Troubled running after clients asking for your payment? Don’t worry, you are not the only one. From late payments to getting completely ghosted, freelancers and small businesses face a lot of payment issues frequently. Apart from facing issues of meeting your own financial obligations, chasing after payments also leads to wastage of your valuable time, diverting your focus from important work, cash-flow problems, and at a later stage hampering your relations with clients.
We are here for your rescue. The strategies mentioned in the article will help you increase the chances of receiving payments on time or earlier than expected from your clients.
Say It Out Loud
Set the payment terms clear in the beginning itself, make sure your clients have a fair understanding of terms before the agreement is signed or the work commences. Doing this ensures that your clients are aware about your payment process and your expectations, and reduces the chances of any confusion in future. Mutual understanding by both parties on payment amount, timeframe, methods, late fees charged, and legal action is crucial. Apart from being vocal about these, make sure you include these terms in your essential documents like proposals or contract papers.
Opt For Prepayments
Once you have set forward the terms, request for an early payment whether full or partial. This ensures safety, especially with clients whom you are working with for the first time. Initially you will be apprehensive about asking for payment even before delivering work to your new clients, but doing this makes the client engaged in the work, prioritizes your deal and helps you in maintaining your cash-flow cycle. If collecting payment is intimidating, go for the second option of asking for a refundable deposit, to conform with the clients hesitation of you not living up to your commitment. Upfront fee in any form guarantees that your payment is treated as obligatory rather than discretional by the opposite party
Send Invoice ASAP
Don’t wait for your work to get finished. As soon as you are near the end, send out the invoice promptly with your draft work. The goal is to keep a shorter time frame between submitting the work and getting paid. The sooner you send the invoice, the earlier you receive your payment as the client sees the urgency. Also, as the work is fresh in your mind, it reduces the occurrence of mistakes on the invoice part, otherwise leading to delayed payment. Mention the payment dates clearly in the invoices sent, realize that the date set is not too far in the future, if not it may get delayed. As the due date nears, you can also send a follow up email for long period based contracts. If the client recognizes your quickness, they tend to prioritize your payment.
Another tip is to make your invoice standout. Create a simple, streamlined, easy to read invoice so that the client can easily find the necessary information and helps them in remembering it. At Refrens, we help you with creating beautiful invoices with ease in just 30 seconds.
Be Flexible In Payment Methods
It’s time for your clients to pay you; make this process easier for them by being open and accepting payment through multiple mediums. Many freelancers and small businesses have international and long distance clients looking for ways for making online payment an ease and of convenience to them. Go for payment gateways like Refrens.com, as it accepts all the major cards and supports more than 90 currencies. Try and link your invoice to your payment gateway, the quicker way to receive payment early is to make its process uncomplicated and painless. The solution here is to allow flexibility by diversifying your payment methods.
Offer Incentives/Charge late fees
Missed payment deadlines is a quick headache for any freelancers. When a client keeps procrastinating your payments, try following up twice-thrice past the due date. In the follow up process, make sure you specify the terms of additional late payment fees (mention them in the invoice sent earlier) as discussed before, to be charged by you on them. During the follow up, be polite and show gratitude, you do not want to mess your relation with the client and lose them. Charging late payment fees encourages the clients to be prompt in making payment next time.
The other side of coin is acknowledging the clients who pay early through small discounts to appreciate them. Early payment discounts is a commonly practiced method that is quite effective, else you can use any other form of reward to help your clients develop a habit of paying without delay or promptly, and to make them understand that you value their timeliness.
You want to follow both of these options as you will face a variety of clients overtime.
Try these ways to reduce your stress and free your shoulders from the burden of receiving late invoice payments. Use Refrens.com to make your payment process convenient and to eventually ace the art of it.
We wrote a blog on How freelancers can use Social media to boost business? Read it here and leverage it to the maximum