Small businesses across Australia often struggle to stay on top of their cash flow finance - but ensuring you maintain a good flow of cash can be as simple as tweaking your invoices.
What may seem like trivial details on your invoices can spell all the difference between whether your customers dally on their payments or act promptly to fulfil their obligations. So what are some ways you can sharpen up your invoices to get your customers to pay on time?
It's simple - if you want to be paid quickly, invoice quickly.
The time-poor nature of many small business owners means it can be tempting to just send out batches of invoices at the end of the month. However, making the effort to issue an invoice to the customer as soon as an item is delivered or a job is completed means you - and your customers - have the advantage of a few extra days to sort out the payment.
Be clear and concrete
Another way of encouraging your customers to speed up their payments is to have clearly defined payment terms printed on the invoice.
Whether you set a timeframe, for example asking payment to be completed within seven days, or specify a fixed date by which you expect payment, make sure customers have clear payment guidelines and deadlines they can follow.
Don't forget the incentives
We all need a bit of motivation at times, and the reward of cash is often the most effective motivation of all.
Offering early payment discounts is a tried and tested way of encouraging customers to pay on time - who doesn't want an injection of quick, free cash?
Consider the invoice format
Instead of posting out hard copy invoices, consider simply emailing them to your clients - they'll receive it much quicker and can refer to it from anywhere there is an internet connection, possibly prompting them to send their payment sooner.
Not to mention you'll be doing your part to help the environment as well!