The answer to your business’ cash flow needs may be a few clicks away. Unlike traditional invoicing practices that usually gave your customers more than a month to pay you, online accounting software like QuickBooks lets you create invoices with the necessary elements to get paid faster.
Give Customers Multiple Ways to Pay
Customers typically don’t like to go out of their way to figure out how to pay for their purchases. When a person doesn’t have cash on hand, the company that accepts credit card or mobile payments wins their business. Offering your customers different ways to pay their invoices is a highly effective way to get paid faster. On your invoices, it’s a good idea to invite your customers to pay by the method that’s most convenient for them.
For example, you might have a customer who charges all their expenses to a company credit card. To get paid faster, you want to avoid insisting on receiving payment by cheque or cash. The more payment options you offer, the easier it is for people to pay your invoices right away.
Send Email Invoices
The main reason why using online accounting software is a such good idea is because it lets you create and send invoices immediately. Say you run a retail business and just filled a large order for a customer. You don’t have to wait until the end of the month to send a paper invoice. In fact, you can email an invoice while they’re still on your business premises, which they can access and pay from their computer or mobile device. If they accidentally delete the invoice, which can happen, you can quickly send them another one in a few seconds. You also don’t have to stay at work late if you prefer to send invoices at the end of the day. Online accounting software lets you send invoices easily from any device whether you’re at home or at the office.
Set up Automatic Payment Reminders
Well before an invoice is due, you can start sending automatic payment reminders. A friendly reminder usually inspires customers to pay their invoices by the due date. But you may have the occasional customer who forgets to pay on time. Automatic payment reminders help take some of the awkwardness out of the situation. If forgetting to pay was an honest mistake, a simple email reminder that the invoice is past due can be the push they need to settle their bill fast.
Offer Discounts and Late Fees
Here’s another way to get your invoices paid faster: consider offering incentives and penalties. You could offer a discount on the total amount due if your customer pays the invoice before the due date. Discounts on future purchases also work great as incentives to get your invoices paid.
The good news is you don’t have to offer steep discounts to get your customers interested in paying faster. A low 5% or 10% discount may be all you need. On the flip side, nobody likes paying late fees, so imposing a late fee that increases with each passing day, week, or month the invoice is late is an effective way to get paid faster. You might add details about incentives and late fees to your invoices so your customers are aware of them up front.
Cash flow is vitally important for your business, and businesses that lack cash often experience costly slowdowns. No-hassle online invoicing truly is the key to keeping cash coming in for when you need it the most.