SueTanya Mchorgh
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Rant: What to do when your client pays you late

I've been very fortunate that most of my clients have paid me on time but I have had a few bad experiences. So how do you avoid late payments? Truth is you can't. As your business grows, you are more likely to have a few of your customers send in their invoices late.

Dealing with late payments can be very annoying especially since you have bills to pay and a business to run. How you approach this situation is very important. You don't want to destroy your relationship with your client or destroy your brand but at the same time, you'll need to get paid.

Let’s look at some of the reasons why your client is yet to pay you:

They're unhappy. Chances are your client is unhappy with the work you did. Paying for something you are not satisfied with can be difficult for a client. If your client is unhappy you can try to find a solution, maybe offer a revision so you both can leave the situation satisfied.

They're having business problems of their own. Every business will encounter problems. The late payment could be due to the client having problems of their own in their business. Let remember we are all humans and things are not always perfect.

They never intended to pay in the first place. Don't you just hate when people waste your time? These clients are the worst because they know deep down they can't afford the services or products, they inquire, ask for a quotation, go through the whole process as if they want your product/ services, they get it and then complain about it or just disappear without payment.

They are a large company. Large companies usually take a longer time to make payment. Payments usually have to be approved by a specific department but payment is usually certain.

The point is, you did the work and you are entitled to your payment, ON TIME payment. Like I said before I don't think you can totally avoid late payments because things happen but there are some things you can do to lessen the occurrence of it.

1. Charge a deposit ( This one can be a little difficult) . Ask your client and this depends on the type of business you're in but if you can request a deposit before you start working. I've seen some persons even state that their deposit is non-refundable.

2. Only send or give access to finish product/work after final payment. You can also consider charging interest for late payment.

3. Send an invoice reminder email. Your email reminder can look something like this:

"Hi Rhonda,

This is a friendly reminder that invoice 20 is now due for payment. I'd really appreciate if you could settle at your earliest opportunity.


[your name]"

4. Pick up the phone and call your client. If you have emailed them a few times but still not paid, then it's time to give your client a call. Phone calls usually get things moving along fast.

Check out the video below. My friends and I discuss how we deal with late payments from clients.

Hope the tips help. How do you deal with late payments? Comment below.