Getting clients to pay you on time is a crucial part of making sure that you are running a healthy business. Your cash flow is your lifeblood as a business owner. No cash eventually equals no business (and probably a lot of debt).
Why does it seem like it's so hard to get paid by clients? The truth is, if it seems hard, it might have to do with your own processes + systems around getting paid.
When we're talking about clients paying you, the first question should always be, "did you make it easy for them?"
Most clients want to pay you - or at the very least, they aren’t trying to scam you. They are just busy people, with busy lives, and paying you just isn't at the top of their priority list. It's something they'll get around to doing eventually.
So, here are 3 simple steps to take to make sure that you get paid - without stressing out or working very hard at it.
1. Make it easy
Focus on making your client’s life easier. If you can do this, I promise you’ll get paid faster and more often, and your clients will end up happier with you and with your services.
Payments should be a seamless part of your process. You shouldn’t have to remember to ask them to pay you and they shouldn’t have to remember to pay you. Payment should be an integrated part of your client onboarding and management process. Clients don’t want you to become one more thing on their to-do list. They want to pay you and be done with it.
2. Ask for payment up front
This is the easiest single step you can take. And the bonus is that you ALWAYS end up getting paid before you do the work. Get paid first - when the contracts are getting signed (you do have a contract, right?).
If your clients can’t always afford to pay you everything up front (or your service isn’t one where that it makes sense), make sure you have their payment information so that you can just take the payment when the time comes. For monthly subscriptions, take payment at the beginning of the month, using an automated system.
No excuses about how your clients are special and they won't pay up front. They will. They do it all the time. Every SaaS subscription service, every membership they belong to, every product they buy, course they take... they pay for all of it up front. So, they will pay YOU up front. You just have to build it into your service structure and process.
Psst... this is a whole lot easier if you're doing flat-rate or value-based pricing.
3. Take all forms of payments
One of my biggest pet peeves is businesses who don't take credit cards, or only take specific ones. You should take your client's money in whatever form they want to give it to you. They are trying to pay you, trying to give you money, stop making them jump through hoops to do it.
This comes back to making your client's life as easy as possible. And, yes, you should accept credit cards.
Streamline your payment process and win
Automating and streamlining your payment process means that you can free up your time to do something better. It also means that it's easier for your clients to pay you. So everyone gets more time and you get more money, faster.