20 Useful Tips to Get Your Payments

Any persons working for them-selves will tell you that one of the worst things is chasing a payment.

So to avoid the chasing after your money thing, do this

  1. Make your payment policy clear right at the start of the project.


  1. Send or hand deliver bills right away and highlight payment terms and due dates.


  1. Do not always insist on cash in the hand; do accept electronic payments.


  1. Do not be afraid to charge a penalty amount if a bill is not paid on time.


  1. Put the penalty warning in a prominent color on the bottom of your bill and point it out to your customers.


  1. Follow up the very next day after your payment was due and continue every day after that until you receive your money.


  1. Have an ‘overdue’ stamp made to stamp on a follow up bill.


  1. Follow up on the warnings to be taken seriously.


  1. Be persistent and do not be afraid that this will jeopardize your future relationship with the customer.


  1. Do not be relaxed just because a client has been good at paying in the past: just always ask for your payments when they are due.


  1. Don’t be rude to your clients but be polite while all the time having the mindset that you’re entitled to be paid.


  1. Do not crawl into a shell and stay quiet-call your client and tell them about the balance due and when you intend to see them to collect it.


  1. Ask someone else to follow up on your unpaid accounts, even if it’s your spouse, brother, mother or a debt collector.


  1. Keep track of payment patterns for existing customers because this will help you catch any changes that could be a potential problem.


  1. Focus on having a diverse customer base so that a payment problem with one customer does not put your entire business at risk.


  1. Make the process convenient and easy to receive and pay bills.


  1. Be flexible if necessary on large outstanding amounts because splitting a bill into two manageable portions, may be your best chance of payment.


  1. Much as you would like to move on to the next job do not finish it; hold back enough so that they will need to pay you before you deliver the finished job.


  1. Don’t give friends, the friends of your friends or even your family any special treatment. If anything, treat them with even less trust than a stranger because often they are the first to take advantage of you.


  1. If the customer is happy to pay up front – accept the offer!

A Zambian site sharing quick read articles around work, money and adulting life with selective interviews and quotes.
The founder, editor and lead writer who left university with a good grasp of public administration, economics, money, banking and international relations is also qualified in journalism and creative writing. She has been published in Drum and The BBC Focus on Africa Magazine and has been featured in several local and international publications.
An avid bird watcher with an extraordinary fondness for chikanda ( a Zambian delicatessen that vegans and non-vegans world-wide are putting on their bucket list ) she often tweets in poetry and short prose @kwachalelo