To successfully run a company, business owners need a number of things to fall into place.
One of those important facets is making sure clients pay on time for products and services purchased from companies (see more below). In most cases they do, especially if they are buying them in a physical store or even online through Ecommerce.
In other cases, some clients are billed for the goods or services provided to them, bills that in most instances are paid in a timely manner.
So, what happens when your clients do not always pay on time?
In many instances, you will get your money at some point, though it may take a bit of extra time and effort on your part. In other instances, you may be delayed for a significant period of time from receiving that money, with the scenario also potentially being you never see that money.
So, are you doing all you can to make sure clients pay in a timely manner?
Make It Easy for Customer Payments
When it comes to accepting customer payments, you want to do everything and anything possible to make the process as simple as possible.
This starts with being in the 21st Century as it relates to technology.
Many customers these days are on the go, meaning they do not have time to wait for you to get your act together. Simply put; you need to have a business (and a technology setup) that meets the needs of the modern customer.
For instance, if your business attends a number of trade shows, networking events, community gatherings etc. being able to accept payments while there is a great feature that some of your competition may not offer.
One example would be attending a community fair.
If you are in the business of printing and selling local high school sports apparel (t-shirts, sweatpants, shorts, hats etc.), a community event can be the perfect opportunity for you to sell your products (assuming others are there to do the same).
In making sales at such gatherings, you may very well want to avoid having lots of cash exchanging hands, not to mention having it at the scene.
One way to remedy that is by accepting credit cards, something many customers will probably appreciate too.
If you have a mobile device (with a credit card reader) there to take a variety of credit cards, you’re in luck. Before the event is over, you will have likely rung-up a fair amount of sales.
Even if some attendees choose not to make a purchase at that time, you can still provide them with a business card, leading to perhaps some sales sooner rather than later.
Pay Now or Later
Getting back to the important facet of customer payments; make sure those you need to bill for services don’t stiff you.
Face it; you did not get into business either recently or many years ago with the intent of doing it all for free.
Sure, you may cut some clients a few breaks here and there, but you need to make money when all is said and done. If some clients are making that difficult to do, it doesn’t do anything positive for your bank account.
In the event clients do not pay on time, make sure you have a system in place to do everything possible to collect those outstanding payments.
First and foremost, be sure to invoice them using a most user-friendly invoice template in a timely manner, something you should already be doing. If necessary, hire someone to handle your invoicing and accounting needs, allowing you to focus on other aspects of your business.
Lastly, do everything in your powers to get those outstanding funds, even if it means turning to agencies to help you with collections etc. Basically throwing money out the window certainly doesn’t do you any good.
As you look towards 2017 and how to best meet the needs of customers, review where your business is currently at, along with where you want to see it a year from now, especially in terms of client relationships.
When all is said and done, standing out as the best business leader in your respective industry, that should always be your goal at the end of each and every business day.