There is nothing better than pay day for a small business owner. When that check arrives in the mail, all the stress and worry of wondering if bills are going to get paid is over for the moment. The money paid is for a job well done and all that hard work is being rewarded.
Unfortunately, many small business owners learn sooner or later that it is not uncommon for that payment to be late, if it even shows up at all. Instead of spending your days gathering new clients, you may spend a great deal of time chasing down the money. Below we offer some tips and techniques that we have used to help your business get paid consistently.
Why am I Not Getting Paid?
When dealing with a delinquent payment, it may be worth it to remember that most often the reason you are not getting paid isn’t personal. It is not uncommon for a business owner to get busy, misplace the invoice, or just plain forget to pay you. Paying the bills can be stressful, especially for those with a tight cash flow problem. It is not uncommon for a small business owner to ignore the stress of paying bills until it is critical for them to pay attention. So the next time your client is late, we suggest that you don’t jump to the conclusion that they are unhappy. This can make you short and irritable when confronting the client. Instead, explore the idea that they just haven’t remembered to pay you yet.
How Can I Get Paid More Consistently?
Asking for money can add a huge amount of stress to your day. However, this stress can be mitigated by focusing a little time every day on your businesses cash flow. This can help ensure that your cash flow problem doesn’t keep getting bigger. Rather, it stays managed and consistent.
Send the Invoice as Soon as Service is Completed
As a small business owner, you may feel a little hesitant to send your client an invoice immediately after you provide service. However, most small businesses know that they are paying a price for your service. If you have provided great service there is no need to hesitate when sending the final bill to your client. Acceptance of final services is acceptance of the final invoice. So as soon as the job is complete don’t hesitate to send your invoice.
Set Payment Terms Based on Your Business Needs
Don’t be afraid to set payment terms that work with your business needs. If you need money sooner than 30 days, then inform your client’s before the project, product or service begins. However, it is also important to be aware that certain businesses pay at a certain time without giving any regard to your actual payment terms. If they pay every 30 days, then don’t expect to see payment sooner. If you don’t know this information up front, then find out. It will help you plan out your budget as well as expectations as to when the business will reasonably pay you.
Make Your Invoices Easy to Read
Simplify your invoices as much as possible for faster processing. If a client has a hard time figuring out your invoice, your invoice could be rejected. Use product descriptions that the customer will understand and recognize. Without clear terminology, you may spend more time updating the invoice instead of getting paid. This can waste time and money. Make your invoices clear concise and easy to read.
Consider Electronic Invoicing
Sometimes there is nothing worse than checking the mail multiple times throughout the week to see if a check has arrived. If you are looking for ways to make your invoicing quick, easy and efficient then consider adding electronic invoicing as part of your collection tools. Electronic invoicing helps merchants to invoice customers via e-mail and allows customers to make payments by following an embedded link. Invoices are generated with line by line detailed information and automatically convert to PDF’s that are attached and sent to the customer’s e-mail address.
Additionally, if you invoice monthly then consider setting up a recurring billing payment option.
SecureGlobalPay’s Payment Gateway supports digital invoicing as well as three separate recurring billing options.
You will typically set up and bill a single cardholder via credit card or ACH e-Check, a specific dollar amount on a specific day for an indefinite or specified period of time.
Expanded/Plan Recurring Billing
With an expanded recurring billing option, you will create a payment plan that can be associated with an unlimited number of cardholders. The plan approach provides simplicity to your billing practices. When the time comes to update the plan you simply update the information in your SecureGlobalPay’s payment gateway and changes will affect all associated cardholders immediately.
Modifiable Recurring Billing
Using the Batch Upload feature, you will be able to create an excel spreadsheet, .CSV or .TXT file to be uploaded as often as needed. This feature provides the simplicity of recurring billing and the ability to change any related billing information including the dollar amount. If you elect to create an excel worksheet, the template can be saved within SecureGlobalPay’s Payment Gateway and used for subsequent processing and settlement.
Accept Credit Cards Anywhere
SecureGlobalPay’s Payment Gateway provides innovative mobile payment processing solutions that provides you the flexibility and convenience to accept credit card payments anywhere in the world with a data connection. All you have to do is ask the client for a credit card information and either swipe the card through a card reader or enter the amount through the interface. This is a great option so you don’t always have to invoice your clients for goods and services.
Send Automated Reminders
With all the technology available, customers may still forget to pay your invoice. To make your job easier, set up automated email reminders. They can go out during a specified time of the month to clients who did not pay their invoice by a certain date. This can also be a great way to follow up and see if the client would like additional services.
With so many options out there, you should no longer be waiting for money to come into your account. Implement a plan that makes cash flow consistent so that your business can continue to grow!