5 ways to keep your cash flowing and your business thriving
The timing of your payments might seem like a minor issue in the grand scheme of things. After all, as long as the money is coming in eventually, you might think that is what matters, but that is not always the case. In fact, one in three businesses say that late payments threaten their survival. Beyond that, slow payment processing accounts for failures for 82% of small businesses. Of all the ways to go out of business, this seems like one of the most frustrating. The money is coming through, but just too little too late. Fortunately, there are some steps you can take to combat this issue, and Scorpion can help. If you find yourself anxiously waiting for payments to come through too often, here is what we recommend:
- Set clear payment terms
When it comes to the prices of your products and services, never leave room for confusion. If your customers feel that they were misled about your prices, not only are they likely to take their time paying you, but they will be disgruntled and unlikely to return. If possible, send out a written estimate prior to conducting business with them. No matter how your customers go about purchasing from you, make sure that price tag doesn’t come as a surprise.
- Invoice your customers right away
If you run a business that works through invoices, be sure to invoice your customers and clients right away. Naturally, the faster you invoice them, the faster they will be able to send you the money. You also might find it helpful to number your invoices. This way, if a customer has a question about their invoice, it is easier for you to track. Plus, you won’t come across as scrambled when trying to answer their questions. Expert tip: Even if it is your first invoice, avoid numbering it as #1. This will make you appear less experienced to your customers and they might be more likely to question the worth of your products and services.
- Simplify your payment process
Studies have shown that people are more likely to procrastinate tasks they find “difficult, unpleasant, aversive or just plain boring or stressful.” Let’s face it: nobody likes to see money leave their wallet. However, when your customers need to pay you, making the process as pleasant as possible can eliminate any excessive procrastination. For example, if you need to mail a check to a business, you know that you need to pick up stamps and envelopes if you don’t have them and you need to take it to the mailbox or local post office. This might not seem like that big of a deal, but when it is not already a part of your customers’ day, it will likely take them much longer to incorporate it. However, your customers are always on their phones, and this is a good enough reason to eliminate paper invoices entirely.
One of the ways you can simplify your payment process is through Scorpion’s processing services. We put all of your payments into one spot so that you can provide your customers with the best option for their needs, and you can get paid faster. It really is that simple.
- Automate reminders for customers
We all need a reminder every now and then, but if you find yourself manually sending reminders to customers on the regular, it can take up a great deal of your time. With help from Scorpion’s payment suite, you can schedule payment requests to help your customers keep track of their payments. This will also allow you to reach your customers through their preferred contact method, whether that be text or email. Plus, your business will easily be able to see unpaid requests, so you won’t be left in the dark about the status of your own money.
- Incentivize early payments
Who doesn’t love a good reward every now and then? Incentivizing early payments is something that not many businesses might think to do, but it can certainly be impactful when it comes to being paid on time. You might think that offering discounts is not in your best interest, but the truth is that getting paid in full for the majority of your services is better than not getting paid at all. One way to offer incentives would be to provide discounts on their next purchase if they pay by a certain date. Another way is to offer discounts for monthly subscriptions if that makes sense for your business.
The bottom line is that attracting and keeping paying customers is the most difficult part of operating a business. If it was easy, everyone would do it. Having the tools in place to make this process as smooth as possible will keep your business paid and productive. Don’t assume that customers’ payments will come automatically, and don’t be afraid to ask for a helping hand.
Need some help getting your payments flowing faster for your business? Scorpion has your back. Learn more about our payment processing tools and how we can be an asset to your success.