As a freelancer, small business owner if you are unable to recover your dues from your clients, we have listed ways which will help you recover your payments due.
Apart from getting an MSME (Micro, small and medium enterprises) registration under the MSMED Act, 2006. The below mentioned 5 ways should help you present your brand and business as a well organized professionally run setup which your clients cannot take for granted:
Get a personalized Email account
We checked profiles of many freelancers/small business owners on Instagram and found most of them using their personal Gmail accounts. Sending a word invoice from your personal Gmail accounts doesn’t put across the best face for your brand/business. Purchasing an email account (YOUR NAME@YOUR BUSINESS/BRAND.COM) would cost you around INR 1,500 per year which is a real investment to your business.
Have a Signed agreement
When you are discussing a potential engagement with your client, discuss clearly the scope of your engagement, the fees and the timelines for delivery of your work and the payment terms. Put all these points in a one-pager agreement and let your client sign and give you a copy of this.
If you are currently doing this by setting out your terms on an email, putting this on an agreement and getting your clients to sign the terms makes it more professional and something your client knows he has signed upon. If you are worried about the turnaround time of getting assigned application, use online tools like DocuSign to get your agreements signed instantly.
Complete your Vendor Onboarding
Before you start the work and while signing your agreement, ask your client to finish the vendor onboarding for you. Big companies generally follow a detailed vendor onboarding process and this may take anywhere from a week to a month to get you onboard as their vendor so that they can pay you once you send them your invoice. Get this done right away so that by the time you are done with your deliverables, your invoice can be sent directly for processing.
Raise invoices using an invoicing tool
I bet many of you must be sending an invoice in excel or word to your clients. How about sending a professional looking invoice which goes directly from an application as an email to your clients with your branding? Cool, isn't it? We use and recommend Quickbooks application for raising your invoices. This is a cloud-based accounting application which you can access from your phone, tab and computer system. It comes at an annual cost of INR 5,000 and the Company keeps running some discount offers all the time.
If you are looking for a free application to use, you should consider Genie books. It is free for users with a turnover of up to INR 1.50 crores. When you raise an invoice, always mention the due date in the invoice itself as per your terms of the agreement.
Review your invoices and follow up diligently
The above accounting applications (Quickbooks and Genie books) gives you a dashboard look for your business. You can check invoices sent, whether your clients have viewed the invoice you had sent them and invoices past their due date. Isn’t it great! Review the dashboard at least weekly and take necessary TIMELY follow up actions like a boss!