If you are a freelancer, chances are you’re providing a unique service. When you’re invoicing for this service, it is important that you recognise that you’re a business and not a charity. At Commercial Domestic Investigations, we deal with a variety of businesses from freelancers to huge organisations, all suffering from late payments. Larger businesses have a few more resources at their disposal, so we wanted to share some advice for the struggling freelancers.
Firstly, you should approach all new business with a set of Terms and Conditions that they should approve before you begin working together. These T&C’s should outline both your own and their expectations. Include a cancellation policy and notice period, details of how you invoice, any performance indicators that you will be monitoring and details of any reports that you will provide. While you want to make sure that you have covered yourself for every eventuality, the shorter the document is; the more likely it will get signed and returned quickly.
Be sure to note any late payment fees that you charge, this amount varies depending on the size of the invoice but make sure the client is aware of the charge. This can be enough to deter them from trying to avoid payment. Anything that you can do to improve your chances of getting paid on time is beneficial. On the opposite end of the scale, you may consider offering an early payment discount to clients that pay on time. This may be worth it for very large invoices, or you can offer a discount off their next invoice, encouraging repeat custom.
You rely on your invoice to do most of the work for you; a client should receive this and then have all of the information that they need to make a payment. Make sure that your invoice includes your logo and business contact details, that way the client can contact you easily with any questions. Make sure that you send your invoice at around the same time every month; your client will begin to expect your invoice and make payments on-time. Once you have sent your invoice, follow up with your client. Check that they are happy with the details of your invoice, they’re aware of the amount and the due date.
If you have not received a payment on the due date then get in touch with a reminder, they may just have forgotten. It may be that they have a problem with the invoice or the work that you have provided, this is your opportunity to resolve the situation. If this reminder doesn’t work then send a new invoice with late payment charges and interest attached, this will persuade the majority of late payers to make a payment. If you are still struggling to recover the money, then you may want to use the services of a third party, such as Commercial Domestic Investigations.
Our team are trained in line with industry best practice; we work tirelessly to recover any debt that is owed to you. If you want to speak to someone about how we can help your business, contact us on 08444 159200, use our contact form or email firstname.lastname@example.org.