What systems and processes do you have in place to let your clients know exactly how to pay you for your services and to prevent overdue accounts occurring?
This week, I share with you tips from a former Debt Collector (that's me!) on how to resolve overdue accounts. Click the video below to watch.
|This is a really important discussion. It's a really good business practice to have, and even though talking about money (especially overdue money) can sometimes feel really difficult to talk about, it's really important to have the conversation up front.|
So, share your experiences. Do you have policies for paying overdue money, or not? Share them with the community, because this is a community discussion that has to be had.
Hi, it's Gail Bennell here. Today I want to talk to you about a really tricky situation that many business owners find themselves in, and many private practice owners find themselves in, is, overdue accounts.
That is, your clients not paying you for services that you have provided.Now, there are a couple of things that can help protect you against unpaid bills, and that is having some really good systems. Having your policy around payments, and when you expect payments to be made in writing. I discuss this with clients both before their first appointment and during their first appointment.
So, before they make their appointment, I send by email, my schedule of fee, which includes all of my policies around payment, cancellations, and when they should expect to pay me by.Now, some clinics, it's pay on the day. The work that I do, I do a lot of work where the person responsible for paying the account isn't always there. I work in schools, or in other program, and so I find that it works best for my practice to send out an invoice.
The second thing is to have your systems work for you. The longer that you leave it to send your first invoice out, the longer it's going to take you to get paid. Leaving it, you know, if you send your invoice on the day, or within 48 hours of seeing the client, then sending the invoice, that really helps keep in fresh in people's mind about the service that you have provided, and encourages them to pay quickly.
Whereas if you leave your first invoice for a couple of weeks because your systems are a little slack, you're not going to get paid for at least a couple of week and the value of the service that you have provided is a little further away in people's minds. So that they, it's a little hard for them to remember the value and how that matches up with the dollar value that they're seeing on the invoice.
The second thing is to make sure you make it clear, that's the third thing, about how long they have to pay. In my case, I allow 14 days for payment, and I send a follow-up email stating it's overdue after 14 days. So that I'm keeping it fresh in their mind that they have a commitment, and that it hasn't been paid. It gives them a chance to correct things.
Then the final step, if somebody hasn't paid, is to send a follow-up email checking if they've received your invoice okay, and also a follow-up phone call to find out what's really going on. This can be really friendly. In the next video I'll give you a few tips for some of the things that you should look for based on my experience as a debt collector to help you get your invoices paid by people who are having difficulty.
What systems and processes do you have in place to let your clients know exactly how to pay you for your services, and to prevent overdue accounts occurring? This is a really important discussion. It's a really good business practice to have, and even though money can sometimes feel really difficult to talk about, it's really important to have it up front.
So, share your experiences. Do you have policies, or not? Share them with the community, because this is a community discussion that has to be had.
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