Accounting for Designers – Part 2
HOW TO ASK FOR PAYMENTS
Let’s face it, no matter how talented you are, in order to keep your business running you need to have the money coming in. And to have the money coming in, you either have to be lucky enough to be blessed with the world’s best clients or just have your shit together! If you haven’t already please read our previous article related to this topic – Accounting for Designers – Part 1
Asking for money is not only draining, but can also leave you feeling very frustrated. However with the right systems in place your finances can be on autopilot while to row your professional boat. This will make the client’s experience a lot better and make getting payments a lot easier.
So how do you ask your clients for payments… professionally ??
The first thing we’d recommend is to have a invoicing system.. somewhere to create, automate and archive your invoices so that you know exactly what’s billed and what’s coming in. These systems are particularly great for recurring payments.. So if you use an invoicing softwares you can automate your invoices to the client to be On time, every time, giving your business that professional edge. And don’t be fooled into thinking that only large businesses need these systems. Starting off on these processes can make your finances run seamlessly, letting you focus on the business and not the admin pile up.
Timely invoicing makes you look professional, your business ledgit
and keeps your clients on their toes with the payments.
We personally love the Waveapp
which is brilliant for keeping track of your monthly income, unpaid invoices, repeat payment reminders to name some.
MAKE IT EASY FOR YOUR CLIENTS TO PAY YOU:
When making a contract it’s always a good idea to include all the methods of payment that you accept along with the necessary details associated with those methods eg. bank details, cash deliveries, account for cheque deposits etc. So each time client needs to pay you – they have a point of reference and they don’t have to keep asking you over the course of the project.
Consider allowing flexibility in the methods of payment. We work with clients across the globe and often the policies have to be altered a little to suit their payment methods, or time needed to clear the transactions internationally.. This is where you’d look at alternative methods of receiving your payments. Online facilities such as Paypal
are quick, easy and almost most big and small businesses use it.
MAKE YOURSELF REACHABLE
Often times the person in contact with you for your services is not the guy with the dough. Your invoice might have to pass through a hierarchy of people to be paid which is why including your contact details is very important when invoicing a client. So, if there be a need for clarification, you can be contacted directly, instead of making delays in going back and forth within the company.
If you are a freelancer then your direct mail, telephone number and email should be included and if you are a company then the right person from your agency or someone who is associated with that project should be the point of contact to make the process smooth for the client.
FOLLOW UP WITH YOUR CLIENTS:
Not al clients understand the importance of payment on the due date. There are those who are engaged in other things and simply forgot and then there are those who think it’s ok to delay because you are still working on their project and what’s a week here and there. This is where your subtle nudge can change things. Make a quick call to enquire about the next instalment or write a quick mail reminding the client about the payments or asking why they haven’t yet paid. Your persistence will pay – quite literally!
ARCHIVE YOUR INVOICES:
Backing up your paid invoices is not a common practice but is the solution to most financial troubles. As long as you know WHO you’ve billed and WHAT the amount was – whether it was paid or not – you have proof to fight for it. If you don’t have a back up that clearly states the date and amount billed to the client – you have no chance of winning that battle.
It’s a great practice to save your business, whether it be done in an old school way of filing photocopies, saving pdfs or mails. As long as you have your records in place there’s always a point of reference should there be a legal issue.
If you enjoyed reading this post, leave us a comment below. You might also like How to create a Design Brief and How to Create a Design Proposal which also include FREE TEMPLATES to get your business kick started more professionally.
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