You've completed the job, and the customer is happy. Now it's time to get paid — but sometimes, that doesn't happen as quickly as you'd like. Collecting on invoices in a timely fashion is essential to keep your business's cash flow in good shape. Here are six tips that will help you get paid faster.
- Invoice customers right away. It may sound obvious, but invoicing as soon as a job is completed is key to accelerating payment. Unless your contract specifies that you will bill customers at the end of the month, it’s best to provide an invoice when the job is done. Using a solution such as Lighthouse Field Services, which converts job details to invoices in one click, helps get things moving.
- Make sure your invoices are accurate. Billing correctly is important to getting paid rapidly, without customers having to contact you with questions. Lighthouse Field Services tracks changes and updates to a job — such as additional time spent or materials used — and automatically reflects these on the invoice. Knowing you have all of the correct information, you can invoice with confidence.
- Make sure your invoices are clear. Invoices that are simple and easy to read, with amounts and due dates clearly visible, help eliminate confusion that can lead to missed or late payments. Information about where to send payment or how to pay online should be easy to see. Using professionally designed invoice templates, like Lighthouse Field Services, helps ensure that customers know exactly what they owe.
- Enable online payments. If you're still sending invoices the old-fashioned way — by mail — you're adding in unnecessary transit time. First the invoice has to get your customer, then the customer has to write a check and the check has to get back to you. Paper invoices can easily get lost or sit forgotten in a pile of mail. Plus, many customers prefer to pay online. Lighthouse Field Services lets you easily create branded web invoices and send them to your customers. Customers can pay online with their credit card, which means money in your account faster.
- Accept mobile payments. Take things one step further with mobile payment tools. Using the Lighthouse Field Services app on a mobile device, you can collect payments from customers right at the job site.
- Follow up on unpaid invoices quickly. Despite following all the steps above, you'll inevitably have some customers that are slow to pay their invoices. Be proactive: As soon you see that an invoice is overdue, reach out (politely) to remind the customer of the payment. In most cases, a gentle nudge is all that will be needed to resolve the situation.
By following the six simple steps above, you’ll get paid faster, enjoy better cash flow and feel confident your business is running smoothly.