Do you hate asking clients for money?
Photo by Images Money
If you have your own business, the chances are you do it to make a living.
So why are so many business owners reticent to chase unpaid invoices, or even to send them in the first place?
I was recently talking to a business colleague who asked me how often I send invoices and how soon I chase them. My answer – I send them as soon as the job is done, and chase them the day they become overdue. But it seems this is not what all business owners do. My colleague told me that she felt awkward asking for money, and had not invoiced for the previous month, or chased any overdue invoices.
I decided to search on the internet to see whether others find it difficult to discuss money with their clients and found this post:
“I HATE invoicing my clients and ALWAYS procrastinate. It’s quick and easy and it brings really good money – so I should WANT to do it, right? Invoicing is the one thing I ALWAYS put off. I should be invoicing on the 20th. I never get around to it until the 1st. Now it’s the 3rd and I’ve been putting it off and can’t make myself do it. Don’t know why”
They went on:
“This is nuts. I have great clients who are all very happy with the service I provide. WHY CANT I MAKE MYSELF DO IT???”
Was my service good enough?
One reason given for not sending invoices is a lack of confidence in the service you have provided. By sending an invoice, you are asking for the client to pay for the job. But what if it wasn’t good enough? What if they refuse to pay some or all of the invoice?
It is so important to regularly ask for feedback from clients, to ensure they are either happy with your work or generate the opportunity for them to be open about what they are not happy with, and give you a chance to correct it.
Feedback should be requested regularly:
– informally ‘let me know you are happy with the work or if anything further is required’ or
– formally through Patient Satisfaction Forms or/and regular client reviews.
Am I too expensive?
Again, possibly a lack of confidence in your abilities. If you are worried that when your client receives your invoice, they will think you are charging too much, ensure that you have clearly set out your rates before starting the job – and that the client has given their approval to proceed on this basis. Even better, issue a formal written quotation beforehand.
Then there should be no reason why you can’t raise that invoice – right?
I don’t want my clients to feel I’m nagging them – they’re really busy
You have done the work, they need to pay you.
It’s important that clients understanding the terms of payment that you have – and if they can’t meet this (some larger organisations have a pay run on a set day each month) then they need to let you know this, so you can manage your cash flow.
If you have done the work, you have kept your part of the bargain and you shouldn’t feel bad about sending them a reminder that the invoice is overdue.
Send clients a polite reminder when invoices are late – more often than not, there is a genuine reason for the delay and they are very apologetic and get it paid the next day, if not the same day.
Still can’t bring yourself to do it, or keep forgetting to do it?
Help is at hand – engage the services of a Virtual Assistant like me!
I can ensure that invoices are raised timely, and that they are chased up promptly – thus taking away the stress and ensuring that you are paid on time.
One less thing to worry about.
Find our more about having a Virtual Assistant go to: www.joannemanville.co.uk
By Joanne Manville