5 Tips to Get Clients to Pay on Time
Don’t get stuck in a holding pattern because of late payments from customers. Keep your cash flowing by maintaining both your client relationships -- and your sanity.
Create a payment calendar
For large jobs, don’t just send the client one big bill at the end of the project. Instead, map out when you'll hit specific milestones. Once that calendar is mutually agreed upon, send the client invoices as those aspects of the work are completed. Make it a policy that you won't continue with the next step until you receive payment for the prior one – and send those invoices right away.
Make it worth their while
If you can swing it, consider incentives to encourage your customers to pay or pay through a platform that’s most convenient to you. Small nudges can be powerful habit changers.
Be a person, not a bill
Send handwritten thank you notes to clients for big projects – and find out who cuts the checks. Being more than another piece of paperwork to the accounting department can get payments made more quickly.
Send regular reminders
Follow up by e-mail or phone two weeks before invoice deadlines. If clients miss the deadline, call them with a gentle reminder. Being professional, polite and organized will make all the difference.
Stand your ground
Always be upfront with your payment policies, and make sure you protect yourself legally by agreeing to payment collection terms before you get to work for your clients. You also might want to consider charging late fees. Maintain a paper trail and employ the necessary legal advice in the event there is a dispute.