One of the main problems facing small businesses is to reduce the average collection period for bills in order to avoid cash-flow problems. We present some tips to reduce the number of days to charge an invoice:
- Our first tip is to create the perfect invoice: include the tax details for the buyer and the seller. Add the description of the service provided clear and specific and include the payment terms on the invoice with the maturity of the same .
- As soon as you send the invoice, make a phone call to your client to check if they have received the e-mail with the attached invoice, if the format is correct and if it is according to what the client expects. It is very easy that if the invoice did not comply the requirements proposed by the client, the payment could be delayed for this reason.
- A week before the maturity of the invoice, send to your client a statement of account updated with all the bills that have pending payments, clearly indicating the maturity deadline.
- It is the due date and you have not received the payment. What do you do now? First, call the customer, have a first contact with him or her, ask if they have received the invoice and a statement of account previously sent. If the answer is yes, ask for an anticipation of payment of the invoice. If the answer is negative, send the invoice and a statement of account by e-mail, now you can start to ask for an anticipation of payment of the invoice.
Some extra tips:
- Be nice, even if your customer is very rude.
- Save all the e-mails sent and received and keep a phone diary. Not only these files will help you keep control through the process but it will help you as well to be more stringent on credit conditions when issuing a new invoice.