Get your invoices paid quickly as a freelancer
There is nothing more annoying than chasing your well-earned money. However, for many self-employed people this is the order of the day. Especially for the self-employed, long invoice periods (which are often exceeded) or even non-payments are a thorn in the side, because as a self-employed person you are simply completely dependent on the income from your own company. In the worst case, customer overdue payments mean that you can no longer pay your invoices yourself within the term that you have agreed or that you had intended. All very irritating, but fortunately there are a few handy tools that you can easily apply to get your invoices paid quickly, especially as a freelancer.
Be quick and clear from the start
If you send a late quotation, you may not demand fast payment. That could just be a proverb in the business world. The fact is that many freelancers who complain about slow payments and misunderstandings about terms of payment, do not be too quick with sending quotations and invoices and have not communicated their conditions too clearly.
First of all, you have to show yourself the behavior that you would like to see from your business relations. So offer quickly, invoice quickly, pay quickly and be clear about payment agreements. Also put everything in black and white. Have you discussed a payment term over the phone? Then confirm it by e-mail. There is nothing strange about that and it prevents hassle afterwards.
Keep an overview and be short on the ball
All those agreements that you make and all the invoices that you send, you must of course have insight into yourself somewhere. Many entrepreneurs only realize at the time of accounting that an invoice has not been paid. This is sometimes already weeks after the payment term has expired.
If the default has no (immediate) consequences, there is a good chance that it will happen more often. It may sound strict, but if you want to get paid quickly, you will have to be on the ball yourself. This means: sending a (friendly!) reminder immediately after the deadline has been exceeded.
As a novice self-employed person, you can still maintain such an overview fairly easily in Excel. Do you get more customers or does your company expand, so that you run several projects at the same time? Then it quickly becomes difficult to keep a good overview. That moment will come sooner than you think! It is important to sort this out and think about tools in the form of automation.
Automate your billing process
Do you have more than a few customers and do you find keeping the administration just annoying work that is a waste of your time? Then you can do yourself a big favor and automate things.
There are all kinds of tools on the market with which you can not only do your accounting more easily, but with which you can also ensure that you are structurally paid on time. Such a tool helps, for example, with a create invoice and when keeping an overview of which payments still have to come in as of which date (your entire self-employed administration, So). With every invoice you create, you simply enter the payment due date and the overview will form automatically.
Then all you have to do is fill the templates, send them to customers and check daily if you still need to chase something. You can also do that chasing according to a fixed format, so that you spend as little time as possible on it.
Let someone else chase
And if you do end up chasing, then the golden tip is: let someone else do this than the person who has had substantive contact with the customer. This is of course not possible if you are fully self-employed, but if you work with a small team, you can make use of it. In that case, make sure that the person who contacts the customer to inquire about the payment is not involved in the content of the payment project was involved. This prevents the conversation from getting bogged down in questions about the project or possible discussions about the quality of the work. You can then easily park those questions: after all, we are now going to talk about payment.