Getting paid on time is one of the biggest challenges faced by small business owners. As if building a great reputation, creating a stellar client list and securing sales isn’t hard enough — sometimes weeks go by and you still find yourself waiting for the money to appear in your bank account.
Last year, data from MarketInvoice showed that getting paid in Australia is especially difficult, with clients paying an average of 26 days after the due date. The report showed that late payments were suffocating small businesses, with over $19 billion locked away in outstanding invoices.
And while there are many advocates out there working to get governments to implement regulatory frameworks that ensure you get paid faster, change is not going to come quickly.
However, this doesn’t mean there is nothing you can do. There are now more business tools and technologies than ever, specifically designed to help you take back control of your business and implement clever steps to improve your cashflow.
Below, our friends at global payments company Square give us their top tips to help you get paid faster this financial year:
Start sending simpler, more user-friendly e-invoices
Don’t spend hours manually writing up and mailing out invoices only to then have to chase after them for payment. Use online tools to send invoices as soon as possible. The sooner your customers receive an invoice, the sooner they are likely to pay you. E-invoices also make it simple for your customers to pay you quickly and securely directly from the invoice. This saves them the fuss of having to log in to their online banking platform and prevents a payment lag.
Use online payment tools to your advantage
As any business owner knows all too well, customers don’t like waiting. If they want to buy your product or service, they want to buy it now. So don’t let lack of access to hardware hold you back. Businesses can now use online payment platforms, such as Square’s Virtual Terminal, which allow you to enter a customer’s credit or debit card information straight into a web browser, making payments over the phone easier than ever.
Accept new types of payment
Mobile wallet payments are starting to take off in Australia. Samsung recently announced that almost two million more Australians will now be able to use Samsung Pay with the addition of 38 more banks and credit unions added to the smartphone and smartwatch payment service.
This is a huge number of potential new customers for your business. If you want to stay competitive and cater to your customers’ preferences, accepting mobile wallet payments is crucial.
Use data to assess your payment processes
Use data and analytics tools to gain important insights into what’s working for your business and what needs to change. By pulling reports that show your sales by category — including the ways your customers are paying, what time of day they’re paying and which employees are helping them pay — you get the best summary of your customers’ purchasing habits and can adjust your business processes accordingly to maximise profit turnover.
This article was originally published on Town Square, Square's official small business blog.