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Your Startup – Getting to Grips with Getting Paid

You might be a blogger. You might sell handmade trinkets online. You could run a door-to-door laundry service or make websites for paying customers. Whatever it is that you do to turn a profit, the “paying customers” part of the equation cannot be out of balance. If money does not roll downhill towards your bank account at the end of your efforts, you’re doing something wrong.

That’s not to say that your business model is too stuffy or that the service you provide is less than professional. No. The issue may be that you haven’t focused on the one thing all clients need to have in front of them before they pry open their coffers and cross your online palm with digital silver. You need an invoice. 

Invoicing (your startup’s secret weapon)

Whenever you make a sale, you need invoicing (for example, check out this invoicing software). Not only does invoicing let everyone know where they stand with crucial payment details (such as itemised billing and accepted payment methods), it’s also helpful for tax purposes. Where you have an official invoicing system that generates the details of each transaction, clients will feel compelled to pay. Don’t rely on something like follow-up text messages that are easy to ignore. 

There’s no denying that starting a business can often mean relying on a few core customers. One of your clients might be your cousin’s husband. Another might be someone you knew from school. Or your neighbour. And for that reason, you could feel like an official invoice might seem a little heavy-handed. You don’t want to scare people away by making it look like you didn’t believe they would stick to the price discussed over social media. However, invoicing will have the opposite effect.

You are unlikely to scare customers away by adopting a professional tone. Instead, invoicing will help drive more leads. Your customers will be happy to endorse you to friends, knowing that you handle things efficiently and competently. 

Chase Late Payments

An invoice can help you to highlight payment due dates to clients. That’s all well and good. But what if clients miss the due date? You must contact the client on the same day as payment is due, as a reminder of their obligation to pay. With any luck, there may have been an oversight, and the client will pay up and apologise for not having made the payment earlier. 

Having an invoice to cite is a useful way of presenting a breakdown of the total payment requested. Without an itemised invoice, the client could forget elements of the service you have provided and begin to question exactly what is covered in the price. 

Do not be afraid to continue to chase payment – don’t let clients treat your fledgeling business as a free-of-charge convenience. We would all love to get what we want without paying for it. But that’s not how things work. And you shouldn’t let things slide for an easy life. Check out these top tips on how to chase late payments


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