If you’re a tradie or anyone who gets their hands dirty for a living, then you’ll know how difficult the job can be. Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for employers and clients to under-appreciate your efforts, which can lead to late payments and a lot of stress. The good news? You can make chasing overdue invoices a thing of the past by following our handy tips.
Secure payments from the outset
We recommend securing some kind of payment before getting started, especially on large projects. This is because a client that is willing to pay part upfront will be more likely to honour their full end of the bargain once everything is complete. Not only this, but should things take a turn for the worse and your client goes MIA, you’ll at least have something to show for your time. Realistically, you can ask for 50% of the project fee before you commence the task without coming across as greedy or too demanding. Just remember to outline your expectations from the start so both parties understand the agreement terms.
Negotiate late fees in your contract
Always include late fees in your contract. This will establish boundaries early on, and safeguard you from clients who may be slack when it comes to staying on top of payments. Basically, clearly state that if fees are not paid within the designated period, a late penalty will be charged. Not only is this good for your back pocket, but it will create respect for your work. Doing so can also improve communication between parties and prevent the relationship from going sour, which can make getting your hard-earned money even harder.
Talk about invoicing before you start
There’s an elephant in the room – and it’s called invoicing. If you feel awkward when asking for money, then you’re not alone. In fact, it’s actually quite common to feel this way. However, as a contractor, you need to get comfortable asking for payment. One way of making this easier is by outlining your invoicing requirements before you start drilling or digging away. It can be as simple as saying:
“Hey, once you’ve ticked everything off, we’ll be sending over an invoice which needs to be paid in full within 10 business days. Does that work for you?”
This will ensure that everyone is on the same page from the outset. Whether you’re a carpenter fitting out a new shop front or a landscaper re-designing a courtyard, having these conversations early is a great way to get off on the right foot and to make sure there are no issues down the track.
Tip: After you’ve discussed invoicing, reiterate the conversation via email so you have a digital record to fall back on, should you need to.
Automate your invoice processes and get paid faster with GeoNext
Want to really take the stress out of invoicing? Our automation software can help. GeoNext is a cloud-based construction management platform that makes getting paid quick and painless. Easily downloadable to your mobile or desktop, you can create custom templates for your quotes and invoices, sync up your Xero, MYOB or QuickBooks software and access all payments in one place. You can even send invoices straight away via SMS or email.
Other than your trusty hammer, it’s one tool a tradie shouldn’t be without.
Not 100% sold yet on taking your business to the digital age? We’ve crunched some numbers for you:
- Australian businesses are paid 26.4 days late on average
- 90% of small businesses fail because of a lack of cash flow
- Australian small businesses are owed $26 million in unpaid invoices
GeoNext solves all these problems.
Want to say goodbye to annoying paperwork?
GeoNext is easy to use, has all the tools you need and is FREE for 14 days
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