By Lina Martinez
If there’s one thing that every business needs, it’s money. Whatever your company does, you won’t get anywhere if you aren’t getting paid for your products or services, if you didn’t know that already then you’re probably in trouble. Most people are going to pay you promptly and you shouldn’t have a problem but some clients will just take their time when it comes to paying. If this starts happening a lot then you’ll run into some serious cash flow problems and struggle to stay afloat. You could also find yourself involved in lengthy legal proceedings. To avoid this, look at our list of reasons that customers aren’t paying you.
Your Invoices Aren’t Clear
People will look for any excuse to delay payment so don’t give them one. A common one is that the invoice isn’t clear enough. If it isn’t made completely clear to the customer exactly how much they have to pay and when they have to pay it by, they’ll use it as an excuse to not give you your money. Invoices can be more complicated than you realize and if you’re trying to make your own you might not be making it straightforward enough for them. Using online invoicing software is a far better solution. You can get professional invoices made up which are simple to understand, so you don’t give anybody a way out of paying. You can also use it to keep track of all of your unpaid invoices so you don’t forget about any payments, customers aren’t going to remind you if you do.
The Terms Aren’t Clear From The Beginning
This is another way that customers will try to get around paying, or at least pay less than they owe. If there is any question about how much they owe you, they’ll argue it for as long as they can. Before you even start doing any work for them, you need to lay out the terms of payment as clearly as possible. Create a quote that lists each specific item and the price for each, and then include a total, with VAT on top. Have them sign the quote so if there is a dispute about the payment later on, you can refer back to the quote and prove that they agreed to that price from the outset.
You Work Without Payment
If you agreed on multiple payments throughout a project and the customer doesn’t pay you for one of them, stop working on the project immediately. Some companies will carry on because they think that the customer will pay it all when they’re finished and if they stop working on the project then they’ll lose money. However, if you carry on without payment, you put yourself in a tricky situation. As soon as you do anything for free, customers are going to think that you’re a pushover and they’ll start taking advantage of you. It actually makes them less likely to pay you because they’ll push it to see what they can get away with. Never do anything for free.
Not getting paid is one of the easiest ways that a business can land itself in trouble, so don’t take no for an answer and make sure you get those invoices in on time.