Getting paid on time
There’s nothing like the feeling of getting paid for what you do. Whether it’s every week, two weeks or once per month, logging into your account and seeing that you’ve received payment is sweet. But taking it from another perspective, nothing sucks more than when a payment is late or worse yet – not submitted at all. What’s the best way to keep the probability of this happening slim to none?
1. Invoice promptly and have all clients sign a contract
Develop a routine and send out your invoices on a specific day after your billing period ends. This will cut down on clients’ confusion and get them into a payment routine. Additionally, having all your clients sign a contract before doing business will help hold them accountable and protect you should they miss payment.
2. Provide a variety of payment options
Many people like having the option of online bill pay. Others may prefer sending in a check, money order, or paying by phone. By catering to client needs and providing them with an option that works best for their style of business, you make it easier for them to submit payments on time.
3. Provide incentives for early payment
To encourage clients to pay their bill before the pay date, perhaps give a small discount for early payment. This can help bring in more of your payments before schedule, leaving fewer missing funds as due dates get nearer. You likely have other expenses that have to be paid with this money, so by making it beneficial for others to pay early, this also benefits you.
4. Make sure your invoices are error-free
Read over your invoices carefully before you send them out and make sure they’re free of mistakes. If a client gets an erroneous bill, they have to take time out of their day to call you to fix it, and they’re likely irritated at having to do so. This will decrease your chances of getting paid on time.
5. Start a backup plan for no-shows before they sink your business
If you have a client that’s continuously missed consecutive payments, you need to have a plan for how you will deal with this. You obviously can’t keep the doors open if a number of people don’t pay, so perhaps if it’s been more than two to three months, try to get in contact with someone at the company and negotiate a minimum payment that you will be willing to accept in order to clear their name.
If none of these things work, you can either terminate the relationship or take them to court with the signed contract you have in your possession.