Getting customers to pay invoices on time is crucial to maintaining a business’ cash flow; however, it’s not the easiest or nicest thing to have to do as a business owner. With recent figures released by Xero showing that more than half of invoices issued by UK businesses were paid late last year, it’s issue that affects all of us. But with that in mind, how do you go about getting customers to pay invoices quicker in a professional and non-intrusive manner?  Here’s our some of our top tips summarise:

1.Firstly, be prompt with delivering your invoices

In research carried out by FreeAgent, it’s been demonstrated that the quicker businesses send their invoices over, the more likely it is they’ll be paid on time. Of course, correlation doesn’t equal causation; but it always sets a good president by sending out your invoices promptly.

2.Keep your invoices simple

If a customer find your invoices confusing, they’re more likely to put off paying it on time. It’s therefore important to make sure your invoices are easy to understand and make it clear to the customer what the exact terms of payment are. The design and layout should also be clear and easy to follow.

3.Offer incentives for customers who pay early

Small incentives may be enough to encourage customers to pay their invoices on time, or even earlier. This use of positive reinforcement is an easy, yet effective way to gently remind customers to pay their invoices.

4.Go paperless

Surprisingly, many small businesses are still doing all their accounting offline. Not only is online accounting easier for you as a business owner, but it also gives your customers more options of how to pay; which is likely to result in quicker payments.

5.Build strong relationships

Retaining strong customer relationships not only goes a long way in upholding your businesses’ reputation, but it’s also likely to help your cash flow as well. If you have an open, honest line of communication between you and your customers, it’ll be easier to discuss issues such as late payments without ruining the relationship.

6.Send gentle, but firm reminders

Quite often, it’ll just be a case of people forgetting. By popping over a gentle, but firm reminder, this will usually be enough to remind customers to pay.

Understandably, there are times when these options aren’t enough and you may have to resort to other options.

If you’re a business owner or self-employed and looking for a way to get your overdue invoices paid quicker, DebtCase is a free, online service, which helps you recover outstanding balances. To find out more, contact us here.