I'm interested in setting up a business to help people (I'm thinking mostly self-employed professionals) deal with clients who don't pay.
The plan is to have two strands: (1) buying bad debt of solvent clients (i.e. people who won't pay, rather than can't pay); and (2) help set clients up with appropriate procedures to avoid bad debts.
My background is as a lawyer, in which I saw clients who had this problem, had let it get to be a big problem, and had the money to pay lawyers to pursue accounts by the hour.
My first question is how prevalent a problem is this? My second question is how do I find people with this problem?
Edit (to reflect my answer to Gary E's question): The specific advantages of what I plan to offer are:
- Because I would be buying the debt, my customers would not incur any up front cost or any risk of having to pay more than they recover; and
- I will help them avoid bad debts, and reduce the pain of bad debts that do occur, without them having to use my services as an outsourced credit control department. I plan to do this by offering advice, and perhaps selling appropriate CRM and accounting software.
In particular, I think this would be suitable for customers for whom factoring, especially disclosed factoring is unsuitable. (Disclosed factoring also potentially reducing bad debts).