Do you often struggle with collecting the money due to you for services you’ve provided? Do you wish you could have a streamlined process that would make collection easier? I have a few tips for you that can hopefully help you in this process.
The first thing is to analyze your customers. Who are they and why are they coming to you? Have they had struggles in the past and may not have paid for their services before and that’s why they’re seeking someone new? You might want to do a credit check to make sure that they have the assets available and the great credit history that will allow them to pay your invoices.
Number two, I always suggest invoicing on a specific schedule. For instance, do you do it after the project is ended or do you do it on the 15th and the end of month? Maybe you do it once a month, but your clients know that the last day of the month is the day that invoice will be generated.
Making sure you stay on a set schedule is important. So the customer knows when to expect the invoice and that it’s important enough to you to invoice them. So it’s important enough for them to pay you timely.
Number three, making sure the client knows what exactly they’re paying for. Have your invoices specify what is covered on the invoice. And if it’s something that’s recurring monthly, have it spelled out at the beginning of the engagement, as well as on the invoice, if the client knows upfront what they’re paying for, there’ll be less likely to avoid sending you the funds.
And I often suggest actually having monies prepaid instead of waiting after the services provided to invoice them. Most clients know at least a deposit is probably required. And nowadays, providing funds upfront and then getting the service is reasonable.
If you have issues collecting, then there are other things you can look into such as contacting them within a specific number of days after the invoice is due, making sure they receive the invoice in the first place. If it’s been dropped in the mail, it could have been lost or misdelivered, so touching base with a kind note or a quick call is important. If they fail to follow up with you, then a more specific request for funds would be necessary. And again, making sure that you have spelled out to your customer what is expected of them and how often you’ll be sending those invoices, what the terms are, whether it’s five days, 10, 15, end of month, or maybe even due on delivery. Making sure the customer completely understands your process will help you get your payments on time.