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!

Organizing the World: The Faces of Shoeboxed part XI

With Shoeboxed there has never been one “best” way to use our service to stay organized. And after scanning millions of receipts and business cards since 2007, we say that from years of firsthand experience!

Shoeboxed takes enormous pride in serving clients from around the country and across the globe, all of whom use our service in a myriad of ways to fulfill a whole host of organizational needs in both their personal and professional lives.

With that in mind, Shoeboxed is both pleased and honored to launch a series that spotlights our wonderful users, their success stories and countless ways satisfied Shoeboxed customers worldwide are utilizing our service to stay organized.

The Girl Who Gets it Done: Espree Devora and SaveBusinessTime

“When I discovered Shoeboxed, rainbows filled the sky and leprechauns came out to play as I went from paying thousands of dollars a month to nine dollars a month…”                                                                                                                                                                                                          – Espree Devora

Shoeboxed User Espree Devora

 

Introducing: Espree Devora

Profession: “The Girl Who Gets it Done”

Location: Los Angeles, California

Website: http://www.espreedevora.com

Twitter: @EspreeDevora

LinkedIn: Espree Devora

 

About Espree: Espree is a power networker, classically described as a “Connector,” connecting small businesses to people, resources and tools to reach their specific goals online. She has a thirst for examining and absorbing information in technology, marketing, business and action sports. She is noted for conducting business with passion and vigor, which has lead to her success in establishing a loyal team, strong ties with venture capitalists, media powerhouses and entrepreneurs.

SBX: We love your entrepreneurial zeal and enthusiasm for pursuing your dreams. How did you earn your title as “The Girl Who Gets it Done”?

Shoeboxed User Espree DevoraEspree: I’m a speaker and entrepreneur  who has provided seminars in business, interactive content and social media to many corporations and universities including Georgetown MBA, USC Executive MBA, Screen Actors Guild, International Association of Skateboard Companies and CBS. I also started my first company when I was 18.

SBX: Very impressive! What’s your latest entrepreneurial endeavor?

Espree: I recently launched SaveBusinessTime, a directory of web based business tools that save entrepreneurs time and money – tools such as Shoeboxed and others to solve invoicing pains, data entry pains, web development pains, etc.

SBX: As entrepreneurs ourselves we know how vital it is to save time and money, especially in the early stages of any company. What a great idea! So at what point did you come to find the need for Shoeboxed?

Shoeboxed User Espree DevoraEspree: A few years ago, while growing my action sports company, I was paying my assistant to scan my business cards into my overpriced fancy scanner. During the night I would have my outsourced team in India remotely log into my computer to correct the errors in my database (because the scanner didn’t record contact information accurately). CRAZY. So when I discovered Shoeboxed at South by Southwest rainbows filled the sky and leprechauns came out to play as I went from paying thousands of dollars a month to nine dollars and saving a ton of time organizing business cards and receipts.

SBX: Isn’t saving money the best?

Shoeboxed User Espree DevoraEspree: Yes! So much so that the solution you guys provided and the excitement I felt when I found you was what made me fall in love with web based business tools and my inspiration to create SaveBusinessTime.

SBX: Wow. We’re quite flattered and honored to hear that. Thank you! Do you have any other advice for other aspiring entrepreneurs?

Shoeboxed User Espree DevoraEspree: If you are frustrated with a business task like data entry and curious if there is a web based business tool that could simplify your life, just send a text to my direct line at (562) 3DIAL-ME describing what task you’d like simplified and I’ll respond with the right tool to save you time and money. Call it the hippie in me that enjoys helping my fellow business mates by sharing my discoveries.

SBX: Thank you for your time, Espree. We know you’re very busy! We wish you the best of luck with all of your exciting ventures!

Are you a Shoeboxed user who has a success story and would like to be featured on our blog? Then we would love to hear from you! Please reach out to Jake at jake@team.shoeboxed.com for more information.

Until then, stay tuned… and stay organized!

Organizing the World: The Faces of Shoeboxed part X

With Shoeboxed there has never been one “best” way to use our service to stay organized. And after scanning millions of receipts and business cards since 2007, we say that from years of firsthand experience!

Shoeboxed takes enormous pride in serving clients from around the country and across the globe, all of whom use our service in a myriad of ways to fulfill a whole host of organizational needs in both their personal and professional lives.

