It's great to have sales. It's even better to get paid. As a small-business owner one of the challenges I've run into is getting paid in a timely manner, for some services. Who wants to spend their days sending emails for the umpteenth time that say: "Kindly pay this..."? It's annoying, frustrating and time consuming.
Now, there's a new site that handles the tedious process of managing the receivables and collections, specifically for SMBs (small- to medium-sized businesses) and freelancers. About 40% of freelancers struggled to get paid in 2011, according to the Freelancers Union.
ZenCash, which has been self-funded since forming last year, announced its official launch Monday as a new way to tie in your receivables from Quickbooks, Freshbooks, Harvest, Blinksale, to name a few bookkeeping resources, into a new service that lets you manage the entire collection process from reminders to dealing with collection agencies.
The way it works is people register to ZenCash and tie in their bookkeeping information. You wouldn't want to do it manually, so ZenCash syncs up with your current bookkeeping software of choice. Once your information is in the ZenCash system, you can choose how to deal with late payments. Basically, you can put in the dates and times you want certain reminders to be sent out. If a receivable is 15 days past due, you might schedule a card to be sent out.
ZenCash sends out actual cards. "It's a great way to remind customers that you're there and that you care," said Brandon Cotter, CEO and founder of ZenCash, in an interview with me.
To mail out a note, it costs about $2, a small price to pay ZenCash believes for small businesses that want to push the envelope in customer service.
You can also schedule calls to be made. ZenCash has a call center with customer service reps that can make a call for you for $3 a call.
"We did a fair amount of looking at what were our underlying costs and how cheaply we could provide these services for," Cotter explained, after I asked him about the pricing. "We also talked to a lot of SMBs and asked what they'd pay."
Finally, if you don't think you'll get the funds, you can use ZenCash to put your receivable in the hands of collection agencies. Small businesses only pay ZenCash if they were successful in getting funds paid. Once they are, ZenCash gets a small fee of the receivable paid, according to Cotter.
"We'll communicate in whatever makes sense," he said. " What gets us excited is that it's a big problem... There's a lot of small busineses that struggle with this type of diligence and discipline with receivables."