Well holding your breath and throwing a fit does not work when it comes to making a client pay you for services. With the economy really pinching some businesses, creative ways to keep connections with slow paying customers is important and can build or burn a relationship.
Things happen to all of us, but not being paid on time is something that no one wants to happen to them. So what do you do when a client does not pay on time? Here are a few suggestions that I can recommend. Leave me a comment below if you have others that have worked for you.
- Get proactive. Don’t wait until a client owes you a significant amount. Set credit limits for new accounts and stick to them. This way if you don’t get paid, it is not for a huge chunk of cash that you were really counting on to keep your own business afloat.
- Institute easy payment options. I have found for slow payers that the ability to have them authorize us to auto bill their credit card for services on the due date has really slowed my collection issues.
- Don’t offer credit quite so quickly to new clients. Have them pay up front for the first services, then slowly allow credit. If they go beyond your due date, stop services and ask for payment before continuing.
- Be flexible. Things happen to people that they had not expected. Sometimes this does delay how quickly you get payment. But that being said, you don’t have to extend credit to someone in the future who has had a habit of slow paying. Move to auto billing for that client or choose to not do further business with that client once you get paid. Be open to listen, but don’t be a softie. People who are in financial trouble are struggling and you do not want to be taken down for a dive by them.
Got other words of wisdom to share on this topic? Leave me a comment below. For me, this last several months has been the first time in nearly eight years where I have over 4 clients who are possibly going to be bad debts. The economy is really squeezing some businesses so get proactive and don’t be one of them!