Are your clients not paying on time? Don’t worry; you’re not alone. A BACS survey showed that 43% of small and medium-sized enterprises suffer from late payments.
But now, with automatic billing software solutions in place, you can reduce the frequency of late payments. Here are a few tips on how to get your clients to pay you on time.
1. Select Your Clients Carefully
These times are difficult, and companies are doing whatever they can to get more business. This includes committing to clients that won’t pay.
Yes, sometimes even the most legit clients may not pay on time, and it’s fine. A lot of issues – invoice errors, cash flow problems, etc. – can lead to delayed payments.
But some clients don’t have plans to pay at all. And to reduce the likelihood of not getting paid, ensure you don’t work with such clients.
Such clients are not difficult to spot. They give themselves away easily without inspecting your services. They’re always focused on price and will continuously demand a discount. Besides, some of them also have a terrible attitude.
Stay away from these types of clients. It’s always better not to work at all than working and not getting paid.
2. Set Clear Payment Terms
Decide on payment terms well before signing a client. No one likes surprises, especially when it comes to paying money. When signing the contract, list down all the payment terms, including the frequency of the invoice, final and due dates, late payment penalty, accepted payment methods, etc.
3. Use Automatic Billing Software
This happens all the time. You accept only cards and cash, but your client uses online banking and wallets. Make sure to provide flexible payment terms and let your clients use the method they want to use. You can even pitch payment flexibility as one of the benefits of your services.
Using an automatic billing software solution can help you offer a wide range of payment methods to your clients. Solutions like MoonInvoice enable you to create a client portal and share invoices on the go. You can also integrate payment options into the invoice, so your clients can pay instantaneously.
Using a recurring billing and invoice system also offers other benefits like invoice management, late invoice reminders, and reports & analytics.
4. Positive Reinforcements for Paying on Time
Paying on-time or not is purely an emotion-based decision. If a client pays on time, he probably likes working with you and wants to continue the relationship. If they don’t pay on time, maybe they’re not emotionally driven to pay.
You can use positive reinforcement by rewarding your clients every time they pay on time. Let’s say; you offer graphic design services. If a client pays on time, you can send a thank-you note with a message that you’ll be doing the next two designs at a discounted price.
When you do this over and over again, the client notices a pattern. And to get rewards consistently, the client will keep on paying you on time.
5. Positive Punishment for Not Paying on Time
A lot of clients don’t pay on time because they feel it doesn’t matter. They take you for granted, and they only pay when they feel like doing so.
To deal with such clients, you can introduce a positive punishment. For example, you can charge a small fine if your clients pay you late. Or you can increase the price of your services for the next month.
Whatever punishment you impose, make sure you communicate it from the beginning. Also, when you issue an invoice with a client payment tracker app, mention the charges and penalties for not paying on time.
6. Be Courteous After Getting Paid On Time
Politeness isn’t overrated. A study from Freshbooks showed that being polite when sending invoices and receiving payments increases your chances of getting paid on time by 5%.
And being polite isn’t difficult. By merely using words like “please” and “thank you” can elevate your chances of getting paid on time.
It goes without saying that you’ve put in the work, and you deserve to be paid. So, there’s technically no need to be polite. But displaying politeness and gratitude helps you position yourself as friendlier and warmer. This increases your chance of creating healthy relationships with your clients.
7. Eliminate Invoice Errors
We’ve talked about invoice errors before. A joint report from Amalto and GetPaid stated that 61% of delayed payments are due to incorrect invoices. And if you rely on manual invoice management, making invoice errors becomes easy.
If you want to get paid on time, make sure your invoices are accurate and include all the required information. Everything from the seller and buyer details to the items provided should be on-point.
An easy way to avoid invoicing mistakes is to use invoice generator software for PCs. These solutions consist of an invoice template, so you can simply add raw data and generate accurate, error-free invoices.
Apart from eliminating errors, ensure your invoices are easy to follow and comprehend. Don’t overwrite text or use cryptic terms that your clients can’t understand.
8. Ask for an Upfront Payment
The easiest way to get paid on time is by asking for an upfront payment. A lot of service providers and agencies do this, and you can do the same.
If you’re a beginner freelancer, you might be afraid to ask for an upfront payment. But if you create a culture of getting paid upfront, you can establish a strong authority.
Also, you can modify your payment system. For example, you can follow a 50-50 system in which 50% of your fee will be paid upfront and the remaining 50% after you’ve delivered the project.
To get paid on time, you first need to understand what really causes late payments. While some clients don’t want to pay at all, many of them don’t pay because of invoice-related issues. Therefore, it’s crucial to use a recurring billing and invoice system like MoonInvoice to get timely payments.