Pay Me Please: How to Collect on Unpaid Invoices

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When running a business, it’s vital that you not only get paid, but that you get paid the correct amount, and that you get your money on time. Chasing down customers for unpaid invoices can be a headache and it can take hours or weeks of your valuable time. When payments are late, small businesses suffer.

How can you ensure that you get your unpaid invoices paid consistently? Read on to find out.

Strategies for Getting Unpaid Invoices Paid

Although we all hope that our clients and customers will pay us as soon as our work is done in a satisfactory manner, that’s not always the case. There are some things smart business owners can do both before and after a payment is late to ensure that they are paid on time.

How to Be Proactive About Getting Invoices Paid

There are several things you can do to encourage your customers to pay you on time so you don’t have to worry about past-due invoices piling up in the first place.

First, make sure the invoices you issue are clear and easy to understand. They should include the amount owed, how to pay and the due date of payment. If you do not have an invoice template already, you can find a wide variety of stunning and effective options in this Adobe Express.

To ensure that your clients pay you on time, it’s crucial to list a late fee right on the invoice when you first issue it. Follow through on charging that late fee when they are late. Most people do not want to spend more money than they have to, so knowing a fee will be charged may be enough all on its own to inspire on-time payment.

Sending email reminders can help, too. As you surely know, running a business is complicated and hectic. If you remind your debtors that they have a due date approaching, you will be more likely to get paid on time.

What to Do When a Client Doesn’t Pay

If you’ve already tried the above methods and still find that you end up with outstanding, unpaid invoices in your files, there are additional steps you can take to collect.

The first thing you should do when an invoice is late is to follow-up politely. Even though a forgotten invoice is annoying on your end, it’s possible or even likely that it was just overlooked. It may be paid immediately after a gentle reminder.

If you are still doing ongoing work for the client, cease work right way when an invoice isn’t paid. The client will surely want the job completed. Stopping progress, production or delivery when there are outstanding invoices will send a clear message that you are serious about getting paid.

When all else fails, seek legal counsel. Laws pertaining to overdue payments differ from place to place, so it’s important that you find information that pertains to your area in particular. An attorney can help you file in court, and help you all the way through the process of getting a past due invoice paid.

Hiring a debt collector involved can help you, but you will have to pay a fee for this service. Still, the fee may be far less than the money you stand to gain when the unpaid invoice is paid.

Get Paid, Feel Better

You will surely feel better once the outstanding debts to you are paid, so don’t delay in moving forward on the steps above. If you are too busy, perhaps a virtual personal assistant can help you keep track of sending invoices, tracking their payment status and following up with past-due clients on unpaid invoices.

Best of luck on getting your clients to pay their invoices on time in the future. It is possible with the proper strategies and systems in place.

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