Managing cash flow is important in business, especially when you're first starting out. You've only got a small amount of money to keep the business going so it can really cause you some problems if you get a client that doesn't want to pay on time. The majority of clients are going to pay up, no questions asked, but you'll always get those difficult people that will do anything to get out of paying. It's going to happen to all businesses at some point so it's important that you know how to deal with it, otherwise, it'll lead to cash flow issues. These are the best ways to make sure that your clients pay on time.
Stay Firm On Pricing
These kinds of clients like to take advantage of businesses and sometimes, if you're too flexible with you, they'll see how far they can push it. If you quote a client and they come back and tell you that you're too expensive, you might think that you should just lower your prices to keep them sweet and close the deal. But if you do that, they might decide that you're still too expensive and ask you to lower the price even further. Once you set a precedent and they see you as a pushover, that's when the problems will start and they'll try to get away without paying properly. If the price has been changing a lot, it's also easier for them to dispute it and claim that the final price that you agreed on was something different. It's important that you stay firm on prices and don't bend over backwards to please a different client.
Give Clear Quotes And Invoices
Another excuse that they might use is that the quote and the invoice don't match up and you're trying to overcharge them. That's why you need to be incredibly clear with your quotes and invoices so they know exactly what they need to pay and when. If you use good online accounting software, you can easily generate professional, clear invoices. You need to make sure that you keep copies of everything and keep any emails that you have exchanged so if they try to dispute the price, you have plenty of evidence to fall back on.
Keep Calling Them
When you're starting a new business, you don't want to upset customers and risk losing them. That sometimes leads to a fear of being pushy, so business owners are too polite with people that aren't paying up. But you have to remember that you provided a product and they have to pay, and there's no shame in asking for your money. If they haven't paid on the day that the money is due, don't wait around, just call them up and ask what is happening or send them an email. Sometimes, it might be a simple error and they'll sort it, but if they're trying to avoid paying, you have to keep calling them up and don't worry about getting on their nerves.
Difficult clients are just a part of running your own business and you'll have to deal with them now and again, but if you follow these simple steps, you can make sure that they pay on time.