8 Tips to Ensure You Get Paid … and Paid on Time
You have your business site up and the jobs are starting to roll in.
But here comes a touchy subject … getting paid.
While most of your clients will be honest and stick to their word, you may run into a few that try to dodge paying you.
And because of those few, it’s a good idea to have a plan. A plan that will ensure you paid, and paid on time. Here are 8 tips to help you.
#1 Always do your homework
Before working with a client do a little digging into their background. If they were referred by someone, start by asking the person who referred them. If they weren’t referred, do an online search to see if any red flags come up. While you may not find anything, it can’t hurt to look.
#2 Get it in writing
Always have a contract. Not only does it protect you and your business, it will also protect your client by ensuring you can’t “pull a fast one” either. A contract will also state exactly what you are promising your client, as well as when and how you get paid, so both parties know what to expect.
#3 Get paid upfront
In some cases, getting paid upfront works best. Or if you don’t want to bill for the entire amount, you can bill half now and half upon completion. Even getting partial payment ensures that if your customer disappears on you during the process, you at least get part of your money owed.
#4 Invoice right away
If you do plan on send invoices after the job is completed, do whatever you can to submit your invoice right away. This not only prevents you from forgetting to send out your bill, it puts your invoice in front of your customer when you and your work is still fresh in their mind. It’s at this point where they are most likely an eager to pay you promptly.
#5 Offer a discount
Consider offering a discount for people who pay upfront or within the first week of invoicing. Yes, you may get a slightly less amount, but offering discounts can increase your chances of getting paid overall.
#6 Accept different types of payments
Accepting different forms of payment could make it easier for your clients to pay you, and possibly allow them to pay you quicker. If you are a local business, consider accepting credit cards and checks. If you are an online business, consider accepting echecks, credit card payments as well as PayPal.
#7 Make a friendly call before sending an invoice
Touching bases with your customer as soon as the job is done, but before you invoice, can improve customer satisfaction and help you get paid sooner. Make a quick call to see how they liked your work, to ask if they are satisfied and to let them know you will send out your invoice soon. It’s harder to dodge the payment bullet right after they’ve just told you how happy they were with your work.
#8 Work with their schedule
If you know when your customer tends to make payments, you can work with their schedule for sending out your invoices. For example, if you know they tend to make payments on the 15th of every month, send your invoices about a week or so before the 15th so it will still be fresh in their minds.
When you run your own business, making sure you get paid on time falls on you. Use these 8 tips to help ensure you get paid, and get paid promptly.
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