haphazard fashion in which some small business people go about interviewing and hiring. For example you should have a pre-determined set of questions that you ask everyone. This will make it easier to compare candidates with one another.

Another article from YSF Magazine that caught my eye recently was “Business Growing Too Fast? 4 Steps to Management Rapid Expansion.” Yes, I’m sure rapid growth is a problem we’d all like to have! But if growth isn’t handled properly, it can actually put a business in danger. Clients may become dissatisfied because you’re so overwhelmed that you can no longer respond to their needs in a timely way or quality may drop because you simply have too much work to do.

I’m a big believer in the first step this article advocates: Charge more! This has long been my advice to fellow freelancers. Do not be the low priced solution that attracts clients who are making decisions based solely on price instead of quality. Price so that you get fair value for your skills and experience.

Happy reading! I hope you all have a great 4th of July.

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