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Credit Management

CICM Credit Community grows in stature as small businesses seek professional credit management support

By CreditMan Tuesday, July 14, 2015

The CICM Credit Community instigated by the Chartered Institute of Credit Management (CICM) on LinkedIn is generating record numbers of discussions and comments according to the CICM’s Head of Social Media, Tracy Carter.

Tracy says that the concept of ‘community’ is one that clearly resonates with a credit management audience: “Networking and sharing are two fundamentals of personal and career development that credit managers recognise and openly embrace,” she says. “They are also fundamental to ensuring the continued success of the CICM and its members.”

Growing the membership of the CICM is a key imperative for the Chief Executive Philip King, and he is encouraged to see how discussions around learning and development continue to be popular. But he is similarly interested in how businesses are continuing to seek professional credit management advice, especially when it comes to keeping the cash flowing: “In a recent discussion we asked the Credit Community members, ‘as an experienced professional, what would be the one piece of advice you would give to a small business to succeed and grow?’

“Not surprisingly, most of the comments related to the practical basics of good credit management such as knowing your customer, assessing the risk, invoicing promptly, and not being afraid to ask for payment when it’s due.

“But the discussion made me realise that while such tips are useful they don’t resolve the more fundamental issue where a small business lacks the underlying skills and expertise needed to carry out the basics effectively. We often assume that a small business won’t have credit management skills in-house, and that’s not necessarily true. Many do. But there are still many who don’t and we need to point them towards alternative solutions.”

Philip highlights the many different types of help that are available to small businesses through the CICM and its members, from the Managing Cashflow Guides to dedicated mentoring and support. He is also pleased with the recent government initiative to encourage greater numbers of apprentices, and the appointment of Anna Soubry, Minister of State for Small Business, to give a greater voice for small businesses at the Cabinet table.

“Having people, or access to people, who are at the top of their game, well qualified, up-to-date on regulatory/legislative issues, and who understand the true value and role of credit management will make a real difference to helping our small businesses grow and succeed,” he concludes. “And these people are typically Fellows and Members of the CICM.”

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