Are you Frustrated?
Posted October 28, 2015
Are You Frustrated with Getting Clients to Pay On Time? Here’s what You Can Do!
Like most small businesses you probably don’t have a bank account that can stand too many unpaid invoices before its starts to become a serious cash-flow problem. It can be a real bummer waiting on customers to pay up, and its even more frustrating when you have your own vendors and employees waiting to be paid. No one enjoys making those tense, demanding phone calls or leaving multiple messsages paving the way to an all out, “I-declare-War” match. You’ve done everything but resort to public shaming. Don’t do it! It’s bad for business. Instead, use this as an opportunity to make a few tweaks to your system and turn those first lessons into last lessons.
When searching for ways to speed payments, keep in mind that the most effective solutions are often the most simple. And the invoice that you send to your client is going to be the most important tactic of all. With a few minor changes, tweaks, and adjustments to your methods, you can actually speed payments from customers and increase your chances of getting paid.
Stop Using “Payment Due on Receipt”
Often times when a client reads the all too familiar, “Due on Receipt,” they ironically tend to generalize the statement to translate the exact opposite. It is also usually received as unrealistic. Instead, without a future date posted, these invoices are most often cast aside into,”the get to it when you can” pile. This places you at the mercy of whichever due date the client chooses (which is likely based on their usual A/P payment terms ). But there is an easier way:
Consider Altering Your Terms to Net 15:
When you set your terms to Net 15 there’s an actual due date. This increases the probability that the client will plug in a reminder to keep them on track, and like the old saying goes, “When you know better, you do better.” But just remember that though terms like net 30, net 60, etc. make a lot of sense on the business end, customers don’t always know what they mean. By simply changing the wording and using the term, “payment due in 15 days,” over the term net, will help customers identify with the meaning and get you paid on time.
To set payment terms in QuickBooks click Gear > Company Settings > Sales > Sales form content > Preferred invoice terms. Considering Sending an Online In
Print-out and email invoicing are great, especially when the client is looking to keep a paper trail. Most company’s still do business this way, but it is less efficient. The time it takes to create the invoice, put it in an envelope, and mail it to the client, can seem like the Pony Express in hopes of seeing cash anytime soon.
On top of that, the process of creating and re-using templates and entering information twice and keeping track of bill and payment folders can be time consuming. And keeping on top of invoices by email doesn’t make things much easier. But online invoices not only make it easier for customers to pay, but this method also provides you with a detailed activity feed that keeps you updated with tracking history. It provides details about your customers conversations and interactions. Online invoices even lets you know exactly when the client received and viewed the invoice!
To set it up, click Gear > Company Settings > Sales > Online delivery > Email options for invoices > Online invoice. Create an invoice and click Save and send. You customer gets an email with a link to a payment page. Before you send your invoice, Check in with your client:
Being sure to establish a connection between finishing the work and getting paid can make all the difference in solidifying relationship with your client. This clears away any potential obstacles that may prevent or delay payment (such as customer dissatisfaction or misunderstandings about procedures) and ultimately seals the deal in terms of the agreement. Simply checking up with the client prior to sending the invoice and asking questions helps to ensure that the information is correct and received as expected. For example, questions like, “Is there anything specific that you need me to include in the invoice detail, such as a purchase order, number, or breakdown of services?” goes a long way. It saves you from having to re-invoice due to missing and incorrect information and further increases the likelihood or receiving payment without resistance.
Sending an email prior to invoicing may cost you more time up-front, but saves you money down the road. Tell them that you appreciate their business, outline the terms of the agreement and the due date. Then, let them know that if there are any questions they can contact you at any time and that you will be sending an invoice soon. This provides the client an opportunity to respond to you with valuable feedback. Acknowledging the terms of your agreement also serves as a booster enhancing your customer service.
Last, but not least, remember the golden rule: simply saying please and thank you in your invoice has been statistically proven to increase the percentage of invoices paid on-time by 5 percent! Who knew!?
Contact us today at LRB Business Centers (703-519-7954) for all of your QuickBooks and bookkeeping needs. We are here to help you delegate and grow! At LRB we give small businesses BIG IMPRESSIONS.