Have you ever dealt with a client that stays paying you late?  Or a client that ghosts you for weeks or months whenever invoices are due? 

That shit has got to end now. Here’s how: 

Change your mindset

You deserve money too, boo.  No one wants to be known as an annoying pest but at the end of the day this is business. Don’t ever feel guilty about demanding compensation for your work. Matter fact…It’s YOUR money. You already provided the service or product, you held up your end of the bargain now it’s time for your client to do the same.

Set clear payment deadlines 

Most of us are used to the 20-day, 30-day, or 60-day payment window for our everyday bills.  Think utilities, mortgage, rent, cell phone, gym membership, etc.  As a small business owner, I recommend you set clear payment deadlines aligned with the date the work will be performed.  

For example, if you are providing a one time 30 minute consult, then collect your coins before the consult, sis. Ideally, you have it set up where the client pays at the same time they book the consult.  

If folks are paying for recurring services, for instance, 30 minute consults once a month.  Then, at the minimum you should set a recurring payment process where you get paid every month prior to the consult.    

Providing a small grace period for clients or customers may curtail late paying clients. Now, I’m sure you are used to providing this for clients informally, but including it in your official payment guidelines and agreements may build favor with clients 

Adopt early payment incentives and late payment penalties 

I know what you’re thinking…people shouldn’t be rewarded for doing what they are supposed to do, but hear me out. If we penalize people for paying late, why don’t we reward people for paying early? It makes sense, right?

Providing early payment or prepayment incentives will not only ensure you get your cash flow in order and on time, but it will also secure repeat customers. It’s a win-win.  

For example, last tax season, I gave my clients the incentive of a 10% discount on tax fees if they pre-paid for tax services by Black Friday.  Most did not buy into the offer but, from the ones that did, I was able to collect a total of $20,000 in November — three whole months in advance of tax season!  Was it worth it?  Hell yes.

Automate the invoice process

Hate sending invoices? Can’t keep track of who’s paid and who hasn’t? Need reminders for your reminders? Automate the payment process! 

Stay professional

Whatever you do, keep it cute! Even if your customer or client is giving you a nasty attitude don’t stoop down to their level. There are a variety of ways in the legal system for you as a business owner to ensure payment.  Be professional about your business because, ultimately, your reputation is priceless.  And remember, if a client is more headache than it’s worth, do what a good boss does and fire the problem client.  Deuces.

To more money in our pockets,

Chika

 

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