As a freelancer or business owner, it is disappointing and stressful pursuing a client because of late invoice payments.
The norm for business owners is to expect payment from clients once you have done a task they asked you to do.
However, most clients may fail in making quick payments when you complete a task for them. This is often disappointing and can even delay business plans.
It is even more frustrating when you have to drag the issue of late invoice payments with them for a long time.
Manual invoicing is difficult when it comes to treating late payments from clients. With the right invoice generator, you can now remind your clients to pay their outstanding bills easily.
In this article, let’s see how using an invoice generator helps you handle late payments.
Easy Ways To Handle Late Invoice Payments From Your Clients
1. Make your Payment Terms Known to Clients
Before you proceed to use your invoice generator to prevent late invoice payments, you must make sure that you let your clients know your payment terms before you agree to take on the job they want you to do for them.
As part of the payment terms, you can include failure to make early payments will attract a penalty fee that must be paid.
If the client then agrees to the terms you have laid out for him/her, then you can proceed to work on the task. It will be a good idea to send an agreement to them, this way, there is no way that the client can lie about not agreeing to such terms.
When you want to send an invoice to the client, make sure to include the terms also, so that the client is aware that you are still observing the terms of failure to make payments early.
When treating new customers, try and ask for payment before you begin the task to avoid late or no payment at all. The payment doesn’t have to be a full one, it can just be a part payment to make it build trust with the client.
2. Send Reminders to Clients
Now going to use your invoice generator to prevent late invoice payments, you can send reminders to your clients so that they do not forget to pay on time.
At times it’s not that the client does not want to pay, it may be that he or she has forgotten due to one reason or another and a simple reminder will prompt them to respond to your invoice with payment.
Manually, sending reminders to clients would have been a difficult task, because you will have to be the one re-sending the invoices.
And this can later make you frustrated, and you may even stop sending the invoices to that client. Invoice generators are equipped with a system that allows automatic re-sending of invoices.
Making the task of reminding clients to pay up a lot easier than the manual system.
One fantastic thing about this feature is that it allows you to send these invoices in a particular manner. Whether it is daily, monthly, weekly, or even three times a week.
This way once you’ve set how you want to recurring invoices to be sent, you are sure that the client is getting these invoices and can just carry on with managing your own business.
Most times, it is also good to send your invoice before the payment due date or before you complete a task.
There is no harm in doing this, although some people think that it is always best to wait till the due date. Sending your invoice early can help you prevent late payment by your client.
3. Make Personal Contact with your Clients
In some cases, even after you apply the recurring invoice to remind clients to pay up, you don’t get any reply.
However, do not imply immediately that they are ignoring your mail. The reason is that some emails may not go to the primary message section and instead end up in spam.
The client may miss such a mail, which is why you will need to make personal contact with some clients of yours.
When you call them on the phone, try to be as polite and professional as possible. Do not get angry and shout at them because it may make such a client not want to patronize you next time.
When on the phone, try to explain why it is necessary to pay on time. Listen to your client’s part of the story too, and try to come up with a solution for the delayed payment.
Making personal contact can even help strengthen the relationship between you and your client. So in case you’re yet to receive your payment have to send emails, do not fail to call your client.
4. Apply Late Payment Fees
If after speaking with the client on the phone and proffering a solution like giving the client an agreed time of payment, and yet the client fails to meet the newly agreed time, you can then decide to add late invoice payments fees because you have been patient enough.
Draft a new invoice, indicating the amount you are charging them for late invoice payments. Make sure that the figure is not outrageous, little percentages will do for the charges.
5. Take Legal Actions
Finally, the last step is to take the issue to court. If even after the late invoice payments fee, the client in question fails to respond and pay up their debt, you should sue the individual.
Consult your lawyer for legal advice on how best to treat the case so that the client pays up all that you are owed.
Remember that this should only be used as a last resort, do not be quick to take matters to court. Give the client some time and try to be communicative and understanding.
If the client fails to see reason with you, then it’s not your fault for whatever comes next.
Late payment is something that no one wishes for however if it does happen, make sure to follow the steps above to make sure that your clients make their payments fast.
There are also measures you can take to prevent any late payment from happening in the future such as giving discounts to clients or customers who pay early, providing multiple payment methods, and asking for partial payment before performing any task for clients.