Unfortunately, not getting paid promptly, or at all, for services or products supplied is a common problem experienced by businesses.. There are a number of simple steps a business owner can take in order to decrease the occurrences of such non-payment, without resorting to litigation.
Of course, it is always better to be paid in advance, but most customers are not willing to do so.
One of the first things a business owner can do in order to improve collections is to make sure that detailed invoices are promptly sent to the customer, with the total owed shown clearly and boldly, along with a prominently displayed statement that payment is due within a certain, short time period, and that interest will accrue if the invoice is not paid promptly. Putting this additional language in your invoices may invoke a negative response from customers, but it also shows customers that you are serious about getting paid.
It is also extremely important for a member of the Company’s staff to be in charge of quickly following up with customers who do not pay in a timely fashion, whether it be by sending out a second invoice, or by calling the customer. The longer one waits to pursue payment, the less likely collection will be successful. If the call and/or second invoice doesn’t yield positive results, a letter from the company demanding payment should be sent out on company letterhead. As a last resort, the business owner should have his/her attorney send a collection letter to the customer, threatening litigation.