Encouraging clients to pay invoices on time or faster can be exhausting for small business owners. If your clients are not paying their invoices, you will be out of business. After all, unpaid invoices can choke off your cash flow. Worrying about payments and accounts receivable takes away the time and effort you should be using to improve your business.
Unless you are willing to go through a costly and stressful legal process to get your payment, your best option is to work with clients to prevent late or non-payments from happening. Here are some of the best ways how to get a client to pay their bill.
Clients may not be inclined to pay upfront because they will want to see the project first. However, you can still try to ask for a down payment for your service. You can break the project up into milestones or checkpoints. For example, if you’re a writer, you can ask the client for payment for every three blog posts completed. If this strategy doesn’t work, you can try the next method.
Send the Completed Project After Payment
This method works best if you’re dealing with clients who weren’t able to pay you on time. Tell them that the project is complete and ready to deliver. Provide a preview of the project as proof and then send an invoice.
Invoice On Time
Invoice your clients on time, and you will be paid on time. The soonest time you send an invoice, the soonest time your client can pay you. Sending invoices on time also shows you are punctual. Missing a deadline, sending a late invoice, or any kind of late correspondence shows that timeliness and urgency don’t matter to you. It’s also a good idea to keep a template that you can fill with info easily and quickly. That way, you can send an invoice immediately.
Follow A Payment Schedule
Following a payment schedule can also help you get paid regularly and on time. If you’re following a 30-day schedule billing period, you shouldn’t switch over to a 21-day schedule the next month. You need to follow the same calendar. Using precise terms like 30 days seems to focus the mind of the client around a specific period. You will get paid faster this way.
Include Invoice Payment Terms and Late Fees in the Contract
Your client will know what to expect when working with you by including the payment terms and late fees in the contract. The contract should outline the billing schedule as well as penalties for late payments.
Use a Retainer-Based Model
A retainer-based model can make the payment process simpler because if your client knows he is paying the same amount each month, he won’t need to look over an invoice to make sure everything has been charged and paid correctly. He can just set up recurring billing and link his bank account to your account so that he can pay his bills on time. This method is particularly useful for those who charge by the hour or by the project.
Bill More Often
Debt collection is exhausting and time-consuming, so don’t wait for your client’s invoices to accumulate before you ask them for payment. If you want to change the billing period, you should discuss that with your clients and say it in a way that highlights the benefit to them. For instance, you can say that you want to make payments as manageable as possible for them.
Offer Payment Plans
Some people want to pay their bills but are unable to. Others will avoid your phone calls. Unforeseen expenses or errors in budgeting can affect their cash flow. They need to compensate their employees and fund their operations before they pay you. If they can’t pay you on time, consider offering payment plans. For example, add a portion of their overdue bills to subsequent ones or bill more often.
Be Flexible With The Payment Method
Some clients prefer electronic payment systems, but you should be flexible with other clients’ payment method. After all, we have different preferences. For example, you can accept payment from a check, credit cards, or direct deposit.
Maintain a Great Relationship with Your Clients
By maintaining great client relationships, you’ll be more likely to get paid on time. You can offer a bonus service or feature clients in your content to show them how special they are. People love rewards, so take advantage of this fact. You can also send a personalized gift to your key client contacts. Even a simple thank you note will let them know they are important to you. This may seem exhausting, but it will definitely pay off in the long run.
Sometimes, reminding clients to pay their bills can be uncomfortable and awkward. However, you need them to pay their bills on or before the due date. Follow the tips stated above, and you will definitely get your invoices paid.