If you own a cleaning business or are thinking of starting one, you've made a wise decision. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, people are becoming more concerned with cleanliness and hygiene than ever before. It's a great time to have a cleaning business. That said, running a cleaning company can be tough. One touchy subject is collecting client payments. Clients who pay late can be especially problematic, as you need to get the money they owe you without damaging your working relationship. Read on for some tips to help.
Establish clear payment terms for your clients up front
Ideally, you will be able to avoid late payments altogether. One way to do this is to write clear invoices and establish transparent payment terms upfront. When creating invoices, you can use a template that has your basic information, like your cleaning company's branding and contact details. Invoices should also contain essential legal information like a unique identification number, how much you're charging, VAT if applicable, a date, and payment information. Finally, make sure to include the payment terms, such as Net 30.
Offer a variety of convenient payment methods for your customers
If you want to get your money fast, make it as easy as possible for your customers to pay you. For example, accepting payments through an app is a handy option. A payment app should be user-friendly, and make it easy for customers to set up payment options and confirm their bank account authentication. API software combined with an ACH processor makes it easy to link accounts while maintaining security, allowing for a fully integrated purchasing process.
Have an action plan for chasing late payments
Even if you're proactive about minimizing the risk of late payments by taking the above steps, you probably can't avoid them completely. Don't wait for a delayed payment to set up an action plan. Fleximize offers a step-by-step guide to how you can address late payments, starting with a friendly reminder email and then escalating to a phone call. If these tactics don't work, you may want to write a formal letter and, if that doesn't work, follow up with a legal letter. Ideally, you will be able to get paid without using a debt recovery specialist.
Establish perks for prompt payments
You don't want your customers to only feel like you're chasing them for late payments. You can also improve your customer relations by rewarding customers when they pay early, boosting loyalty in the process. Giving a discount on advance payments benefits everyone involved. Your customer is motivated to pay since they can save money. Meanwhile, you will have the benefit of not needing to stress about delinquent payments. This can also ensure a steady cash flow for your cleaning business.
Be prepared to "break up" with a client if necessary
Sometimes, a client is simply more trouble than they're worth. If you have a client who is consistently late with payment, the time and energy you spend chasing them may not be worth the money. The Muse has a list of signs that it's time to end a working relationship with a client, such as if you're over-accommodating them, you're being treated poorly, or you're simply not earning what you should. In these cases, consider ending the working relationship and devoting your time and energy to finding clients who are a better match for you.
It's no fun to chase late payments. However, it's important that you're paid for your services. The life of your cleaning business depends on it! The above tips can help you secure overdue payments in a way that won't damage your client relationships.
For more tips on setting up and managing a successful cleaning business, check out the Cleanerpreneur blog and podcast.
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