Monday, 14 February 2011
How to Deal with Late or Non Paying Clients
Nothing is more frustrating then having to deal with a late or non paying client. Unfortunately though it can occur from time to time and is one of the risks with running a business, but how do you deal with this type of client?
1.Retain all Correspondence
When you are first discussing the project and payment it is worthwhile making sure that you keep all correspondence so that you can refer back to it if necessary. Try to keep separate folders on your computer for each client and a hard copy of any agreements in a file. It is always a good idea to get some kind of contract to avoid problems at a later date.
Depending on your line of business you may like to ask for some form of deposit up front so that you can guarantee receiving at least some of the money. Many people also state that there will be interest or late fees payable if the money is not paid in a reasonable amount of time. Often this is enough of a deterrent to prevent late payment from occurring.
2.Invoice on Time
It may sound simple but if you want to make sure that a client pays on time, make sure that you send out your invoice in a prompt manner. You simply cannot expect a client to pay on time if you are late sending the invoice.
Always make sure that your invoices are laid out well and that it is clear what the payment is for. Be sure to include details for your chosen method of payment on the invoice so there is no obvious reason for any delay. If you do find that you have had to wait some time and have still not been paid then you could issue another invoice with a reminder attached. In many cases it may be that the client has simply been too busy to pay the invoice.
3.Consider Professional Help
Unfortunately there may be times in which you are forced to seek professional help such as a business consultant for a non paying client. However make sure that you have first given the client enough time to pay and sent them several clear invoices stating that further action will be taken. Make sure that you remain professional at all times so as not to damage your reputation or business.