If you run a small or medium-sized business, you know the difficultly involved in keeping consistent cash flow coming in. Despite your hard work and timely efforts for your clients and customers, your billing process is often the kink in the money hose and clients likely don't pay on time. While there's plenty of information out there regarding best practices and communication methods, the team of experts at Attorney's A.R.M. have come up with a few methods of streamlining your payment process if you're lacking a dedicated accounts receivable and collections department.
1. Avoid Negative Symbolism and Messaging
Issuing threats or gigantic red "PAST DUE" stamps on your billing documents won't exactly instill warm feelings in people. While you also don't want to be lenient, adding penalties and legal threats to your messaging should be a last resort. Instead, offering an incentive or discount to your clients to settle their bill early and reminding them with plenty of time to spare that their bill is coming due is a more proactive approach that will help boost client relations going forward.
2. Make It Easy
While payment and cost are often awkward subjects, establishing payment plans, budgets, and billing cycles with your new clients will help alleviate some pressure once the bill comes due. Ask them which times of the month or year are better for them to pay for your services and establish communication between both parties about finances so there's never a misunderstanding. Allowing a few flexible payment options for those clients you deem problematic or inconsistent could help salvage the relationship and continue paying your bills, too.
3. Follow Up Regularly
Recognizing a theme, here? Good, strong communication to your clients is the healthiest, proactive approach to ensuring they pay their bills on time. Establish a payment window, be courteous in your messaging, and follow up in the weeks and days leading up to the due date. If you're not getting any traction with the person answering the phone or opening your letters, work up the food chain and past their own billing departments. Clerical errors happen all the time and sometimes its best to go straight to the source with your problem. Chances are things will be smoother after something like that.
Ready to ditch the whole mess and focus on your business itself? Attorney's A.R.M. is the first-party accounts receivable management firm for businesses of every size and industry. We help doctors, lawyers, and business professionals streamline their billing processes and ensure they get paid on time and in full. With a success rate approaching 100%, our team of experienced collections and accounts receivable professionals are ready to help. Give us a call at 206-596-3000 or use the contact form to get in touch.
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