Late payments are such a pain in the back. It hurts when you don’t have resources to carry the burden of your expenses and un-wantedly have to be dependent on your clients to pay you off at the earliest. This is not the way a business should be run.
Has your business suffered lately? If yes, then you must have been doing it the wrong way. You seldom want to go after your clients for your payments, but it’s something you can’t overlook. You need it for smooth working of your business, so you got to help yourself.
Yes, you’re on your own, because it’s your business. If apparently, you see a payment gap pulping up, act now. Now, what do you have to do in order to keep it balanced? I’m giving you some short and crisp tips to know where you are and how to fill-in the payment dig –
- Know them in and out
Well, you must know who your customer is. Double check their address, be it the postal one or the email one. Have a word or two with the one responsible to make the payments. A renowned invoicing software could help you store details like, customer’s data, invoices, pending invoices, email conversations, etc.
- Transparency in terms
Your invoice should echo the payment terms and late fee related things to avoid goofing up later. Offer a discount for an advance payment. Let’s say 5%, if the payment reaches you in full within 10 days.
- Should you procrastinate? Not at all
Procrastination is a big No, when it comes to any business transaction, let alone invoice. You must not wait even a single day before sending an invoice across. Keep it like this – work done; send invoice. Be proactive enough to do this and you might get your money in no time. Spare yourself the horror of chasing.
- No leniancy accepted
Okay, so it’s a friend that got the work done for you. Great! But hey, don’t show your friendly side when dealing with them. It’s a good feeling to give some leverage to your friend-turned-client, but this is not the way you run a business. Don’t leave a single chance to save your business from being hurt.
- Ask and confirm
If you haven’t heard from them, there’s a strong possibility they have missed it. Call and enquire if they had received the invoice. This reminder can make way for an immediate payment. You could create a personal touch during your conversation with your client, depending upon your tone and voice modulation. That’s something you have to develop on your own, unless it’s not gifted.
- Send automatic reminders
Now this is some beef. Such reminders can be sent using an invoicing software that offers this feature. You can send reminders before, let’s say 2 days before the payment is due or send one again after the payment is overdue informing about late payments too.
- Merge professionalism with politeness
This is in lieu with you dealing with your friend. Yes, your friendship should not come in between the business. Inculcate professionalism in all your business meetings and deals. It’s okay if a client pays late someday, but that doesn’t entitle you to talk rash or never do a deal in the future. Where’s your polite attitude? Bring it out and keep using words like, ‘Thank you’ and ‘Please’.
- Flexible payment options
This one could really leave a lasting impression on your clients. The ease of paying anytime, and anywhere could fetch you a favor. Give your clients the flexibility to pay through any medium they want, viz. cheque, cash, or online methods. You could also give them an option to choose from multiple payment gateways to make billing painless. These days, people prefer to pay online, though. It’s much easier as compared to any other payment method.
- Consider taking down-payments
You might not require one, but it’s better if you ask for one. You could call this more of a partial payment, but at-least it helps you continue smooth business operations. Some may feel offended, however and not agree to pay. But, your terms are clear and you stand the right to demand an amount upfront. Don’t be apprehensive when you do this.
- Contact a legal authority, if need be
Getting a legal opinion is always a good thing. Do this when there are more defaulters than clients that add value to your business.
You might already have applied some of them, but I’m sure there must be a few you would want to imply immediately. Again, do it now. Don’t delay actions. And tell me if you had similar experiences of late payments. And how did you get over defaulters. Tell me your story.. Start participating…
Hitesh Bubbar is a Social Media Enthusiast who has been consulting and helping people excel in developing effective marketing strategies. He presently writes for Invoicera, an
http://www.invoicera.com/”>online billing and
http://www.invoicera.com/time-tracking.html”>time tracking software that simplifies your billing and invoicing needs.