When a client owes you money, any interaction can be strained or even awkward. You want to maintain a good quality business relationship but you also have to talk about money... and that can be an uncomfortable conversation. While there are no guarantees that your clients will always pay on time, there are some things that you can do to get them to pay faster.
10 ways to get your clients to pay their invoices faster.
1. Invoice Quickly and Regularly
The earlier that you can send an invoice for any projects or work, the better. If the work is paid on retainer, invoices should be sent regularly, such as the same day of the month.
2. Offer Retainer Payments
When a client is using your goods and services for the long term, a retainer payment makes the cost more manageable. Payments can be made monthly or any other repeating time frame, as necessary.
3. Include Payment Terms in Contracts
Every contract or agreement between your business and your client should include clear payment terms. These payment terms will dictate what happens when payments aren't made on time and any expectations around that.
4. Offer Incentives to Pay Early or In Full
If the client is on retainer, offer a discount if they can pay for the full year up front. You can also offer a small percentage discount for paying invoices earlier than the due date.
5. Charge Late Fees
When a client doesn't pay their invoices by the due date, they should expect a late fee from your business. These fees will be listed and agreed to in the payment terms of your signed contract.
6. Include Necessary Information on Invoices
Every invoice should offer a clear description of what was purchased, dates and costs, who to pay, when to pay, where and how to pay. Clients should know who sent the invoice and what is necessary to pay on time.
7. Communicate Often
Your client should never be surprised to receive an invoice from your business. Communicate regularly with your client contact and their accounts payable department so your invoice stays front of mind.
8. Send Friendly Payment Reminders
Part of your communication with your clients may be simple friendly reminders that a due date is approaching or that their invoice may be facing late fees for nonpayment. If you let them know ahead of time, your friendly interaction may be enough to prompt payment.
9. Set Boundaries Including Halting Work
When your clients know that you will stop work until you've been paid, they're more likely to keep their accounts current. As part of your payment and contract terms, a good working relationship means setting boundaries around expectations.
10. Hire Professionals to Clean Accounts Receivable
When you fall behind on collecting accounts receivable or find that your clients regularly pay late, you can hire a professional to figure out why. An accounts receivable clean up will examine current outstanding invoices, handle the burden of following up phone calls and offer best practices for preventing past due debts in the future.
If your client accounts are to be written off as bad debt, a commercial collections agency like Enterprise Recovery can help.
Only one invoice is needed to get started, no other commitments are necessary and there are no charges unless we collect. Click the green button below to learn more.