Here’s a fun factoid for you… billing your customers for the work you’ve done gets you paid! AND, when you get paid, you can pay your bills! And eat!
One of the most important things about running an SME is to get your invoices out- as quickly after the job is done as possible. Simply put, people won’t pay you if you don’t bill them. Invoice fast and often.
I know, I’m hearing you say that it’s the last thing you feel like doing after spending all your time on the job; you’re just too busy and it becomes a chore for the end of the month or a wet day. But that sort of business practice is what gets you a gigantic debtors list and believe me, chasing that up is a far worse chore!
Be upfront about your terms of trade. It’s OK to ask for payment in seven days if you’re really clear at the start that that is what you expect.
Use technology to help: an efficient accounting system and email. Always include your bank account details so it can be direct credited to you.
Recently we got our plumber to do a repair job on our rental property. He used to send his invoices weeks later in the post. We would get them, put them in the tray to pay, then try and remember to pay them by the 20th of the following month. In the old days we wrote a cheque and put it in the post to him. He had to wait to receive it then get to the bank to deposit it- meaning that he didn’t receive payment until up to two months after doing the job! He has since changed his tune and emailed us the invoice a couple of days later with his payment details. Because of this, I immediately logged into our online banking system and paid him straight away!
There are lots of accounting systems out there that WILL make your billing life a breeze! Systems like Xero gives you a tool to reconcile your debtors on a daily basis so you always know exactly who still owes you money!
Billing is the new black… don’t be afraid of it, just get your system set up and jolly well get on with it! If you are struggling, call us; we know Xero and a hundreds of other systems really well. We can help you get paid!