Invoice right after the project is complete.
Typically, the faster you invoice, the faster they pay.
Set up a schedule for recurring invoices.
Stick to a regular payment schedule. This is easier for you and for them.
Request a down payment.
We always get money before starting a project or coaching. This symbolizes that the project is started and there is a mutual agreement between both parties. This motivates both parties to participate in getting the job started.
Set up clear payment terms upfront.
When you have clear payment terms, neither you nor your client should encounter surprises. Don’t be afraid to talk about payments and the process of billing with your clients. This conversation is just as important as asking for the sale and should always be discussed as part of your client’s customer experience.(I also require a contract for projects over $1,000).
Don’t forget to be polite when sending your invoice.
Be kind but direct on your invoice. Simple is always best as well.
Example: “I hope you are having a great week. Here is the invoice for the down payment on your website redesign. I look forward to working on this project…”
Offer easy payment options for your clients.
Credit card fees are a nuisance for any business but unfortunately, such fees are a part of business when you want to get paid quickly. You’ll have the money in your account within one to two days. I travel a lot so I do prefer credit card payments. Checks usually take two to three days or more, not counting mail delivery time. Fortunately, banks now allow you to deposit checks electronically.
Penalize late payment.
To encourage earlier payments, you may want to add a percentage fee for late payments (for example, a 2% fee for invoices not paid within 15 days). These additional costs for being behind on payment can have a large enough impact on your client’s bottom line to motivate a speedy turnaround.
Due on receipt
Use “Due on receipt” as your invoice terms. I only use this term when my client knows that this invoice is coming and is expected. If it was an hourly project where the client might not know what the final amount would be, I offer 7 or 10 days. It gives them a little time but also gets me paid fairly quickly.
It’s always best to avoid surprises; good billing and payment practices enhance a good working relationship.