Dealing with outstanding invoices is a reality for many small business owners. Regardless of how well-organized you are, you may have a few clients who don’t pay on time (or at all). When that happens, here are a few things you can do to stay in touch with your clients without upsetting them:
1. Automate the process
The most efficient and convenient way to handle invoices and payments is to automate the process.
As such you won’t have to chase down payments with cashflow management tools like Qoba which offer features like recurring invoicing and automatically writing off credit payments on your financial statements. You can also send statements to follow up on overdue customer accounts, as well as set up automatic reminders to urge your customers to pay on time.
Invoicing enabled software applications such as Qoba also allows you to easily customize invoices, send billing and invoice reminders, as well as receive instant updates on your invoicing and payments data. These tasks are removed from your to-do list by automating them, which can help you get paid faster.
2. Send email reminders
Following up on payments is never fun, but the best part about sending an email reminder is that you can think about your words and frame your message accordingly. Your tone may change depending on how late the payment is, but aim to be firm and polite the first time. When you follow up for the third or fourth time, your tone may become more assertive and resolute.
3. Pick up the phone and get calling
After a month, if your client is still unresponsive, it’s time to call.
First and foremost, confirm that your invoice was received. It’s possible that they were busy, that their email address had changed, or that your email was delivered to the wrong person or department if you’re dealing with a larger organization. It’s also plausible that they were aware of it but claimed not to.
You can address the invoice’s past-due status once you’ve confirmed they’ve seen it.
4. Take more drastic measures
If none of the aforementioned options work, you could submit the invoice to a collection agency or file a credit report.