Starting out from scratch is scary enough but getting paid can be terrifying and if you Google “Why Customers Don’t Pay”, you’ll get millions of results.
Obviously, this is a big problem that affects many industries. If you take a closer look at those 21.5M entries, you’ll find that a lot of the results offer advice about what can be done to collect from customers who don’t pay but it doesn't explain the reasons or lifecycle.
In order to fix a problem – any problem, really – it’s important to understand why the problem is happening in the first place. This is also true for the topic at hand so we at Quicka dived into why late payments can happen.
For whatever reason, your customer was not expecting an invoice from you, they were expecting the amount to be lower, or maybe, they were expecting the invoice at a later time. Whatever the reason, bad communication can and will lead to a billing surprise on occasion. And when it comes to getting paid, surprises are usually not good.
Many offices are a mess with piles of paper – drawings, invoices, receipts, and more – strewn all about. It’s not surprising then, that an invoice gets lost on occasion. Mailed invoices also tend to disappear from time to time. E-mailed... well, less of an excuse but it also shouldn't be your problem, right?
It happens. People can be extraordinarily busy, especially those managing the cashflow, doubly so when they're also doing the work, managing the team and keeping food on the table. When someone has this much going on, it’s easy for things to slip through the cracks.
Managing cash flow is a HUGE challenge in any small business and it's our main motivator for creating Quicka. It can take a very long time to get paid on a project, while at the same time, many projects require large amounts of cash to get them off the ground. When taken together, these two factors can sometimes make it difficult for a project participant to make timely payments.
Everyone’s different payment terms results in payment delay on the project. If the person above you has 30-day terms, but your terms stipulate that you are to be paid on completion, that might lead to a delay.
Bigger companies may simply be in a position to exert leverage over smaller companies.
Everyone wants to ignore a non-paying customer. Dealing with the issue is just difficult, and we hate to look at our books and see losses. Nevertheless, it’s a fact of business and you're going to go down in flames if you don’t understand the true cost of a non-paying customer.
Here’s the thing: A non-paying customer can be the most important customer in your business.
Okay okay. You understand why a customer doesn’t pay and you understand how bad it is to your business. So, what do you do when a customer doesn’t pay the bill?
Here are a few quick tips:
Sometimes all that’s needed is a (friendly) reminder that payment is owed - something Quicka can handle for you.
Do you accept credit cards? Bitcoin? Beemit? Well, maybe you should... ok, maybe not Bitcoin. At Quicka we think the more options you give your customer to make a payment, the less easy it is for them to avoid paying you.
Life is built on relationships, and over time, these relationships can sometimes get a little too comfortable. It’s the whole “give an inch, take a mile” scenario – a customer takes a little bit longer to pay this time, a little bit more the next time, until one day, they’re taking 90 days plus to pay their invoices. At some point, you’ve got to put an end to this behavior...
Quicka is designed to solve the cashflow problems of small businesses and independents by taking over the role of invoicing and ensuring you get paid as soon as your terms are in place.