Although working with a major corporate client is a windfall for a small business, research shows that the convoluted accounting practices of these large customers make them notoriously late in paying their bills. This can negatively impact your invoice processing and cash flow.
Here are some tips on fine-tuning your customer service to ensure that these larger clients pay on time.
Complete Required Paperwork
Once you have come to an agreement with a large client to supply products or services, the first step is to make sure that all necessary paperwork has been completed. Go over the documents, sign them, and have them delivered to the proper personnel. If necessary, verify that you have received a purchase order number from your client.
Deal With the Right People
Your invoice can easily become lost in the bureaucratic complexity of a large organization if you don’t send it to the right person or department. As soon as the paperwork is complete, find out who handles accounts payable, and make a note of the contact information.
Pay Attention to Details
Keep your invoices simple, black and white, and easy to understand, but at the same time pay attention to your client’s specific billing requirements. Information large customers may expect to see on the invoice includes your contact information, the project name and code, a description of the completed work, the hours worked and hourly rate, and any details relevant to taxation. If your client prefers a specific payment method, be sure that you are set up to handle it.
Plan for Contingencies
Despite your best customer service efforts, large companies may still be slow to pay. If this happens, have a backup plan in place to ensure that the cash flow of your small business remains steady. Options include a form of invoice financing through which you receive an advance in payment for your unpaid invoices.
For more information on customer service and client payments, contact BizCap Commercial Finance.