When you can’t promise a payment amount and date, don’t; promise what you can, even if that’s only the date and time you’ll next communicate. Target the creditors hurting your cash flow most for comprehensive renegotiation. Take your new business plan and meet in person if possible.

Let’s say you owe XYZ Company $20,000, all past due. You might get that $20,000 switched from a trade payable to a long-term, five-year installment note, interest only for the first year, and agree on new purchases to pay one-third with order, one-third on delivery, and one-third in 30 days.

Facing trouble head-on, more often than not, earns respect and promotes cooperation.

Dan S. Kennedy

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