Nothing is more frustrating for a business owner than to hustle and sweat to get a job done, only to not get paid by the client on time. While the client is always to blame, late payments can often be traced back to poor practices on your part. Are you doing everything you can to get paid on time, every time?
5 Tips for Getting Paid Faster
In an ideal world, you would perform a service, invoice the client, and the client would immediately present payment for the service. In this scenario, cash flow remains steady and there’s no need to spend valuable time chasing down payments and communicating with collections agencies. We don’t operate in an idealistic business world, but you can increase your chances of getting paid faster by doing the following:
- Build Better Relationships
One of three things happens when a client doesn’t pay you on time. In the first possible scenario, the client doesn’t get the invoice or genuinely forgets about it. In the second situation, the client doesn’t have the money to make the payment. In the third and final scenario, the client knows about the payment and has the money, but chooses not to make the payment.
Believe it or not, the third scenario is actually quite common. A client will prioritize his payments and may throw you to the bottom of the pile. This ultimately shows a lack of respect and speaks to the quality of your relationship with them. If you want to avoid these scenarios, you’ll have to invest in better relationships and foster mutual respect. A client is much less likely to put you off if they know you personally.
- Use a Reliable Invoicing Solution
Manually invoicing clients rarely leads to good outcomes. What you need is a fast and reliable invoicing app or solution that allows you to automatically send, track, and collect on payments. Every company has its own needs and preferences, but a leading invoice maker is Billdu. They currently have 50,000-plus users and the data shows they help them get paid up to 9 days sooner than other services.
- Send Invoices as Soon as Possible
One of the simplest tips is to send invoices as soon as possible. The longer you wait, the more likely it is you’ll get pushed to the bottom of the client’s stack of bills.
Another good tip is to consider sending multiple small invoices, as opposed to one large invoice. For example, spacing out five $1,000 invoices over the course of your work is typically preferred to one $5,000 invoice at the end of the project.
- Offer Discounts for Early Payment
Have you considered incentivizing your clients to pay early? One popular strategy is to offer “net 30” terms, which allow the client to deduct 1 percent of the amount owed if the payment is made within 10 days (as opposed to the standard 30 days). In the grand scheme of things, the one percent doesn’t hurt you very much. Getting paid three weeks early does save you the time and energy that would have gone into tracking down the payment.
- Follow Up Regularly
Finally, make sure you regularly follow up with clients after sending an invoice. Don’t just email an invoice and then assume it was received. Call, make sure everything is lined up, and then wait a few days. If you don’t hear from them, call again. The more you stay on top of the invoice, the more likely it is you’ll get paid faster.
Take a Proactive Approach to Invoicing
Invoicing isn’t something you can be passive about. It’s a business responsibility that requires you to be proactive. While you don’t want to pester your clients unnecessarily, you do need to make sure they know you’re serious about getting paid on time. By setting the standard upfront, you’ll endure less resistance in the future.