In an ideal world, you should be able to receive all the payments that are due to your business on time. But, sadly, this is hardly the case, as all business owners know and are aware of. If sending out invoices is part of your responsibilities as an entrepreneur, then you should make sure that your invoices are done well – and correctly – so you can avoid those all-too-familiar late payments, and, perhaps, even do away with them once and for all.
The first thing you should keep in mind when you are creating your invoices is to be prompt. This means sending your invoices ahead of time so your customers will really have no excuse not to pay you on the due date. If you find yourself getting behind on your invoicing, set aside a specific time each week and dedicate this to creating your invoices. If the paperwork is too much for you, all you have to do is make use of online software applications, especially one which can provide you with features like automatic invoicing (via email) and the like.
Don’t forget your bank account information
In order to avoid late payments from customers, you can make it easy for them to pay you. How? By providing the opportunity to send you their payments online. Rather than sending you a cheque (which you also have to take to the bank yourself, taking more time and effort), you can choose to offer online payments to your bank account. With this in mind, make sure to include your bank account information in your invoices – your account name and number as well as sort code. You can also give customers further options for payment, especially if you are using online software to send your invoices, by letting them settle their accounts via PayPal or any other reliable payment platform. Oh, and one other thing: perhaps you should consider disallowing cheque payments as they are not only tedious and time-consuming when it comes to paperwork – they have the risk of bouncing as well, which can leave your business ‘in the red’ in the end.
Make use of the proper technology
As mentioned earlier on, it would be a great idea if you could use some type of online software which has an automatic email reminder feature. The time you can save with an automatic reminder is priceless – and you no longer have to chase your clients for their payments, especially when it is already too late. Apart from an automatic reminder tool, you can also use another type of tool for invoicing which sends you a reminder email when a client’s invoice has already reached its deadline.
Settle the currency
There is yet another thing you can do to encourage early or on-time payments from your customers. If you are dealing with customers who are based outside the United Kingdom, try to find out if it is easier for them to settle their payments in pounds sterling (GBP) or in their own currency. If they have to settle their payment in pounds sterling, they might have to pay extra charges to their bank. If possible, invoice any clients located outside the United Kingdom in their own local currency, and not in pounds sterling.
If you’ve done all you can to encourage your customers to pay on time but it still doesn’t work, you might end up having issues with your cashflow. The good news, though, is that there are financing specialists such as Ultimate Finance (learn more about their financing services and other services such as asset finance, construction finance, and more at www.ultimatefinance.co.uk) which are more than willing to help you bridge the gap until such time that your customers settle their payments once and for all.
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