This is a guest post from GoDaddy Online Bookkeeping (formerly Outright).
Since we recently adding a brand new Invoicing feature into GoDaddy Online Bookkeeping, we’ve become even more focused on how our customers get paid! That is, we understand sometimes it’s harder than it should be to get the money you’re owed from the people who owe it to you.
It helps if you streamline the process so every single client and customer receives the same experience.
To help you with this, go through the following tips and make sure you’re doing each one. A streamlined invoicing experience will take the hassle out of invoicing for you and your customer, and get you paid on time!
7 Invoicing Tips for Small Businesses to Ensure You Get Paid Every Time
1. Get a Signed Contract
Before you even think about the invoice, think about the contract.
Not only does getting everything in writing prevent someone running off after you complete the work, it also mentally “locks” the client into the relationship by making it official. Make sure to get one every single time, even if you’re dealing with your brother-in-law’s cousin’s wife who insists you don’t need one.
2. Get Specific
When discussing the plan with your client, don’t leave any stone unturned. Ask every question that comes to mind and make sure they do the same. The more detailed you are the less likely a mishap – including invoice-confusion – will occur.
3. Honor Your Own Commitments
Before you complain about the client not being on time, look at your own work: did you meet all the deadlines you outlined in the contract? If you’re always late, why should you expect the client to honor his or her commitments?
4. Broaden Your Payment Solutions
How many forms of payment do you accept?
If you only do one or two, you may be handing excuses to slow-paying clients everywhere. While it may seem a little lazy on their part, opening up a new account to pay you on PayPal can be a pain to some traditional check-writers, while mailing a paper check can cause fits for someone who prefers to do everything via the internet.
Give all of your clients a break by broadening your payment solution horizons.
5. Keep Up With Payments
Wait: before you send a follow-up email to the client asking where your money is, are you sure it didn’t go in yet? Check your Invoices tab in GoDaddy Online Bookkeeping to help you keep track of when money comes in so you don’t accidentally send a “friendly reminder” to someone who already forked over the money!
Speaking of following up, when is the last time you did it?
Don’t assume the worst if a client forgets to pay: they may have just gotten extremely busy. Send them a follow-up email asking them for feedback on the project and reminding them that the due date has come and gone.
7. Consider Adding a Late Fee
We hate to say it, but sometimes clients have to juggle their payments during a cash crunch.
If you don’t charge a late fee, other invoices – with stiffer penalties – may get paid first. Always add a late fee, but make sure the client knows about your late fee when you’re negotiating terms. There’s point in giving them a shock down the road.
To get a handle on your own invoicing, check out the “Invoices” tab in GoDaddy Online Bookkeeping today! Meanwhile, what are your best invoice tips for small business owners?
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