Your business can thrive if you can get your money to reach you faster and with less interruptions. Imagine what you could do with cash flows that moved easily and stayed constant. Consider the following tips to help your company cut out unnecessary wait for payment:
1. Do your homework
Make sure the company you do work for has money. Find out if they are going through any kind of bankruptcy. A company is serious about doing business with you when they back up their plans with payment. Consider asking for a deposit to make sure they are serious.
2. Always send an estimate.
Clear, up-front communication is the best way to establish expectations with your clients. When you do work for a client who has received your estimate, the client won’t be surprised by the cost on the invoice. The best way to ensure and speed up payment is to take away any possible excuses for delay or non-payment. Cover your bases and let your clients know what they should expect up-front.
The company that asks to get paid will be paid much more frequently than the company that is timid about follow-up. And follow-up doesn’t need to be abrasive or uncomfortable. If you have done work for a company, you can expect payment and on the terms that you have established. It’s your legal right, and every client can be held to that standard politely and professionally.
4. Cloud accounting software
Moving all or part of the office to the cloud is a great way to manage your clients. You can keep information in one very accessible place. Cloud accounting is web-based and can be reached from any device that connects to the internet. You and your team members can access the client and financial information you need from any operating system, and from any mobile device.
5. Go mobile
Use your cloud accounting software to bill from your phone—even while you’re still meeting with a client. It’s easy, just pull up an invoice template and fill it out. After emailing it to your client, you can ask your client to check their inbox. The faster and more efficient your invoicing process is, the quicker you will receive payment.
6. Accept credit card payments
Use an online invoicing software that accepts credit card payments. Clients will pay sooner when they have payment options. And when credit card payment is available, you enable clients with the flexibility of using their credit—increasing their likelihood of paying you sooner.
7. Change your terms
Consider changing the credit terms on your invoices. For example, if you have a 30-day term for payment, consider changing from a “net 30” to “payment-upon-receipt.” Don’t let the long wait for payment put your company in danger. Often, you are waiting for money that your client is already prepared to send.