After performing work for your clients, it’s essential that you get paid. You don’t want to spend time chasing down your clients or worse, not getting paid at all. This is why your business needs a strong process in place to handle client payments. Below, we’ll offer you some tips you can use to better handle your client payments and ensure everything goes smoothly.
Establish Everything in Writing
One of the most important things you should do takes place before you even start working for the client. This is getting everything in writing. You should have written documentation stating what sort of work you are providing for the client and how much you are charging. This writing can be either a piece of paper signed by both parties or even just an email chain.
Having this in writing can help prevent future disputes with the client and ensure each party is on the same page. In addition, if there are any disputes with the client, having written documentation will help if there are legal battles. So, the next time you start talking to a client, make sure you get everything in writing and that you keep a record of these conversations at least until you receive payment.
Generate an Invoice
Once you’re finished providing a product or service to your client, it’s good practice to generate an invoice or receipt. An invoice states exactly what you provided for the customer and how much you charged. It can break down your total charge into separate parts, such as labor, parts, or other fees.
Producing an invoice helps for a few reasons. First, it clearly states to clients how you reached your final price. Second, it produces a written record that you can use later. Having an invoice you can look back on helps when it comes time to prepare your taxes, as you can quickly see what you charged throughout the year. There are plenty of software applications that can print invoices or receipts for you, so start making this a regular part of your transactions.
Allow for Online Payments
In this day and age, if you’re not accepting payments online, you’re missing out. Accepting digital payments makes things easier for both the client and yourself. The client can quickly transfer you the agreed-upon amount without having to write a check or take out cash from an ATM. At the same time, you also save yourself a trip to the bank, as electronic transfers can go right into your account.
Best of all, online payment processors often come with other tools. For instance, you can produce a report that details all of your payments for that year, making it much easier to add things up. You can also easily track your incoming payments or set up recurring payments with clients. Even if you work in person, there are ways to accept payments right through your mobile device. Make life easier for you and your customers by adding this technology as soon as you’re able.
Use Accounting Software
Accounting software is another essential tool for any business. Through accounting software, you can not only track your incoming payments but your outgoing expenses. This gives you a centralized place to analyze your business’s profits and losses, which is vital for a growing business. Without reliable software, you’re more likely to spend more than you can afford or miss out on opportunities for growth, not to mention mistakes you might make when it comes to your taxes. If you’re unfamiliar with using accounting software, another solution is to simply hire an accountant and let them handle everything for you.
Stick to a Regular Schedule
Finally, whenever possible, you should look to stick to a schedule. This could mean a few things, depending on your business. For example, if you provide monthly work for your clients, try to send them an invoice on the same date every month. Or, if you collect payments at odd times throughout the month, set aside some scheduled time to organize all your receipts. Having a set schedule will help to keep everything straight and ensure you don’t miss anything.
Better Client Payments Begin Today
You have enough on your plate running your own business. Getting paid is supposed to be the good part when all your hard work pays off. For this to happen, you’ll want some helpful tools by your side along with an organized system for doing things. If you can do this, you should find that managing payments becomes a lot easier and that you can spend more time focusing on more important parts of your business.
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