Today we have a very special article from Julie Elster, founder of Just Tell Julie, a service that helps you turn your overdue invoices & failed payments into customer services opportunities.
Julie spent over 10 years in Corporate America working with accounts receivable and she certainly knows her way around debt collection tactics. Today she is an accounts receivable virtual assistant and helps make getting invoices paid painless for freelancers. Through her Thermonuclear Niceness, Julie quickly turns mildly overdue invoices into customer service opportunities. In this article, Julie teaches us how to get paid!! Sound good? — take it away Julie!
The End of Overdue Invoices: Are you using these two methods?
Owning your own business has some truly amazing benefits. You can make your own hours. You can take on the projects that you want, and turn down the ones you don’t. You can work on your terms, and do it your way.
The downside? Sending an invoice, and hitting the refresh button on your email over and over again waiting for the notification that your client has paid – like your inbox is an awful freelancing slot machine that mostly dispenses spam. Without the other regular recurring revenue, overdue invoices are especially painful for small teams and solopreneurs.
There is a surprisingly easy and simple solution to keep the late and non-payers at bay. It’s so remarkably simple I’m shocked not everyone does it.
Ready? Here we go:
To avoid late and non-payers every single time, collect payment upfront. Collect payment before work starts. If the client doesn’t want to pay, the work doesn’t begin. It really is as easy as that.
Ok, maybe I’m oversimplifying it just a little bit, but it really can be done. I have worked in accounts receivable for years, and make a living reaching out to clients who haven’t paid their invoices. The #1 thing I tell my clients is to reconsider their process when it comes to collecting payment from clients to prevent the problem before it starts. The majority of clients I work with charge hourly rates. When a client approaches them to work they collect a small deposit upfront. When the work is complete they send an invoice based on the number of hours the project took to complete. Then they wait, hoping the invoice is paid in a timely manner. Does that sound familiar?