The hard work is done. You found a client, closed the sale, and completed the job. So now you're just waiting on payment?
Waiting and waiting and waiting.
Let this waiting game go on too long, and you will start to feel cash flow pains. Having timely invoicing and payment collection maintains positive cash flow and keeps your business running smoothly.
So what can you do to speed up payments? Are you making basic mistakes that are holding your business back? Let's look at 10 things you can do to improve your invoicing and payment collection.
Procrastination will not get your invoice paid!
It might seem obvious but send your invoices as soon as possible. When the work is done, send your invoice. No questions asked and no delay.
Your client is most likely to pay your invoice when the work is still top-of-mind. Delaying it will only cause you to fall deeper into the backlog. Wait too long, and your clients will think you don't have an urgency to get paid and will take their time when they do finally receive your invoice.
Before your project starts, you should already have clear invoicing terms and payment expectations. If you haven't defined these terms, you're setting yourself up for both you and your client to be unhappy.
The easiest way to get everyone on the same page is to state your terms and payment options as part of the proposal or statement of work. Then, have your clients review and sign off on these terms to align everyone from day one.
The details matter, especially when it comes to invoices. Ensure you have the following details present on your invoices:
Proofread your invoices before sending them to clients. Having an error, missing information, or even minor typos can cause your client unnecessary confusion and may delay payment further.
Once you've delivered the invoice, don't assume it will get paid quickly.
Sending a follow-up or reminder is an easy way to spur the process. These communications provide an easy touchpoint to resolve any questions or issues. They keep you at the top of your client's inbox and are a great way to maintain a healthy client relationship.
Bonus: Pick up the phone. These days our inboxes are overflowing with emails. A quick trick is to skip the inbox entirely and get your client on a call. But, of course, a friendly check-in never hurts.
Don't assume your client is going to ghost you. Most clients have good intentions to pay their invoices.
Even when things are getting delayed, keep a friendly tone. If you get frustrated and it starts to show, it might backfire and lead your client to delay payment even further. Maintaining a pleasant manner and healthy client relationship ensures you keep a good reputation and sets you up for repeat business.
Don't be afraid to get flexible. Great ways to speed up payment collection are offering alternative payment methods, facilitating payment arrangements, or even giving incentives for early or on-time payments.
What if your client is not responding? After sending reminders and following up with your clients, what else can you do?
Don't give up. But after a long enough time, it may be time to escalate things. Bringing in a third party can increase the pressure and urgency to pay.
At InvoiceRecover, we help businesses and freelancers to collect overdue invoices. We fully automate the collections process and keep working until your invoice is paid. If you're tired of chasing down past due payments, it might be time to bring in a debt collection service like InvoiceRecover.
There is no magic answer to collecting payments. And it can be a lot of work for a small business or freelancer. But, By implementing these 6 invoice collection tips, you will be in the best position to get paid fast and keep that cash flow flowing.