The vast majority of clients will pay invoices on time with no issues however, you may come across a customer who will often cause hassle for you. Besides leaving your wallet empty, they will also leave you stressed and cause lots of disruption therefore we’ve put together some advice on how to deal with these whilst staying professional.
The objective is to receive your outstanding payment with the client still satisfied and onside.
Tell them how it is
Even before an individual becomes your client, you should be clear about what you expect. Despite the awkwardness of having this conversation, this is an excellent technique to prevent any potential payment issues.
During an initial consultation or meeting, discussing money can become awkward too. However, this will clarify how much money they will be expected to pay, the date this should be paid and the service they will receive for this price. Furthermore, if any additional charges were to take place, you should make this clear to prevent any confusion and disruption.
When you decide to take up a contract with a client, a face-to-face meeting should take place and any information should be agreed in writing. You can do this by creating a concise contract to prevent any ‘excuses’ such as a misunderstanding. You should also include a clause that explains what action will take place should the client or customer fail to provide payments. Then both should keep hold of a signed copy of the document.
Lead by example
If you want consistency with payments, we advise you are consistent yourself. What we mean by this is billing and invoicing your clients consistently. This will create a routine that we hope your client will get into therefore receiving payments within the deadline.
When sending invoices or bills, you should make sure they ‘stand out from the crowd’ to avoid being thrown into the ‘things to ignore’ category. When posting these documents, you should make sure it is clear that it is an invoice by marking the envelope with this word. This also avoids any excuses such as ‘it got thrown in the junk mail’.
Reminders, reminders, reminders
When clients don’t make their payments on time, we understand this is frustrating, however you should remain calm and professional and also give the customer the benefit of the doubt. In a contract, you will usually set a time frame you expect payments to be paid although if your customer fails to follow these, you can send a physical and/or electronic reminder.
If your client does not get back to you and you do not receive the payment, you should call to issue a reminder directly to them. This will shine light on the situation and allows you to understand their reasons for not making their payments. Usually, failing to pay within the allotted time period is a breach of a contract and warning them that you can take legal action usually scares them into making the payment.
Here at Gorilla, we provide a technology driven accountancy service to the contractor and freelance market. We offer you an all-inclusive package that covers both your business and personal accounting needs for just £85 + VAT per month. You will receive unlimited support from your own dedicated accountant and you will receive 2 months service completely FREE if you sign up today. Want to know more? Get in touch on 0330 024 0406.