How Freelancers Can Expedite Invoice Payment
The freelancing business presents many exciting opportunities and adventures for those who dare to take the risk. The thrill of going into business for oneself is very alluring for many, but it is not without its downsides and dangers. Usually, though, most problems that freelancers encounter are sheer inconveniences more than anything. Nevertheless, it is important as a freelancer to be as efficient as possible. The day-to-day life of a freelancer can be made more complicated by issues regarding payment and invoices, as some clients may not be in a rush to send payment or otherwise feel as compelled as you to complete the transaction. Today, we’ll discuss how freelancers can improve the overall process and get their invoices paid off faster.
Send Invoices ASAP
Some freelancers make the mistake of waiting for days or weeks to send an invoice. While this may be acceptable – or even agreed upon – between a particular freelancer and a client, it can often lead to issues. If the freelancer waits until he or she needs to be paid and suddenly begins pinging links to their clients in the form of an invoice, that client may have to juggle various tasks before payment. Some businesses may need to review the invoice and have it approved before paying. Others may have a specific payout day or period each week. Long story short: send your invoices for payment as soon as possible, and you will hopefully be paid as soon as possible.
Break Up Your Payments
Depending on the arrangement you have with a client, you may be able to expedite payment by sending invoices for smaller amounts but more frequently. Some freelancers may be sending large invoices to their clients on a weekly or monthly basis, only to have to wait long periods of time to be paid. In some cases, clients prefer a steady stream of smaller invoices due to the cash flow of their operations. This is definitely worth discussing with your clients, as they may prefer to change the situation to one that deals with smaller invoices on a more regular basis.
Freelancers may operate loosely or formally – many have clients with a range of relationships that encompass everything in between – but a contract can sometimes be a godsend. This is usually something that you’ll want to work out at the beginning of a relationship, and payment frequency is a very important point to cover. Every client is different and may prefer a set payment schedule, but many are flexible and will be willing to work with freelancers after a bit of negotiation. If your desire to be paid in an expedient fashion is a top concern, then be sure to stipulate in a contract the expected wait-time for an invoice to be paid after being sent. A formal agreement such as this can help prevent tensions later in the relationship.
Provide Detailed Invoices
Sometimes, payment can be expedited merely by being detailed with your invoices. Include line items, dates, summaries and other details relevant to the work performed. This can help clients – particularly those who handle many invoices – more quickly verify that the invoice you’re pinging links to is legitimate. Clients also appreciate it when you make their jobs easier for them as well.
Implementing these changes won’t always guarantee quick payment of every invoice, but it can help improve the process across multiple clients and projects. Do you have a client horror story regarding payment? Tell us what happened below and how you fared in the end.