As a business owner, it is inevitable that some customers will fail to send in their invoices on time. This is the bane of every business. Most times, when they start to owe you more than necessary, it’s not that you are not invoicing them accurately. Sometimes, they just don’t want to pay. When such occasions arise, you probably keep looking for ways to send a payment reminder professionally in a way that is stern without insulting.
First, decide how long to wait before contacting the customer, then do so.
Pick a date that you think is reasonable. Most companies usually use between 30 – 90 days depending on the size of the debt. Then make contact. You also have to decide on the means of communication. Emailing is an easy, low-stress way of reminding a debtor that they are due. You’ll want to be nice on the first contact because it’s likely that the customer forgot. Rage and threats will only make things awkward and ruin any chance of future patronage.
Prepare Your Mind
Late invoice collection can sometimes be a messy business, one that requires commitment and nerves of steel. You’ll also need to be patient because customers can be funny with all kinds of excuses. The key is to be friendly but assertive and firm. If you are too nice, debtors will have a field day using you as a doormat. If you’re too aggressive, you’ll lose customers for good. So if you feel like you’re not good at chasing people, assign the task to someone who is.
It’s very easy to get so tired of chasing a debtor. Either because you either don’t want to offend or perhaps you’re too busy doing other important stuff. Try to make use of your accounting software and review pending payments at least once a week, or get someone to do so. Develop a plan for following up late invoice collection according to set a number of days. And stick to it.
You can decide to take the matter to court if, after repeated calls, they choose to ignore you. Discuss with your lawyer about the chances of winning a suit, getting paid and how much a court case will cost, and if you’re willing to spend so much.
Hire a Debt Collection Agency
Maybe after so long, they still won’t pay you your money. If they owe a significant amount of money and you do not want to get involved in a court case, then you have to hire a debt collection agency. Lots of such abound nowadays and have the resourced to squeeze payments out of even the most unwilling of customers, for a percentage of the money they recover. In some cases, they may even offer to pay you the debts outright, then pursue after the debtors themselves. Racing Credit Control is a credit company that boasts of skilled professionals sworn to get you back your money in the shortest possible time for a reasonable fee.