Dealing with bad customers is always a part of running a business, no matter what industry you’re in. 9 times out of 10, customers will be happy to pay you an invoice on time without any fuss, but there are always going to be people that will try every trick in the book to get out of it. When you’re in the early stages of a business, this is a real problem. It makes it difficult to manage your finances properly if people aren’t paying you. If you’re ever going to survive long enough to make this business work, you need to make sure that you’re getting paid in full, on time. If you’re having trouble with getting your invoices paid, here are some simple steps you can take to make sure people pay up.
Get Everything In Writing From The Start
One of the most common tricks that people will use to delay payment is contesting the amount that you’re asking for. If you do work for somebody and just agree the payment verbally before giving one invoice right at the end, they’ll claim that you said it would cost less and they’re not willing to pay the full amount. That’s why you’ve got to get everything in writing right from the beginning. The easiest way to do that is to use quotation software (you can find some great software at www.quikflw.com). You’ll be able to create a professional quote which you have a record of when you first start doing business with the customer. If they then decide that they want to try to challenge the price further down the line, you can refer back to the original quote that they signed and shut down any of those arguments. Always get them to sign any quotes before you agree to do any work, then they can’t claim that they didn’t agree to that price.
Maintain Good Relationships
If a client thinks that you just see them as another revenue stream, they won’t be that inclined to pay you on time and they won’t feel bad about late payments. But if you’ve got a good relationship with that client and they feel as though you’re invested in them, they’ll be more likely to pay on time. That’s why it’s important that you build and maintain good relationships with your clients.
Include Late Fees In The Contract
Getting around a contract is difficult so clients that don’t want to pay will be looking for loopholes to avoid paying. That’s why you’ve got to make sure that the agreement is airtight. The best way to protect yourself is to include late fees in the contract that they sign (visit www.lawinsider.com for examples of how to include them). That way, they know that if they don’t pay on time, you have legal grounds to charge them more money. You can try to impose those late fees without having them in a contract but you’re probably not going to get anywhere.
Follow these 3 simple steps and you’ll be able to make sure that you get your payments on time, every time.