The Urban Farmer: Dealing with Real World Troubles and Issues with Restaurant Customers, and How to Prevent Problems from Arising (FSFS36)

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How Curtis handles late payments

  • After a week of not getting a check when he is expecting one, he sends out a friendly reminder with a statement of open invoices attached.
    • If more time lapses then increases the frequency.
    • Then he calls and/or goes down there.
  • He typically will stop delivering if they keep saying the checks in the mail, when it clearly isn’t.
  • Switches to COD when someone creates a debit. 
    • He trys to work with the restaurant to come up with a payment plan.  So he can still deliver product to them restaurant and re-coop some of the debit on each invoice.
      • If you can keep working with them, it’s mutually beneficial because they need the product to generate cash flow to pay you back.
  • He has started doing COD across the board for all new customers starting out. 
    • The first year is all COD, then if payments have been steady he can talk about going to terms.

Lessons learned dealing with customers

  • It’s important to try to establish a diverse customer base and with a variety of market streams.  It spreads around your risk.
    • The odds of all of those customers and markets being slow and/or going under at the same time is low.
    • Then he calls and/or goes down there.
  • Problems will happen.  Be ready to adapt so they don’t happen again.
  • You need to always be thinking ahead to protect yourself?
    • What if something changes?
    • What if something goes wrong?
    • How will that affect your business?
    • Do you have a Plan B?

Learn More from Curtis Stone:

Read The Urban Farmer book

Listen to The Urban Farmer audiobook

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