How SBOs Can Get Customers to Pay Up in
Spite of it All
With American consumers drowning in the unsecured-debt crisis, and the financial industry in turmoil, Congress responded with the $700 billion rescue plan (Was there no better way, people?). Whether they believe the bailout will work or not, however, financial experts agree we are far from being out of the woods.
What I Think:
As usual, when the economy catches cold, small business gets pneumonia. Entrepreneurs and small-business owners need to stay afloat, tough economic times and the government’s embarrassing display of Socialism notwithstanding. One very big thing to do is making very sure they’re paid for their products and services!
Try These: By following these 10 tips recommended by online invoicing firm FreshBooks, SBOs can make sure clients and customers pay up in full and on time, in spite of it all!
- Bill Early – When wrapping up a project, send your bills out immediately. Avoid moving on to another task without collecting your payment.
- Bill Often – A constant reminder of a payment due will increase your chances of actually receiving it!
- Time is Money, Keep Track of It! – Document your work time accurately to ensure that you are fairly compensated for your efforts.
- Charge an Upfront Retainer Fee – Requesting a retainer fee upfront provides a cushion while you are working on another job.
- Take Advantage of the Moment – During the planning stages of a project, most people are excited and tend to be more flexible. Use this opportunity to request a partial payment.
- Set It and Forget It – Don’t waste billable hours on invoicing. Establish recurring billing and invest your time elsewhere.
- Automatic Late Payment Reminder – Establish a system that will inform you and your clients of late accounts .Remember: the sooner that you are aware of a delinquency; the sooner you will receive payment.
- Give a Good Impression – The public’s perception of you will dramatically affect the way that you do business. Providing good customer service demonstrates that you are a professional and you will be paid accordingly.
- Make Billing as Easy as Possible – If you make bill paying difficult, you are guaranteed to lose money. Try to provide debtors with easy, convenient options to submit payment online or with other methods.
- Keep Your Records Up to Date – Confirm that all bills reflect the current balance and are sent to the right party. Customers are more likely to avoid payment of inaccurate bills.
About FreshBooks: FreshBooks (www.freshbooks.com) is an online invoicing and time-tracking service that helps entrepreneurs save time, get paid faster, look professional and focus on what they love to do – their work.
Bill Willard has over 30-years experience providing high-impact written communications to small-business owners and independent professionals. Through interactive, Web-based “Do-While-Learning™” programs, e-Newsletters and straight-talking articles, Bill helps clients get the job done: profitably improving performance, helping grow their businesses, skipping expensive mistakes, making the journey to success faster, smoother, easier. And fun! A Phi Beta Kappa and former managing editor, he lives in Clearwater, FL.
Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or visit his Website: http://www.writergazette.com/WillardAssociates.shtml
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