Feel like you're forever checking for payment, or chasing your clients? Here's some help to get your invoices paid on time...
It’s so important to make sure you get paid – on time! You’ve done the work and you’ve raised the invoice all in good faith that it will be paid by the due date, but it just isn’t happening.
Here are my tips to help you get paid earlier next time.
Raise the invoice as soon as possible, making sure that it’s accurate. Correcting minor mistakes adds time to your deadline and may be exploited by a client buying time.
There is always space at the foot of an invoice template to add a simple statement that asks for your client to contact you if they need to talk about due dates. A friendly approach works best in the early stages if you then need to chase payment.
Are they ready to pay?
Check the invoice has been received and authorised, ready for payment. Remove another common excuse in advance! You can use Xero or other bookkeeping software for small business to help with this.
You can issue a reminder the day before, stating that the due date is imminent. These can be automated through your bookkeeping software.
Further reminders can be sent the day after the invoice is due if it’s late, and it’s perfectly acceptable to pick up the phone and ask if everything is OK with payment.
If you do need to chase for payment, keep notes for reference so you get to know the excuses you’re given and how you can respond. You may need to make changes to the way you invoice if it helps your client pay you earlier or address the excuses in the early invoicing stages.
At the same time build a relationship with the payer, as this can influence when you do get paid!
Be clear on your invoicing process
Don’t be afraid of being more formal when you issue your contract of work when it comes to payment. Let your client know when you invoice, how long they have for payment and how many reminders will be sent. Go on to explain that non-payment does not constitute termination of your contract and you will be forced to pursue legal advice after a given period of time.
As always, I hope these tips are useful, and here’s to getting paid on time, every time!