How To Handle Unpaid Invoices
An unfortunate truth in business is sometimes people don’t pay on time. What steps can you take to avoid this? Be consistent and timely with sending your invoices, and establish payment terms prior to doing work together to make sure everyone is on the same page. However, if a client fails to pay an invoice on time, there are certain steps you should take to act on this.
The first step when dealing when a client who won’t pay is to simply send a polite remindervia email, attaching the invoice again. This is usually enough for them to remember to pay you - life gets crazy and sometimes we forget things, it happens.
If your email reminder goes ignored and you still have not received a payment 48 hours later, call them. Remain polite, and once again remind them of their unpaid invoice. This will be their second reminder, one that is much harder to ignore.
If they still don’t pay you, it’s time to make a deal. Getting some of your money now is better than getting none of it at all. You need money to run your business and you rely on your client’s paying you for your services - it’s that simple. Talk with your client about why they aren’t paying. If they’re having financial issues, offer a payment plan.
At this point, if your client still refuses to pay you, it’s time to consult an attorney. They have had more than enough time and chances to pay any amount of their invoice, and have chosen not to.
Some ways to make payments easier for your clients is to accept multiple payments methods (it’s 2020, let’s get with it), make clear invoices using an automated system for convenience, and run background checks on the people or companies you do business with. Be careful who you do business with, and always trust your gut. Oh, and pay your invoices on time!