Home renovation contractors have different ways of going about their tasks. As a result, they also have different ways of charging their clients for their outputs.
While many contractors are great at doing their job, unfortunately, some of them don’t get paid on time.
Billing Your Projects: How To Keep The Money Flowing
Everyone knows how hard it can be to deal with slow-paying customers. As a reliable contractor, you may have enough in your account to shoulder the costs of various projects. In an ideal world, clients have the initiative to comply with the agreed timeframe, and without needing any follow-ups. However, that’s simply not how things work in real life. Hence, you have to make an extra effort to ensure that billing home renovation projects won’t end up being a headache. If you’re currently trying to work out your payment system to minimize the need for client follow-ups, here are six tips that can help you streamline the whole process:
Organize Your Billing Methods
Receiving timely payments primarily relies on how organized your internal processes are. Thus, it’s necessary to list down all your billing essentials so you have something to work with before setting your rules. This ensures that all parts of the process will flow smoothly.
Here’s a list of what you need to set with your clients:
- Mode of billing (paper or electronic)
- Billing frequency (weekly, monthly, or upon project completion)
- Payment due date
- Payment method options
- Late fees
When you have these pieces of information figured out, it’s now easy to standardize them. You simply need to lay them out to your clients. Of course, this just serves as a guide. You may need to adjust some factors depending on your client’s needs and the nature of the project.
Emphasize Important Information On The Invoice
Now that you have a regular schedule for sending out invoices, you need to make sure that the client can easily recognize the important details, which include the following:
- Invoice date
- Invoice number
- Contractor’s name and contact details
- Client’s name and contact details
- Billing information
- Detailed breakdown of services
- Fees or rates
- Total payable amount
Before starting on the project, it helps to translate your transparency with the fees into a written contract. This ensures that you have a document that confirms everything has been agreed upon beforehand.
Use An Appropriate Invoice Template
Though you already know what an invoice should contain, it’s also recommended to use a fee template that will clearly show all the necessary information. You may find generic templates out there that serve the purpose, but every industry will bill their clients differently. For instance, what may work for electrical works may not be that effective for flooring projects.
Keep Invoice Items Understandable And Customer-Friendly
It’s essential to be detailed when it comes to billing, but the amount of details included should depend based on the project and the client. Ultimately, a client only needs to know what exactly they’re being charged for. Thus, make sure that you minimize writing in jargon or codes as this may only confuse your client. Or, if you really have to write them, always include the “translation”, or the term that the client is familiar with.
Harness The Power Of Discounts And Penalties
One of the reasons why clients aren’t motivated to pay on schedule is because there are no repercussions for paying late; they feel like they can get away with it. Whereas if you have penalties for late payments, they’ll do what they can to pay on time. And, if you have discounts for early payments, they’ll be driven to take advantage of those.
Be Proactive In Getting Payment Dues
If your client doesn’t have any initiative to pay on their own, it’s your job to be proactive in seeking their dues. Your receivables won’t pay itself just by waiting. Set up a process for follow-ups so clients won’t forget about their responsibilities.
Getting Paid Becomes Easier When You Have A Consistent Billing Process
Home renovation projects are often time-consuming and labor-intensive. Ideally, contractors should be able to receive their work’s worth as soon as the project is completed. However, some contractors don’t get to enjoy timely payments because their billing processes aren’t properly laid out. This is why it’s important to assess why late payments typically happen in the first place. Once you’ve established a process that’s easily understandable to both you and your clients, you’ll soon see significant improvements in your business’s cash flow.