Customer not paying? Find out why.
There could be a good reason why your customer hasn’t paid on time. Maybe they’re not happy with your work, in which case, this is most likely to be because they didn’t fully understand what you were (and weren’t) offering to do for them, or because there were delays that were unavoidable or created by the customer themselves.
Talking to your customers and finding out the reasons for non-payment should sort things out. And in the future, make your sure quotes and terms and conditions are crystal clear so you and your customer both know exactly where you stand.
Protect yourself with staged payments.
Asking for payment in two or more stages will help preserve cash flow whilst you’re working on larger projects. Where appropriate, you could also consider asking for a deposit or partial payment up-front – perhaps when you’re dealing with a new customer, or someone who has delayed paying you in the past. Make sure the details of any staged payments are set out clearly in a written contract before you start work.
Have a clear payment process in place.
Tell your customers when you expect to be paid and remind them of the payment terms when you send their invoice. Follow up with regular reminders or statements until the bill is settled in full.
You should also encourage your customers to tell you straightaway if they’re having problems paying. You may be able to accommodate delayed or staged payments, but only if you know about them sooner rather than later! Make sure any changes to your original payment terms are agreed in writing; an exchange of emails is fine.