With that in mind, Shoeboxed is both pleased and honored to launch a series that spotlights our wonderful users, their success stories and countless ways satisfied Shoeboxed customers worldwide are utilizing our service to stay organized.

The Art of Making Clever Simple & Simple Clever: Keith Harper & Well Crafted

“I like simple things, and Shoeboxed is a beautifully simple product.”                                                                                                                              Keith Harper

Shoeboxed Users: Keith and Jana

 

Introducing: Keith Harper

Profession: Graphic designer

Location: New York, New York

Website: www.wellcrafted.is

Twitter: @keith_harper and @well_crafted

 

 

About Keith: Keith Harper is an independent graphic designer with over eight years of experience across print and digital media. He’s worked at design firms, for startups, in agencies, and has also pursued his own freelance work. Currently, Keith is running Well Crafted, a simple customizable portfolio, with the drive to take digital portfolios to the next level.

SBX: Before you started Well Crafted, you said your background was as a graphic designer. What inspired you to pursue the entrepreneurial route and create your own company?

Shoeboxed Users: Keith and Jana HarperMy background is rooted in graphic design, but I consider myself a maker now as well (the word “entrepreneur” is far too complicated). When my wife Jana and I moved to New York in 2009 we decided to start our own company, which we call Duo. The goal was to take on our own client projects, but we quickly realized there was a greater opportunity at hand. We have a unique blend of skills in both design and development,
so we decided to put them together and start making our own products.

SBX: Excellent! How’d your first company endeavor transpire?

Shoeboxed User: Jana HarperOur first product attempt, a simple financial tool for young people, failed before we could even build a prototype. The business model was simply not viable, and we didn’t have the resources required to remedy this. It was good to fail quickly though, and we switched gears to a project that had been sitting in our back pocket.

We then spent the next thirteen months bootstrapping Well Crafted – a simple, customizable portfolio. Funding your own endeavors via client work takes longer, but is worth it in the end. We answer only to ourselves and our customers. Our goal is to build the best portfolio system on the planet, as well as a sustainable business. Maintaining a business requires quite a bit of time and effort, but this is where the amazingness of the internet comes into play.

SBX: We can certainly attest to that! And after Well Crafted gained momentum, did you start finding yourself up to your ears in paperwork?

Shoeboxed Users: Keith and Jana HarperMoving to New York was a great catalyst for a new crusade against clutter. I became obsessed with digitizing everything. I bought a Neat scanner after randomly seeing them in an airport kiosk. Finally, I could digitize my documents! The scanner works tremendously well for letter-size documents, but scanning countless smaller receipts was a chore.

Shoeboxed takes that pain away – it automates everything but the first step for me. I can’t tell you how much I love stuffing those bright blue envelopes with receipts every month. I only have to concern myself with separating business from personal receipts, and I can manage that part easily.

SBX: Do you utilize any other online tools to simplify your paperwork management?

We utilize a myriad of niche web services for both Well Crafted and our client work. Harvest handles our time-tracking and client invoicing. Outright automatically tracks business expenses from our bank account. They are both invaluable tools for managing our business, but I still needed a way to track physical receipts in case we are audited by the IRS.

SBX: Hey, that sounds familiar!

Shoeboxed Users: Keith and Jana HarperWell I believe that great businesses solve a pain point. That’s why we started our first (failed) product, and also why we created Well Crafted. Updating my portfolio was invariably labor-intensive and painful. Scanning receipts was an absolute hassle – it was a manual, multi-step process. First I had to identify which receipts were business expenses. Then I had to scan them. Next, I had to name the PDF files. And finally, I had to shred them, because the whole point was to digitize them.

After Shoeboxed receives my envelope they scan, upload, and shred my receipts. I sleep well knowing that if we have to return an item – or if we are audited – I have an acceptable, searchable, digital copy of every business expense at the ready.

I like simple things, and Shoeboxed is a beautifully simple product.

SBX: Thank you, Keith! We wish you all the best in your future endeavors and will be anxiously awaiting your next batch of receipts and invoices!

Are you a Shoeboxed user who has a success story and would like to be featured on our blog? Then we would love to hear from you! Please reach out to Jake at jake@team.shoeboxed.com for more information.

Until then, stay tuned… and stay organized!