Do you wait and wait and wait for your clients to pay?
If so, you’re not alone.
Every single business owner has experienced this. It’s never fun having to chase down payments from your clients.
It’s even worse when you know other businesses don’t need to stress over their payments as you do. So if you want to get paid on time, here are 6 ways to help:
1. Send invoices right after the job is done.
Don’t let days turn into weeks, and weeks turn into months. Be proactive and send the proper paperwork as soon as possible after the job is done.
TIP: Make sure you print your invoice or send it electronically with a professional-looking template that doesn’t look too pricey or too cheap. You want your potential clients to trust that you have their best interests at heart, not just your clients. Also, to make sure you don’t lose any payments or checks due to slow payments, consider creating invoices as soon as orders come in (if not before).
2. Get Paid by Credit Card
Some clients will accept credit cards as a form of payment. If this is an option for your customers, you should certainly take advantage of it. You’ll be paid quickly, and there are fewer chances for the payment to be disputed, which has happened to me more than once.
3. Establish a payment policy.
Many businesses wait until their clients or customers don’t pay to establish a payment policy, even though waiting could hurt their chances of getting paid on time. Establishing a clear and concise policy can protect you and show your clients that you’re serious about getting paid and that the customer is expected to pay on time.
4. Invite your client to coffee once a year or once every six months.
Ask them if they’d be interested in paying you overtime to avoid large lump-sum payments for yearly services (e.g., website maintenance, social media management).
5. Be clear from the beginning.
This step is so important. When you have your initial conversations with your potential clients, have a clear understanding of when they expect to pay you. It’s important to note this in your contract or add a clause that clearly states when they will pay you. So many clients will expect you to negotiate and then try to get out of this clause later on. Don’t let them do that!
6. Require upfront payments for non-essential services
One way to ensure you get paid on time is to require payment upfront for non-essential services and products (those not required by the client). For example, if a client wants to purchase three extra months but only wants to pay for two, it might be wise to make
them pay for all three upfront. We’ve found this makes it much more likely to pay on time because they don’t want their credit card to get declined.
By following these simple steps, you have a better chance of being paid on time without having to double-check your invoice. It can be so frustrating when you are waiting for your money on time, but making sure that you follow up with clients on payment dates will help ensure that your cash flow stays steady.