How to deal with late-paying Customers
Business owners always have to struggle with some customers who don’t pay their dues on time. Most of the small business owners face such problems very frequently. To collect that money, small business owners need to follow up on some steps to connect with the clients. In this article, we will highlight those steps that must be taken by a business owner to collect the dues. If your requests do not get you paid, then you may opt for legal options or can consider hiring a collection agency. So, here are a few steps you must consider getting yourself paid.
Tips and steps to collect money from late-paying clients:
Small business owners and entrepreneurs at some point in their journey are likely to face the problem of not getting paid on time. But don’t worry, we got you covered this time. Follow these tips to collect the dues from late-paying customers.
Send well-mannered reminders
The very first step you must take is so sending a reminder email after the due date politely requesting to pay their dues. You may also consider sending a payment reminder emailer template which must be designed professionally and politely. This will increase your chances of getting the payment soon. Let your client know every detail of the invoice including the purchase date and due date along with the amount due for payment. Mention the payment methods you accept in the email and also highlight the late fee policies if you have any. And for reference, attach the invoice file with the email.
Call the customers directly
After sending a polite reminder for payment, if you still have not received your payment, then opt for calling the customers directly. Here also just like the email, you must talk politely with the client. Ask the client whether he/she is facing any difficulty in financial conditions which is making the payment delay. Try to solve the issue with the customers as a friend. If possible then confirm your payment date over the phone otherwise ask the customers to fix a due date by which they will complete the payment.
Never try to threaten your customers or be abusive:
At this point, your only focus is to simply figure out where the problem lies and how can you get the payment. Analyze how much the customer is important to you. Also, how you can recover from the current situation, and how much money does the customer need to pay. Consider these to offer the customer an installment plan if he/she is facing difficulty in payment from his/her end. This solution might help you to charge interest or a late fine. But if it is going to make it hard for customers to pay then you should charge according to the original invoice only.
Terminate future works with the client.
If you think that previous steps have not given you any success, it is the proper time to cut off the client from any future works until the payment is clear. This move will not only make them pay to carry on with the works but also make you stronger in dealing with an unreliable client.
Consider hiring a collection agency:
Before taking any legal step against the client, consider having outside help to collect your money. Before hiring make sure that collection agency has a reputation in this field. Collection agencies have the success story at collecting the dues from the debtors but their fees are often very high.
Take legal steps:
If you are still struggling to get the money you owed, then you must drag the case in a courtroom. Sue the client and take them to courtroom trials. Small courtrooms are generally less expensive and quick. And if the client does not appear before the court then you win the case by default. Depending on the amount of money you owed, you can sue the client in a higher court. Hire a lawyer to represent you in the court but remember this process may take several months to get justice.
Ask for advance payment:
To protect your business from financial losses in the future, make sure you ask the client for some prepayment before signing a contract. It will be completely okay if you ask for 25-30 percent of the total contract as an advance deposit.
Every entrepreneur and business owners struggle to deal with this issue of non-payment. But, no matter what happens at some phase of your initial days of starting a business, entrepreneurs must use the experience as a learning process to safeguard their invoicing policies in the future to deal with late payments in the future.