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Whether you are a freelancer or SMB, you need to be paid on time.  When you have been thoroughly professional in delivering client’s work, meeting the stipulated deadlines, you have every right to expect timely payments. However, it is an unhappy reality that many clients may not pay on time. You know that in a small business, there is often a scarcity of available money and bills need to be paid on time. Delayed payments by clients can have a detrimental and significant effect on your SMB.

Here are some useful pointers to expedite client payments

  • Conduct a thorough background check

You shouldn’t work for clients who habitually delay payments in the first place.  Ask prospective clients to supply you with credible references. This way you will get an idea of how prompt clients are when it comes to payment. Thoroughly check the credentials of the client before working for them. Check the Internet, as it can be a useful place to find such information.

  • Get a commitment in writing

Before commencing the client’s work, get a signed contract in place that specifies the work to be executed, timeframe of completion, deadline for payment, and fines for delayed payments should be made explicit and clear.

  • Perfect Your Invoicing System

If there’s a delay in sending your invoice to clients, then they will be just as careless when sending their payment back to you. When sending your invoice late, it translates to a delay in your invoice processing and consequently, delayed payment by the client. In this scenario, you have no one to blame other than yourself. Use online invoicing software to make sure you don’t miss sending an invoice on time. The software will also send payment reminders to clients at specified time periods if the payment is not cleared. The invoice should be very detail and clear. Make sure payment methods are mentioned in the invoice.

  • Set an example to avoid future client procrastination regarding your payment

If you let your clients pay as they like, you’ll likely end up getting ripped off by them since they know they can take advantage of you. Be firm, yet polite while explaining why it is important to have client pays on time. Many times, the client will understand your situation and expedite payment. As a last resort, take legal actions; this would deter future clients from delayed payments.

  • Encourage clients to pay on time by offering discounts

This strategy has been proven to work very well. Offer a discount if clients pay on time or before the due date.

  • Send a friendly reminder

Sometimes clients have no issues in paying, but simply forget about the due date. You can send a quick friendly reminder to them reminding them that their payment is overdue. This often does the trick.

  • Have multiple channels of payment

Offer different forms of payment such as PayPal, credit card or check. With so many people paying their bills online already, why not make it simple for people to pay right then and there when they receive the invoice?

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  2. How to Create and Distribute an Invoice
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  5. Invoicing Apps: Why Should Small Businesses Use This