5 Ways to Get Clients to Pay Your Invoice on Time

You can’t force clients to pay you on time, but here are some steps you can take to give yourself a better chance of receiving a paid invoice on time, courtesy of our friends at GoDaddy Online Bookkeeping.

This guest post is brought to you by GoDaddy Online Bookkeeping (formerly Outright) the simplest way to manage your small business finances online. Sign up today and get started invoicing online!

Staring at your empty bank account balance when you know you’re owed money is one of the most frustrating things in the world. If only your clients would pay on time – but it’s not like you can force them, right?

Well, no you can’t, but you can take steps to give you a better chance of getting what you’re owed on time. The following five tips should show clients you mean business about your business relationship and getting paid on time.

1. Ask for a Contract Every Time

Have you ever been faced with the scenario of your brother-in-law asking for you to do some work, or maybe a client you’ve always wanted approaches you and they ask to “forego the contract?” Likely you either feel obligated or afraid you’ll lose out on the opportunity, so you agree to forget the paperwork and just do the work.

But what happens when you need to get your money? Suddenly they also “forego” paying you, and if there’s no contract, you have little recourse for getting your money. No matter who it is, get a contract each and every time you being a project. Not only does a contract prevent problems, it can also give you piece of mind so you can concentrate on the work.

2. Be Detailed

Don’t just throw your contract together at the last minute. Be as detailed as possible about the work you will perform and your expectations for the client. Be specific about dates and deliverables. For example, if the project has multiple parts, include when you’ll turn each part in as well as when the client should pay up. Don’t forget all important payment terms (NET 15, “pay on receipt,” etc.) and a late fee to dissuade slow payers!

3. Accept Multiple Payment Types

One of the last things you want to do is restrict a customer who is trying his or her best to give you money. If you tell them you only accept credit cards and PayPal, suddenly they only have a check. Don’t give them the chance to provide any excuses; accept as many payment types as you feasibly and safely can. Otherwise, it will just be another excuse for them to delay payment.

4. Let Them Pay Up Front

This is a phenomenon that’s practically impossible to understand: some business owners don’t want to take payments from clients even when they offer! However, it does happen. A customer wants to go ahead and pay for the job even though the work isn’t done, but the business owner pushes it away telling them to wait. (This phenomenon seems to occur most often at the end of the year, as the client is getting their tax write-offs in order!)

Look, it’s very noble, but if the client wants to stay ahead of the game on their end, let them! Just let it be further incentive to do a good job on the project and you won’t have any problems.

5. Make Them Remember You

It may seem like another excuse (and it might be), but “I was just so busy” is definitely a reality many business owners face when it comes to their obligations. You know as well as any other entrepreneur that sometimes things just slip your mind when you have 10,000 other tasks you have to accomplish. If a client is late paying, follow-up frequently and persistently. After all, it’s your money.

GoDaddy Online Bookkeeping recently introduced a new Invoicing feature. Now it’s simpler than ever to manage all of your small business finances in one place. Login to GDOB and customize your invoices under the new “Invoices” tab today!

7 Tips to Get Paid Faster

Every freelancer wants to get paid faster, or even paid on time. Here are the top seven payment excuses freelancers hear most often and how to handle them.

This guest post is brought to you by WePay – the easiest way to accept credit cards online.

So many clients, so many excuses. We’ve all had that client who is extremely open and willing to talk… until the subject of money comes up. Suddenly they’re a ghost and nowhere to be seen. When you do get in contact with them, they have endless excuses to throw at you.

Every freelancer has at least one story like this. Don’t you wish there was a way to make the process easier and more streamlined? Check out the following common excuses we’ve heard and see how to combat them so that you can get paid faster.

1. I was confused.

The last thing you want to hear when you complete a job is “Huh? This isn’t what I wanted,” or “So what happens now?” Confusion is a common excuse for clients that basically indicates they aren’t ready to pay you yet. The trick here is to be very specific with the job description. Go over every single little detail with them, including when they will pay and how, so there’s no confusion when the invoice is due.

2. Where and how do I pay?

Speaking of payments, don’t give clients any chance to wonder how to pay you. Some prefer checks. Others prefer credit cards. Still others prefer a simple solution like paying by credit card online with WePay. If you just offer one way to pay, though, some clients will use this as an excuse – warranted or otherwise – to delay your payment. Offer numerous payment methods, and it’s likely that you’ll get paid faster.

3. I couldn’t contact you!

Another common issue clients have is getting in contact with you. Like payment options, you want as many ways to contact you as possible. Don’t just rely on email; create invoices that include your phone number, physical address and other means of contacting you.

4. I never got an invoice.

Want them to be punctual? Then you should be, too. Lead by example and don’t turn anything in late, including your invoice. Even though you were super specific when they should pay, some people won’t pay until they see an invoice. And if you’re very late sending out the invoice, they may have forgotten about the great job you did, creating a further delay.

5. I didn’t hear from you, so…

Sometimes you get the feeling in the pit of your stomach that a client is going to be a problem. Unfortunately we don’t always follow up on this feeling and let things go. However, you shouldn’t be afraid to follow up with a client. Email them to ask if the work was ok or if they have any questions – anything to keep you in their mind.

6. I didn’t think this job was that serious?

This is one of the most infuriating excuses you can hear, as it practically invalidates your entire career. Generally what they mean, though, is they don’t feel “invested” in the relationship. Combat this with a deposit. Suddenly instead of hiring some random person for a new banner for their website they’re hiring a professional who requires money to initiate the business transaction.

7. Eh, there’s no contract, so what are you going to do, sue me?

Obviously the solution is in the excuse here. Many freelancers and small business owners don’t like to mess with contracts as they see them as annoying or as a possible bane to clients. However, they prevent problems, including non-payment by fussy clients. Just make sure every little detail you agree to with the client is in the contract.

Do you have a slow or non-paying client story? How did you collect your money? Tell us your tips to get paid faster in the comments!