If you're in business, then sooner or later you'll have to deal with a late-paying client. So what can you do to get paid without having to resort to turning it over for collection? Here are some tips:
- First, realize that many commercial cleaning accounts may have a delay in payment with the first billing because they need extra time to get you into their computer system. So find out up front if this will be the case.
- Spell out in your contract your expectation for receiving payment. If this is not clear, you may be taken advantage of by certain slow-paying clients.
- Pre-bill for services rather than waiting until the end of the month. That way, you'll be getting payment up front, or at the very least, within 30 days in most cases.
- Pick up the phone when there is a late payment. This is the best way to get paid quickly. It may be that they never received the invoice, in which case you send them one quickly by faxing it over and requesting immediate payment. Or a phone call may prompt a slow bookkeeper to get her act together and get you paid. Give her a date that you expect payment. This is also a good time to remind her of your payment policy.
- If you don't get paid by the date you set over the phone, call again to see if payment has been sent yet.
- As a last resort, start sending reminder letters, using polite, but firm language. Let them know that if you don't receive payment by the date you set, service will be suspended until the account is made current. Send the letters by certified mail in an oversized envelope.
- Be prepared to keep your word and suspend service if payment is not made.
Do you have any tips for getting paid that you'd like to share? Click on the comments link below to post your tips!