Do you find yourself waiting for invoices to be paid? Getting frustrated when you have to chase people for payment? It puts all sorts of pressures on small business owners and employees. Surely there’s a better way to get paid sooner? Quicker? More frequently? Here are some top tips to get paid quicker which really work!
It’s up to you to get your invoice sent as soon as you can after work is completed. This should be the next part of your workflow, your process after finishing a job for a client. If the invoice isn’t in the inbox of the customer they won’t pay it. I’m not saying that when it is there they will pay it straight away but you need to put that metaphorical ball on their side of the court. Once it is out of your hands and with them, your payment terms can begin.
Know Your Payment Terms
How long do you give clients to pay? You don’t have to have the same answer for all your customers. If one of them is notoriously bad at paying you might tighten those payment terms, bringing them down to 14 days so they understand the importance that bit more. For others you might regularly get paid quickly and so 30 days is fine as they usually pay within that anyway. Don’t be afraid to put them in bold on your invoice so they can’t be missed in the small print and also, know that you can add charges if they are unpaid. Detail all of this in your terms and when you send it over, you could even refer the customer to those terms so they are aware.
Organise Your Templates
Different clients required different things. Some need a purchase order number, others need reference codes or specific details relating to how they operate their business. If they are a regular client you can reuse the same invoice template each month and simply change the details before saving it with a different file name. A little bit of organisation can go a long way.
Offer A Discount
Give clients different ways to pay, easier ways to pay. Maybe start taking payments via PayPal which is often so much easier than setting up a new person on payment systems. If you visit clients you could invest in a card reader like iZettle or Square so they can pay whilst you’re on site, avoiding the need for invoices all together. Clients love getting a discount, it’s human nature. Whilst your payment terms might be 30 days, you could offer a 3% discount if the invoice is settled within 7 days. That might be the kick up the back end the client needs and you get your money sooner, with less frustration.
Know Your Accounts
When you keep on top of your accounts you know what is paid when. You can start to see a pattern from different clients and understand their payment trends. You can also see where you are perhaps dropping into your overdraft or don’t have enough money to pay salaries because of late payments. Work with your bookkeeper and make the receiving payments part of your business as smooth, professional and efficient as possible. If you need bookkeeping services, please get in touch with Clare at Bruton Young Bookkeeping.