Creating invoices can be tough. Chasing payment for them can be even tougher. It’s frustrating and time consuming, especially for small businesses. It’s probably not one of the reasons you decided to become an entrepreneur. In fact it’s probably something you could really do without (which is where Zervant’s online invoicing software comes in).
How Late Payment is Affecting UK Entrepreneurs
We all know how damaging late payments for invoices can be, as they are a serious threat to cashflow, which is pretty much the heartbeat of any small business. This, in turn, can lead to delayed payments to your own suppliers, or even worse the inability to pay staff or overheads such as rent. The knock-on effects multiply and become increasingly damaging.
With this in mind, business minister Matthew Hancock’s recent speech on the subject was very welcome news indeed. He outlined changes to the Prompt Payment Code (PPC), which will help challenge poor payment practices for small businesses in the UK. New measures include tougher action for big firms that delay on payments, and a clearer process for paying invoices. This is hopefully just the start of the fight against businesses that don’t comply.
So whilst the PPC is certainly a step in the right direction, and perhaps a sign of things to come, it’s still a voluntary scheme. As such it’s hard to say to what extent it will challenge late payment culture in the UK in the immediate future. Indeed, it can often feel that the task of invoicing and chasing up payments is a little out of your hands, a bit like David taking on Goliath. This begs the question, what else can you do to get those all important invoices paid and help your business thrive?
Top Tips for Getting Paid Quicker
Here at Zervant we’ve come up with a few tips to help you overcome the burden of chasing late payments and to help you keep your cashflow looking healthy:
- Be Speedy. This may seem like an obvious one, but the quicker you send an invoice, the quicker it can be paid. And studies show that the longer you wait to issue the invoice, the longer the delay in the invoice getting paid (the effect is exponential). A few days, even a few hours, can make all the difference. So time really is money here.
- Keep It Simple. Keeping your invoices simple and easy to understand will help speed up payments too. The easier it is for people to open, read, and understand an invoice, the more likely they are to pay it. A variety of formats and payments options will also help, so all that’s required from your customer is a few clicks and the process is complete.
- Go Steady. Ideally you’d really like to send an invoice out and get it paid straightaway. But it is easy to forget to do things, paying bills included! After all, we’re only human. So a good way to get paid is to send invoice reminders, either before the terms are up, on the day they run out, or even a few days afterwards too. A steady stream of gentle reminders will help keep payments fresh in your customer’s mind.
How Can Invoicing Software Help?
Of course speedy, simple, steady invoicing is great in an ideal world but these things take time and effort to get right. That’s why we’ve designed our cloud invoicing software around these key principles, to really take the hassle out payments and invoicing. This will leave you free to get on with the running of your business.
With Zervant’s online invoicing software you can create quick, simple invoices at the click of a button. There’s a choice of formats that includes PDF and email, and a variety of templates too. Our software includes the all-important option of sending reminders, to ensure that payments are always up-to-date and not forgotten.
But don’t just take our word for it, why not give our software a try? It’s free to use, all you need is an account. You’ll love it!
Sources: pixelio.de (image)