Until you invoice your customer, you're not going to get paid. Make sure all invoices are sent out as soon as goods and services are provided.
If you wait until the end of month and you have 30 day payment terms, you're giving customers an opportunity to extend their credit. Read our top tips for efficient invoicing.
You'll know yourself the importance of saving money in business so, if you can afford it, offering a small discount for paying before the amount of days stated in your terms and conditions can be an attractive offer.
Make a friend in the accounts department
Try and establish a personal rapport with one or two people in your client's accounts department. This can help to move the payment process along swiftly and smoothly.
Don't give them an excuse
If a company wants to delay payment, it will try to find any legitimate reason to do so. Don't give your customer the chance. Make your terms and conditions clear and water-tight, make sure every invoice is correct and send a delivery note that must be signed so you have proof of delivery.
Follow up every delivery with a call to make sure that the customer is happy and tackle any problems as soon as they arise.
Members can download free sample terms and conditions, invoice and delivery note templates.
Use penalty clauses
Often the mere suggestion of a penalty, such as stricter trading terms, can be enough to prompt customers to pay on time.
Also remember to always include something on your right to exercise your statutory right to claim interest of 8% over the Bank of England base rate. If you still can't get paid, you should follow a set process to get your money back. Find out more in our debt recovery tips.
For further advice and support, call the Forum helpline on 0845 130 1722.
Research has found that asking customers politely for the money you're owed is one of the best ways of getting paid on time. Here are five more friendly ways you can improve your chances of getting paid quicker, without having to resort to the threat of legal action.