Getting Paid Faster as a Smaller Business
Securing a contract is often the easiest stage in negotiations with clients who later choose to delay payment to smaller companies and service providers.
If you own or manage a small business or contracting firm, you’ll understand how frustrating the payment process can be. Issues over invoices, late payments, and even complete radio silence from your client can throw your entire business plan off track.
Moreover, in your role as a hands-on manager, it is highly likely you don’t have the time to chase multiple missing payments and could otherwise focus your attention on more productive activites.
With this in mind, it can be useful to to develop a strategy that will help you get paid faster – and on time.
Invest in invoicing software
If you’re still creating invoicing by hand, combing through files and folders trying to find client information and trying to work out the right calculation every time, then you’re going to love invoicing software. FreshBooks.com offers a simplified solution to your billing and invoicing responsibilities, helping you create professional-looking invoices within seconds, complete with customizable options.
When your invoices are slick, accurate and professional looking you're 2x more likely to be paid faster. Not only that, but this innovative invoicing software means you can schedule automated invoices for your clients as well as friendly payment reminders. Essentially, doing all the hard work for you. Using invoicing software means you'll streamline your entire billing process and get yourself paid faster, every time.
Keep your payment terms clear
From the offset, your payment terms should be made clear to all your clients. That way there is no room for inaccuracies or misunderstandings when it comes to the payment date. Your invoice should never contain anything that wasn't already pre-agreed when the contract was made.
Be conscious of the language you use
You might imagine using jargon will make your business sound more professional but it can also blur lines of clarity. Something, you should try to avoid if you want to be paid on time. Avoid complicated phrases, and particularly the phrase, "payment due upon receipt" which can be replaced with a plain statements that can't be misinterpreted, such as "payment due in 30 days" or on a specific, agreed-upon, date.
Make payment easier
If your client must set up a bank transfer or make a call to make a payment, then may slow your payment processes. Keeping things simple and accessible for your clients will streamline the process and help you get paid faster. Mobile payment options, credit and debit card options are much better suited to today's business dealings. No more cheques or waiting in line at the bank!
Following up on late payments
If a payment deadline has already passed, waiting another week before you touch base with your client is likely to waste even more time. A more effective strategy is usually to send a polite reminder by email the day after the default. Strategies sometimes adopted include disguising any request as an opportunity to receive feedback on work delivered or completed. Either way, clients should be left aware they need to make payment.