How to invoice and collect payments
EVERYTHING IS THIS GUIDE IS IMPORTANT. DO NOT SKIP ANYTHING. FOLLOW IT EXACTLY AS IT'S WRITTEN.
Always be polite but firm, never lose your temper during the process even with slow-paying customers. If you lose your temper, you may not get paid and lose a client where it could've been avoided. The average pay time even with this stringent process is about 10 days.
If you are about to send your first invoice, give them a call first, introduce yourself, let them know that from now on you will be sending them invoices. Resist the temptation and do not just send an invoice by email without a phone call because that looks weak, like you are hiding, and some clients may ignore your invoices. Plus, they may not even know you yet at this point.
Let's say the invoice date is 10 January. This is a recommended procedure:
- 1st invoice by email - 8 January (2 days before the invoice date)
- 2nd invoice by email with a short reminder - 14 January (4 days after the invoice date)
- Text message to phone with a reminder - 16 January (6 days after the invoice date)
- Phone call - 18 January (8 days after the invoice date)
- After that - daily communication by phone, text, email depending on the response
- If the invoice is still unpaid until 25 January (2 weeks after the invoice date), call me to discuss the course of action but for the subsequent steps to work, make sure to follow the previous steps above exactly as written
If a client flat out refuses to pay early in the process for any reason or ignores your attempts to contact them completely for about a week, do not wait for 2 weeks, contact me straight away.
With each time you go through this process, even slow-paying clients will normally become less and less so.