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How to avoid not-getting-paid situations

2017-09-28 | ALL, Guide | No Comments

How to avoid not-getting-paid situations

It happened to all of us. It does not matter if you are a freelancer or running a small business. We all have come in a situation to face clients that are not paying or being late with payments. In order to run a successful business and protect your cash flow if you are a freelancer, each of us has to have a strict organization in the client communication.

Here are several rules you must do in order to avoid not-getting-paid situations:

  1. Add Payment Terms and Project specifications in writing – either in the agreement contract or in each invoice to make sure the client is informed
  2. Research the client before you start working with him/her – do a simple google search and check out the client and potential reviews about that company or person online. You can check reviews on Google, Upwork, Linkedin or even Twitter.
  3. Have a paper trail: Email your client and ask them when you can expect the payment. Keep things professional and don’t sound too desperate. For me personally, it said: “We will pay on Monday” (it was Thursday).
  4. Follow-up: Wait a few days and send another email. If you have a good relationship with your client, consider an emotional approach. My client was communicating with me about recurring tasks every day so I waited and reminded him at the end of each day continuously for two weeks. The answer was always “We will send it tomorrow”.
  5. Do things automatically. Use software to send invoices, reminders to clients and notifications if the invoice is paid or not. That will keep you organized and you will not worry if you will forget that client or payment.
  6. Communicate, communicate – email, chat or even a short phone call can take you closer to getting paid. