SUPER MOVE #7 – As a business coach, I recommend if you have to invoice, do it early and often
I really dislike the concept of invoicing because as a business coach, I have found that it can be completely eliminated in about 50% of businesses. But if you have to invoice, invoice early and often. When you invoice your customers frequently and early, it establishes the nature of your professional relationship very quickly and it helps you bring in more money faster. If at all possible, don’t invoice. But if you have to, invoice early and often.
Download a sample template invoice at www.Thrive15.com/invoice-template
SUPER MOVE #8 – Give tight deadlines and timelines if you have to move into collections mode
As a business coach, I consistently see situations where business owners allow soul-sucking customers to declare that they will pay after 60 or 90 days. In most cases, the business owner cannot afford to wait this long to be paid and the customer asking for these terms does not have the money to pay the invoice anyway. I would do whatever you must to avoid working with clients who will not pay you for 60 to 90 days. I personally would rather have four smaller accounts that pay on time than to have a massive account that takes 90 days to pay.
Back in the day, while attending Oral Roberts University as a sophomore, I was asked to leave the school because I wrote and co-produced a parody song about the school president that he did not appreciate as much as I did. In retrospect, it’s funny, but I wouldn’t advise students to do this as a clever way to market themselves. Years later, I was asked to come in and manage the college’s alumni marketing campaign. I worked my tail off and raised a record-setting amount of money for the school. After my third year of running the campaign, I was informed that the school would be moving to a model where they would pay me 60 days after I had completed my work. I punted this client
SUPER MOVE #9 – Don’t be a jerk when attempting to collect payment
When attempting to collect payment, we must keep in mind that everyone has personal challenges from time to time and everyone can make an honest mistake. It’s the people who make these mistakes repeatedly that you must worry about. Without even thinking about it, most companies ask their bookkeepers or their accountants to help collect the money that is owed because they are the closest to the situation. However, as a general rule, many of these people lack the people skills necessary to do this job with tact. If they had those people skills, they’d be working in your sales department. As a business coach, I would recommend that you have members of your sales team or your accounting people with the best people skills collect the money so that you do not upset your loyal customers in these delicate situations. I would also insist that you pay your salespeople a commission on the money that is collected (after the money actually comes in, of course).
SUPER MOVE #10 – You must schedule a weekly meeting with your accounting team to go over the key performance indicators
You must schedule a weekly meeting with your accounting team to go over the following information every week:
SUPER MOVE #11 – Avoid working with the government when possible
Whenever possible, you want to avoid landing the government as a customer because they will wear you out with forms, compliance issues, bidding, and slow payment. Typically, by the time you get paid by the government, you won’t even want the money anymore because when they finally send it, you’ll be so angry that the sight of their check will send you over the edge.
As a business coach, I would highly recommend not working for or with the government for the following reasons:
“The nine most terrifying words in the English language are, ‘I’m from the government and I’m here to help.’”
(40th President of the United States)
SUPER MOVE #12 – Collect faster and show favoritism to fast-paying clients
You must insist on creating a culture where you collect the cash that your customers owe you quickly. When you allow customers to go longer and longer without paying you, bad things begin to happen. The debtor gets the upper hand as you start to say, “These people owe me a ton money and I really don’t want to upset them and not get paid at all, so I will work with them for one more month.” As experience will teach you, the longer you go without getting paid, the lower your chances become of ever getting paid. Also, the longer you let people go without paying you, the higher the fees will be that you have to pay to the collections agencies you finally have to hire to get paid.