Published July 20, 2020
Getting paid shouldn’t be a hassle. But unfortunately, we’ve all had customers that take our payment terms and conditions as nothing more than a polite recommendation. Other times, customers can just forget about your invoice. In fact, almost half of freelancers have consistently been paid late. It can feel like it’s out of your hands, but there are steps you can take to prevent and deal with pesky late-paying customers.
1. Have your customers sign a services agreement
This is a preventative measure you can take BEFORE you do the work. When you and the customer have reached an agreement, send a services agreement before undertaking the project. Don’t worry, you don’t need to be a lawyer to write one up. There are plenty of templates out there for you to use.
This agreement should detail a final price, payment due dates, and any late fees should a customer pay after the due date. When the customer signs this agreement, you have proof that they have agreed to all terms and conditions of the transaction. This is an awesome resource you can refer back to when you’re dealing with late payments, along with any other payment disputes.
2. Write clear payment terms and conditions
This almost goes without saying, but it’s important enough to warrant mentioning. At the bottom of each invoice, you should always have a small “terms and conditions” section. This details the terms and conditions of your agreement (duh, right?).
Write something short and to the point about the details of the payment. Something like “payment due within 15 days” is okay, but you can go even further. “Payment is due within 15 business days of issue”, or even “To be paid in full by (exact date)” are two examples that provide no room for misinterpretation or wiggle room. Be specific.
3. Ask for confirmation
If you don’t ask, you’ll never know. Your email could have easily gotten lost in your client’s inbox, or opened with the intention of reading later, never to be seen again. This happens, usually through sheer forgetfulness.
When you issue your invoice (with full payment terms and conditions, of course), ask customers to respond confirming that they received the email from you. Send something along the lines of “Please reply with confirmation you’ve received this message.” If they don’t respond within 48 hours, follow up with them and ask for confirmation. This is a small but helpful indicator that your message wasn’t lost or ignored.
4. Follow up
Follow up with the customer once or twice after your final invoice has been sent (whether they’ve paid it or not). Send them a quick email asking them if they’d recommend your services to a friend or colleague, or asking to leave a review on your website or Facebook page. You don’t even need to directly ask for your money. Seeing your name in their email inbox will help you stay in the front of their mind, and help them remember to pay you for your hard work.
5. Stick to your guns
Most of the time, late payments are due to general forgetfulness. But there are cases where customers will purposely neglect payment, or refuse to pay in full. In these rare instances, don’t be afraid to fight back. Once payment is late, reach out to the customer on a regular basis to remind them to complete the payment.
If they try to ask for discounts or any changes to price after the job is complete, don’t back down. Stick to your guns, and point to your documents to show that your prices were agreed upon beforehand. It’s your hard-earned money, you deserve it!
Asking for money can be frustrating, and even awkward. But follow these 5 tips and you’ll see a drop in late payments soon enough.
- 3 Tips For Enjoying Summer, Even When You Have to Work!
- 7 Ways to Prevent Work-From-Home Burnout
- How to Get a Customer to Pay Your Invoice
- New Year’s Resolutions for Small Business Owners
- Holiday Gifts for Small Business Owners
- Why You Should Use an Invoice Template Software
- Managing & Engaging Your Remote Employees
- How to Deal With Difficult Customers
- How to Send an Invoice
- 4 Simple Steps to Start Freelancing
- You’re Setting the Wrong Goals for Your Business
- How to Get Over Your Phone Anxiety
- Questions to Ask Yourself When Starting a Business
- 4 Steps to Take When Taking on a New Client
- Introducing Cash Receipt Templates!
- How to Make Your Small Business More Professional
- 9 Invoicing Documents, and When You Should Use Them
- Common Mistakes Freelancers Make
- How to Network Without Leaving Your Home
- 6 Signs That You Might be Ready for a Side Hustle
- 8 Financial Blogs Small Business Owners Need to Read
- How to Prevent Late Payments on Invoices
- Top 10 Countries by Startup Ecosystem
- 5 Reasons To Use Paperless Invoices
- How to Avoid a Toxic Workplace
- Why You Should Upgrade to Unlimited Invoicing
- Tech and Economy: How Tel Aviv became the Start-up City
- The Importance of Customer Service
- What is an Invoice?
- 5 Plants to Minimize Toxins & Maximize Productivity
- M-Commerce in Developing Countries
- Customize Your Invoice
- 9 Ways to Vacation Stress-Free
- How to Get Your Laptop Spring-Ready
- The Truth About Failure
- 5 Women You Should Know About
- The Most Expensive Super Bowl Ads of All Time
- Top 10 Cities for Female Entrepreneurs
- Jobs That Didn't Exist 20 Years Ago
- Gifts for the Entrepreneur in Your Life
- How to Secure Your Small Business
- Unique Ways to Thank Your Customers
- Best Cities to Live in With a Salary of $50,000
- How Your Business Can Profit From Halloween
- How to Separate Yourself from Your Business
- How to Manage Your Mental Health as a Business Owner
- Books to Read Before Starting a Business
- 5 Ways to Get Loyal Customers
- Why You Should Take a Staycation
- Businesses You Can Start While Working Full Time
- Should Freelancers Ever Work for Free?
- How to Stay Active at the Office
- Best Business Ideas for People Who Love to Travel
- How to Perfect Your Elevator Pitch
- The Best Places in the World to Work Online From
- 5 Businesses You Can Start for Free
- How to Organize Your Desk for Maximum Productivity
- How Your Business Can Profit off the World Cup
- What the Color of Your Logo Says About Your Business
- How to Become a Wedding Planner
- Why Veterans Make Perfect Entrepreneurs
- Why Every Day Should Be "Take Your Dog to Work Day"
- 3 tips For First-Time Freelancers
- 3 Tips for a Stress-Free Vacation
- Spring Cleaning in The Office
- 5 Tips When Starting Your Business
- New to Invoicing
- 3 Tips on Last Minute Tax Filing
- Characteristics of a Successful Business Owner
- Accomplishing Your 2018 Goals
- How to Set and Achieve Your New Year's Goals
- Tips For Boosting Your Productivity
- Motivational Quotes to Get You Through Any Day
- New Flags on The Template Gallery!
- Be Featured on Our Site!
- How to Create Your First Invoice
- A Helping Hand on the Road to Success
- How Wine and Invoicing Go Together
- How to Use 'My Reports' as Statements
- 1st Day of Summer
- A Faster Way to Organize and View Your Documents
- 3 Ways to Wrap Up Your Month
- 5 Activities You Have Time for While Using Invoice Home
- Creating a Partial Payment
- What Invoices and Technology have in Common
- Get an Invoice that Suits You
- Need more details in your Invoice? No problem! Use the Advanced Form.
- Ready to bill your client? Awesome! Time to convert your Estimate into an Invoice.
- Stay organized! Bookmark customers, unpaid.. Here’s how!
- Need Two Taxes on One Item or a Compound Tax?
- Providing discounts? Effortless work-flow here!
- 500 Free Business Logos for You!
- Introducing 300 awesome Invoice Templates - Make your Business Shine!
- Invoice faster, write less. Copy items like this!
- Faster invoicing? Use the ‘Copy’ button. Here’s How.
- Don't mess with passwords anymore!
- Invoice paid in cash? Set it as “Paid” manually.
- Invoice customers faster with the ‘Email’ feature!
- Self-Organized Invoicing is Here!
- See why the New Invoice Home got a 5 Star Rating!
- 100 Professional Invoice Templates to promote your Brand
- Taxable and Non-Taxable Items on One Invoice? Here’s How!
- Get paid faster with Payment Links! Here’s how.