Being a business owner is no easy task. Not only do you have to manage everything, but you also have to sweat over whether or not your client will pay the invoice on the time.
When operating a business, especially a small business, cash flow is everything. Without cash, a small business can go bust before it opens.
Considering that invoices are the sort of documents that tell us when and how much we’re owed by clients, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the 5 signs that point to the invoice not getting paid on time.
So with all that said, let’s start.
1. No Signed Contract
Whenever engaging in business, it’s absolutely important that you sign a contract with your client. Contracts are put in place to protect us from all kinds of things. In this contract, you can add anything you like such as the invoice document. There, you can also explicitly specify when and how much the client should pay. And if they plan on respecting the contract, then they’ll sign it.
If not, then that should raise an alarm. Clients that are not interested in paying on time will not be interested in signing a legal document that explicitly tells them when to pay.
If you notice that your client is hesitant about it, maybe it’s best to just walk away from the deal.
2. The Client Cannot Make Their Mind Up
As business owners, it is our job to serve the people that come in and want to do business with us. But not everyone wants to do that. Not every client has decided on buying your product or service. And when that happens, it can raise a huge alarm.
Indecisive clients are bad to work with. Not only will they prolong the process but chances are they’ll walk away from it at the last moment. Even if they do decide on buying your service or product, who is to say they won’t make a fuss out of it once you deliver?
Indecisive clients will also delay paying on time. Since they’re not satisfied with the product or service, they will look for something else in return. While they can be a pain to deal with, many ignore the potential problems.
But it’s safe to say that whenever the client is indecisive, chances are they won’t pay the invoice on time.
3. The Client Prefers A Check
Who in 2023 pays for goods and services with a check? We live in an age where we can pay for any goods and services using any number of payment methods. From PayPal to Google and Apple Pay, there is more than one way to pay an invoice.
But there are people out there that still write checks. Regardless of how silly that sounds, their intentions might be malicious. If you don’t really know why a check is a red flag, consider the following. Not only does it take a lot of time for banks to process checks, but there is a very high chance that it will bounce. This simply means that the client doesn’t have money in their account.
Checks are a thing of the past and should be ignored. If a client wants to pay with a check, do expect them to delay the invoice.
For both small and medium-sized businesses, invoices are great tools. Not only do they keep everything on track, but it is the go-to way of doing business. And for all of you out there who are struggling to create invoices, you can visit billdu.com and generate your own invoices in a matter of minutes.
4. If They Offer Too Good Of A Price
There is a very small possibility that your client is trying to play you. Maybe it’s down to your awesome people and presentation skills, or maybe they take you for a fool.
But there always is that one client that is willing to go above the market rates to pay for services and goods. This is especially the case if most of the communication is done through phone calls.
Since there is no way for us to prove what they’re saying, shady clients can order goods and services from you and expect an invoice to be paid. But if their offer sounds too good to be true, then maybe they’re up to something.
Whenever you get an offer above your market rates, do keep a close eye on the client as chances are they won’t pay the invoice on time.
5. If the Client Suddenly Starts Questioning the Invoice
The absolute worst thing to deal with is a client that questions your invoice. Make no mistake about it, this is an instant red flag and a big one.
Unless you happened to make a mistake, but you won’t since you’ll be using invoicing software, a client that questions this document is a sign to be aware of.
You might’ve taken care of everything and all that’s left is for them to pay for the goods and services. If they suddenly start questioning what your goods and services are and how much you’re paying for them, then it becomes a problem.
You’ve clearly explained to them how much your services and goods cost, and they’ve fully complied. Once they get into the whos, whats, wheres, and whens, do expect a delay on your payment.
This is why invoices are so important. If you clearly specify how much your goods and services cost and clearly specify how much they’re getting in return, and clearly specify when they need to pay, then there is nothing to question about.
But shady clients will always exist, and this creates a huge problem for you. If you’ve already given them the goods and services, then there are two ways to approach this issue.
You could blow it up and threaten with legal actions, or you could be patient with them and try to explain. If they keep questioning the invoice, then the first option might be better to take.