Top 5 tips for getting paid

1. Understand why they have not paid

If you have some insight as to why a client has not paid an outstanding bill, this can help you to decide on your best approach to move forward.

Read more on why people do and don’t pay

2. Maintain the relationship

It is much easier to destroy a business relationship than to build one. Once you make the decision to get “nasty” with the other side, you will find it difficult to rebuild a healthy and profitable relationship. Being polite and professional will help maintain good lines of communication. This gives you the best chance of both getting paid and keeping your customer happy.

Read more on managing business relationships

3. Reminders

A useful tip is to make contact with your client shortly before the invoice due date. You can also make contact after the due date, in the case they have not paid, but consider scheduling some time to contact them just prior.

This can be used as a client relationship exercise.  You can call to check they are happy with the product or service, ask about any plans for future supply, and also raise the issue that either the bill is due shortly, or the due date has recently been missed.

Read more on reminders

4. Consider a lawyer or debt collection agent

Despite your best efforts to plan ahead for when a client has not paid, at some point you are likely to come up against a business that is going to be either a significantly late payer, or even a non-payer. This is not only a cash-flow issue, but could also affect your profit if you cannot recover, or have to go through costly processes to get paid.

In some cases, you might wish to consider getting a debt collection agent to take over for you. Business.gov.au provides further information on debt collection service. In other cases, you may wish to seek legal advice. The Law Society of New South Wales has a solicitor referral service, which can help you find a lawyer that suits your needs.

5. Weigh up your options

Weighing up your options in a financially viable way is where the Dispute Resolution team at the Office of the NSW Small Business Commissioner can offer you some specialist guidance. You can contact our team on 1300 795 534 or we.assist@smallbusiness.nsw.gov.au.

Read more on weighing up your options