Credit checking your customers and setting credit limits

Credit checking new customers

Guide

In some circumstances, you might allow new customers credit without making the necessary checks in advance.

For new accounts making small orders, you could offer a 'fast-start limit' of around £500.

You could then apply the 80/20 rule to identify the largest accounts that make up 80 per cent of sales. Once you have identified your most important customers, credit check them as necessary.

Ideally, all customers should be credit checked so that the amount outstanding from them is controlled and future sales efforts can be focused on your most reliable customers - there is no point wasting time on customers who represent a greater financial risk.

For more information, see credit checking potential customers.

Ongoing monitoring

You should try to monitor accounts for trends, eg slowing payments, detailed queries regarding deliveries which consistently lead to delays in payment.

If you think that you have a problem with a customer, make checks as necessary, by:

  • using credit insurers
  • getting sales or credit staff to visit the customer
  • getting additional trade references