Every business has customers that refuse to pay up, and every business-owner would do just about anything to get these people to send in a payment. While there is no foolproof way to get your money, we do have some ALMOST foolproof tips for you to try. These tips, when tried in conjunction with careful accounts receivable management, can really help to reduce the number of unpaid invoices you have to battle with on a daily basis.
Tip #1: Be Selective From the Start
One of the main reasons that so many businesses have trouble collecting on the money they’re owed is because they extend credit to all the wrong people. If you’re not carefully choosing whom you extend credit to, that needs to change! Create a credit application and require customers to fill it out at the very beginning, before you even have a business/client relationship. If potential clients don’t have satisfactory credit histories, move on; you do not need to take on every client who comes your way, and doing so is only going to hurt your business in the long run. If you are more careful about who you extend credit to, there’s a good chance you’ll have far fewer unpaid invoices to contend with.
Tip #2: Keep the Lines of Communication Open
Once you have extended credit, you’ll want to take your customer/client relationship seriously by staying in good, regular contact with each customer. Try to connect with clients on social media, send courtesy emails when payments are about to come due, and definitely contact clients when they fall behind on their payments- in fact, the very minute they fall behind. When you stay on top of your communication with the client, he’ll think twice about not paying his debt to you, knowing that your business is one that will surely be in very regular contact when payments are due.
Tip #3: Be Professional at All Times
It can sometimes be difficult to maintain professionalism when whether or not you get paid has a large bearing on the fate of your business. It can also be hard if clients are being particularly rude or evasive. No matter how a client acts, though, it is imperative that you behave professionally and “keep your cool” at all times. Always be calm and collected, no matter how f lustered you feel. If you or someone who works for you goes off the handle, you can kiss getting paid good-bye, and you might even find yourself faced with a lawsuit and with a ruined reputation. If you find that you’re incapable of maintaining a cool demeanor yourself, remember that you can always hire a professional debt collection service to do this hard work for you!
Tip #4: Offer Installment Plans
Finally, be at least a little flexible when it comes to late payments and the like. With some clients, flexibility is really the only way you’re ever going to see your money. Consider offering installment plan payment options to customers who have fallen behind or who have run into unexpected circumstances. You might get your money back more slowly if you do this, but at least you’ll get it back!
As you can see, getting the money you’re owed isn’t always easy, though it should be. However, if you follow these basic tips, then there’s a good chance you’ll get a lot more (maybe even most!) of the money you’re owed. #AccountsReceivableManagement