Is getting paid the most important thing in the business world? Some will say yes, some will say no. But there’s no denying that it’s a necessary part of the business world. After all, if your business doesn’t have some form of revenue, then how can it survive in the long run?
A lot of small businesses make mistakes when it comes to invoicing. As invoicing is what can make or break a smooth payment process, such mistakes are a big problem. Here are a few tips you may find useful.
When are you going to get paid?
One of the best things you can do is let your customer know when you’re going to need payment. Of course, this won’t apply to businesses who deal in immediate transactions, such as traditional stores. But if you’re providing a service or an item before the customer pays, then this is a vital step. Generally, something will be signed beforehand that ensures the customer is legally bound to pay you. Make sure that during the signing process that there is a payment quote written down and agreed to. This will increase the chances that you’ll be paid in a good amount of time.
The payment options available
The more payment options you have for a customer to use, the more likely to is you’ll be paid properly. A lot of businesses can deal with cash, but you have to make sure you have change with you. This isn’t always suitable for businesses, especially if you’re a traveling freelancer. Having the ability to take credit cards is pretty important. Mobile payment services like Apple Pay are becoming more and more popular these days. Combining the two, you could get a mobile credit card reader. This is especially useful for the aforementioned traveling freelancers!
A lot of businesses allow customers to use a product or service before they receive full payment. (In fact, we were talking about this in the first paragraph!) But not every company knows how to deal with overdue accounts efficiently. Admittedly, it can be a pretty tricky situation. People who don’t pay are often in financial trouble. But if they’re not contacting you, then how are you to know this? Get in touch with them as soon as possible. If you can, get them on the phone. Discuss their situation, and remember to be firm but compassionate. If you continue to have trouble, you may want to work with a debt collection agency.
Software for invoicing
The quickest way to get an invoice filled out and printed or sent off is via software. In fact, much of the process can be fully automated. But it depends on what software you’re using. This is something you may have to bring up with your accountant. Their method of invoicing might be something they’ve stuck to for years. Talk to them about other methods of invoice processing. There are accounting software options out there that work great for this kind of thing. By helping you customize, track, and send invoices, it makes the whole process much easier.