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Slow/bad payers

Hi all,

I have a varied mix of customers, some regular maintenance all year, some one off jobs and some bigger projects. 

I provide a clear quote for each customer, work exactly to that spec, keep the customer updated etc.

On completion (or end of month for maintenance customers) I send out QuickBooks invoices with bank transfer details and a 7 day payment period.

Some customers pay on time, however it really annoys me having to constantly chase late payers who have usually simply forgotten.

Do any of you offer early payment incentives or have another effective way to get them to pay!





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  • PRO

    I hate slow/late-paying clients, chased one client for over a year for £18! It cost me more in time and effort to gain it too, however, I was like a dog with a bone.

    I usually send folks a late payment invoice after it goes over 7 days (My payment terms are 5 days). After a couple of weeks, I send them a statement and then a phone call. If they are still dragging their heals I will usually drop them at this point. Then I have a few that are always late, most I drop as it becomes too time-consuming chasing them up, I usually stop my service (grass cutting) if I haven't been paid for the last 3 visits, it's amazing how fast I get paid once that happens... 

    Some clients expect 30 days, regardless of what your payment terms are. It's easier just to give them the 30 days (less stress). 


  • PRO

    I've done the same as Robbie, dropped the worst ones, too much hassle. Thing is some of the late payers are worth quite alot over a year so dropping them isn't an option.

    This year I've taken some advice from the forum and started using monthly payments by standing order. It's early days but so far so good. Some are easy to work out - say mowing from March to November, so the SO goes March to November too. Some are maintenance/ spraying and mowing and I've come up with a yearly amount payable pver 12 months. 

    Also taken on a card machine this year, really so I don't have to take cash and cheques. Some of the monthlies used to send cheques and I now have an agreement I can send the invoices by email and I'll catch up with them on next visit and take payment by card. It is worth its weight in gold to be honest, I've not been to the bank this year, and nearly everyone is up to date on payments.

    Perhaps having a range of payment strategies to used on different types of customer may work?

    • Thanks guys, funny I had recently been wondering if a card machine may be useful think I will order one.

      • I have the paypal one, its quite good. I had an old izettle reader before that, but it was a bit of a pain sometimes, so as I use paypal anyway it made sense. I don't get much use out of it, but it's there if I need it, and it has contactless too, which is cool.


  • PRO

    I have just started using a card machine which is handy I have also set up a gocardless account which lets you set up direct debit payments. I send the customers an email link they fill it in and the payment come out every month. 

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