Hate asking for money? Quick Tips for Chasing Late Invoices
You sent an invoice to your client weeks ago. You even sent a reminder email. But they’re still overdue on a payment. It's an awkward situation for any business owner when you have to ask for money. The thing is, you carried out the work, the client agreed, and they need to pay you.
If you’d still rather watch paint dry than chase up late payments, then you need these tips on how to get over the awkwardness and avoid any issues which may arise when asking for your money.
1. Go digital – Computers don’t have feelings, which is great when it comes to chasing late invoices. Set up due date reminders where you write a message, written from the company not directly from you (for example, “we would like to remind you your invoice is overdue"). Include a link to where the client can pay immediately while the email is open. You can find several automating software solutions to help you get started including Xero.
2. Offer payment plans – In a world where we AfterPay everything, it’s important to understand many people like the flexibility of payment plans. It’s a great option to offer when chasing an invoice from a client you don’t want to pressure. It also shows you understand they might not be able to pay up front in full.
3. Pick up the phone – Call and ask your client what’s going on for them. They could be going through a rough patch or experiencing some cash flow issues on their end. Listen, learn and be supportive. Explain your point of view without getting angry or upset. Offer alternative ways to pay or even an extension if they need it.
For future invoices consider:
• Early bird discounts – Give discounts to those who pay early or even ask for a deposit instead.
• Set terms and expectations early on – This will ensure there are no arguments down the line.
• Google email templates to rely on – If you don’t want to automate the process, but you still want to make chasing money less awkward, consider using a template. There are hundreds online, simply search for ‘overdue invoice email templates’, and you’ll be on the right path.
• Make sure your invoices are easy to pay – The reason you could be getting unpaid invoices is that they aren’t easy to understand. Ensure you have the description, total costs, your payment details, date due, and any additional details clearly advertised.
• Don’t think you’re being rude asking for payment - It's not personal.