⏱ 3 min reading
Is there a more annoying thing than customers who do not pay their invoices on time or just don’t pay them at all? Probably not. Getting your customers to pay can be a hard and time-consuming activity which shouldn’t even be a necessity. There are a couple of things you could try to make sure customers do pay your invoices on time, which will save you all the more hassle afterward.
1. Know your clients
Knowing your clients can really benefit your business not only in the sense that you will be better able to supply what they need and want, but also when it comes to paying invoices. When you’ve been in business for quite some time, you will know when you encounter a client who will be less likely to pay on time. In many cases, there are clear signs even if we keep telling ourselves that this will probably not be as bad and we’ll give them the benefit of the doubt. When clients are extremely focused on prices, discounts, checking invoices, do not have their stuff together, or just, in general, are unpleasant people you will most likely know this could be another one. In all honesty, the best policy is to avoid these types of clients as much as possible. Naturally, this also depends on how much they will buy and their potential in the long haul. In case you decide not to avoid them, try looking at one of the other tips.
2. Communicate clearly
As is the case in so many things in life: good communication is key. When clients have sudden surprises, they may be less likely to pay on time or pay altogether. Therefore we advise you to really clearly state all your payment terms and the payment process. This includes when clients will receive invoices, how long the payment term is, how payments should be made, and what the consequences are if they do not pay on time. If you include what the fee is that clients ought to pay when they pay late on each invoice you send, they will be more likely to just pay on time to avoid the fee. Overall, you should really aim to communicate everything as clearly as possible and avoid communicating anything that may sound confusing. Try to ask your clients what exact type of information they need to pay the invoice. This could be specific information that perhaps you never thought of but which is important for them to be able to pay. Discussing this, in the beginning, will make for fewer worries later on.
3. Make it as easy as possible
Living in the 21st century means that we have access to everything we want in an instant. All around us things are made easy for us. You don’t even have to type a query in your Google search bar anymore, but you can just ask your Google Home who won the soccer World Championship in 2018. We know you’re now dying to know the answer to this question, which is why we’ll make it easy for you: it was France. See, you didn’t have to do a lot yourself. That’s what people are used to, so when it comes to paying invoices, try to make it as easy as possible for your clients to pay you because that way they’ll be more likely to pay on time. In case they like to pay by check, let them pay by check. But in most cases, we recommend using electronic invoicing and electronic payment as this goes a lot quicker. But try to listen to your clients and what they prefer before you decide to make any heavy investments. Side note: when you’re expanding to another country also try and have a look at what payment method is mostly used in that particular country to pay.