One of the universal truths about owning a business is that you will have to deal with customers or patients who fall behind on their payments at one point or another. Whether you are running a dental practice or a construction company, you know how important even the smallest payments are — they add up and can make or break your bottom line.
Fortunately, you can take steps to encourage your clients or patients to start paying on time.
Do we request payment upfront?
Perhaps one of the most effective ways to avoid late payments is to charge your customers or patients upfront. While this is not always possible, the more critical factor to consider is discussing payment terms and costs upfront. This establishes transparency between you and your clients. Alternatively, you can opt to divide the cost in half — 50 percent is paid at the onset of the project or service, and the second half is paid when your work is finished.
Do we have updated contact information for our clients?
This seems so simple, but for some clients, they are not paying because they genuinely haven’t received their invoice. At the start of every project or transaction, make sure you have an up-to-date email, phone number, and billing address for your client. While this may not solve all of your billing issues, it does eliminate the “I never received it” excuse!
Do we accept multiple payment methods?
Everyone has their preferred payment method, whether it is good ol’ fashioned check or cash, credit card, or online payment. By offering different payment options, it can increase the likelihood your clients or patients will pay on time. For many consumers, the convenience of paying a bill online is appealing and leads to more immediate payments.
Do we offer discounts for early payment?
Offering an upfront discount for early payment is a compelling incentive for many consumers. The discount applied doesn’t have to be drastic — for many clients, a 2% discount is enticing enough to pay earlier. To counter that, outlining penalties for late payment may also help incentivize clients to pay early or on-time.
Are our invoices clear and easy to understand?
Each industry has specific jargon and language, but it pays to keep it simple on your invoices. Taking the time to design invoices that lay out the services performed, due dates, and specific line items will pay off for your business or practice.
Can we offer payment plans?
Having to pay a large bill in full can be a hard pill to swallow. For many consumers, having the option to pay an invoice over time is enticing and effective. If you opt to offer payment plans, make sure you outline clear terms of the contract, including what and when your client will have to pay.
Need Help Improving Your Bottom Line? Kinum, Inc is Here for You
Kinum, Inc. is a collection agency serving clients throughout the United States. We take an innovative, personalized approach to collections and debt recovery services. To learn more about how we can help you connect with and collect from your customers, please reach out to us today at (888) 471-0280.