Getting your invoices paid on time can be the backbone to your success, as well as your monthly cash flow concerns. Here are five simple steps designed to support and maintain reliable cash flow, enabling you to focus on the creative work at hand!
1. Ask for an up-front deposit.
If you’re working project to project and are on client retainer, the best way to protect yourself is by asking for a deposit up-front. Genuine clients will have no problem doing this, even at 50% up-front. Ensure that this is directly input into your freelance contract and that the contract is signed before proceeding.
2. Automate Automate Automate!
Hate sending out invoices? Get yours automated, so that way it’s sent out every month on time or after clear milestones have been completed. This not only shows that you’re on the ball but reflects the urgency and dedication you have to that piece of work.
3. Opt for short payment timeframes
The more time you give a client to pay, the more likely it will be that your invoice gets buried in the ‘later pile’ and if you’ve hired external help then that can make things even longer. Remember, a 30-day payment period is NOT mandatory.
4. Set up a late payment system
When a client is late with a payment, you can increase the chances of being paid quickly by sending out a late invoice payment. Sometimes all it takes is a speedy reminder and you’ll get paid. You can set up an automated sequence of email reminders for late payments too. Make sure you include clear WARNINGS about additional fees for late payments.
5. Build a memorable brand
Appearance matters, even when it comes to invoices! As a matter of fact, if your invoice is branded and designed, chances are that it’s already more memorable than the other invoices that your client is receiving. This can help them pay your invoice faster and reinforces your business in their minds.
Ultimately, when implemented, these strategies can support you receive regular and prompt payments on time, nearly every time. Of course, some clients will always pay late, some clients will be busy doing other things and the invoice may slip to the bottom of their pile - but having these set-up protects you in the eventuality.