Around one in four self-employed workers are owed an average amount of $2,000 from late-paying clients or customers. According to researchers over at Freshbook, there’s a science to getting clients to pay invoices in a timely matter. The team analyzed 10,000 invoices to craft a data-driven how-to that ensures freelancers and self-employed professionals get paid fast.
“Our data team found when freelancers followed the 7 tips on this checklist, 91% of invoices were paid in full – so it pays to take the time to craft a solid invoice.”
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The 7 commandments for punctual pay
1. Avoid end of the month invoicing
Most of getting paid on time is not giving a customer or client any excuse to put your compensation on the pay-no-mind list. Invoices sent on the 30th or 31st stand a greater risk of getting lost in the email shuffle. Freshbook’s data concludes that Invoices sent toward the end of the month, take 20% longer to get paid the invoices sent earlier in the month.
2. Limit line Items
According to Freshbooks, a two to five line items on an invoice is the sweet spot. Unless your client requested a detailed breakdown of your work, no need for the excess clutter.
3. Keep your invoice total low
Interestingly enough invoices that total less than $1,660 get paid an average of eleven days sooner than invoices that exceed that amount. If your invoice is greater than $1,660 the researchers recommend you break up the sum with smaller invoices to make sure you are recouped as soon as possible.
4. Include clear terms
Ninety-four percent of invoices that mentioned “late fees” were paid on time. Freshbooks suggests young self-employed professionals and freelancers, use specific language in your terms to help you get paid even faster.
5. Be polite
Invoices that include the words “please” and “thank you” get paid a median of two days sooner that invoices that do now. A good rule of thumb is to maintain the same level of cordiality in your invoice request as was present in your service to the client or customer.
6. Offer online payments
Invoices that allow clients or customers an option to be pay invoices via an online method get taken care of around seven days earlier than invoices that do not.
7. Send automatic late payment reminders
Setting up an automatic late payment reminder eliminates the anxiety of having to chase a client down for payment. Below Freshbooks has provided a general template for an invoice, that is succinct, direct, and expresses cordiality, professionalism, and most importantly, urgency.
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