Want to get your invoices paid on time? Almost every freelancer and business experienced this, and while it’s hard to 100% eliminate the situation, you can eliminate it to the point that you won’t ever have to stress about an invoice not getting paid.
And it starts with solving the issue before it’s even an issue.
Be Bold (Vital to get Invoices Paid on Time)
Don’t cure the disease, prevent it, right?
We get it! We want to be nice, and we don’t want to come across as rude, but 9/10 times, your invoices not getting paid on time, goes down to you not communicating with your client when starting to work with them.
“But the client is such a nice person…”
We get that, and it might be true, but invoices being paid late is the result of no communication.
If you don’t communicate with your client about payment prior, how are they meant to know what you seek or what you are not happy with?
Being nice results in being used. Lack of communication results in your client not knowing the situation, and if you don’t make it clear, that is your fault.
Money is part of business and it needs to be talked about.
Example of what you can say:
I charge x, with my payment terms of x days, unless otherwise discussed otherwise beforehand. I charge 10% fee of payments over that date.
Reading this, you might think this is mean, but there’s nothing mean about it. It means no harm, and once you do it a few times, you will see that.
…Even better, propose payment in advance to your client or if starting out with them, a 50% upfront.
Of course, this is a 9/10 situation. This won’t always make a client pay on time.
That’s where the next steps come in.
Track Your Invoices and follow-up
If you eliminated the communications issue, in most cases it goes down to someone not seeing your invoice.
“But how do they not see my invoice?”
That’s a good question to ask, but if you consider that a standard employee in business gets around 150 emails per day, then you will see that it’s not that hard not to see an invoice.
…And that especially applies when it comes to busier periods.
This once again in a way goes down to communication issues and thinking that you are going to be rude, but if you follow-up to your client about your invoice, in most cases you will get paid, and if not, you will get a response about what’s going on, and you can go from there.
This is where email tracking comes in though as a way to confirm whether your client looked at your invoice or not.
MailTag is a chrome/Edge Chromium extension that allows you to know when your emails are opened and what links are clicked on.
When you send an email with an invoice, you’ll know when it gets opened. When you send an email with a link to an invoice, you’ll see when that link in that email gets clicked.
MailTag also comes with an ability to send automatic follow-ups if an email is not opened after an x amount of days, meaning you can send automatic follow-ups about your invoices if your invoices aren’t being opened.
…If they are, and they aren’t getting paid, well, that’s when you start hitting the “clients from hell” sector.
…Especially if your client is asking you to do something else, without paying.
In those situations, this is where you can start bringing in the “fees” part.
Hi x. I’m reaching out as I noticed that the invoice is due on x, and it has not yet been paid. Are you having any issues? Let me know.
If your invoice doesn’t get paid after that, then this is where email no.2 comes in, if you communicated fees prior to that.
Hi x. Due to the lateness of payment of the invoice x, I’m going to have to bring in a x% fee as agreed. I’ve updated the invoice for that which you can see here:
Ideally, that’s an email you won’t ever have to send, but sometimes this is what’s needed.
If this is a reoccurring client and this is happening often, this is where you might want to start bringing in alternatives.
Hi x, I’m reaching out regarding invoices. They often don’t get paid on time, which is why I have an alternative. Pre-payment of invoices…
The last way to get your invoices paid on time every single time?
Have the Right Clients
The right communication + the right clients = invoices paid on time.
The worst paying clients are often the most demanding and slowest at paying.
Their country also matters though.
For example, Swedish people are one of the worst for paying in a timely manner in “modern countries”.
That’s How to Get Your Invoices Paid on Time
Communication and following up. The key to getting your invoices paid on time.
Combine that with MailTag and you’ll know when and where your emails are opened.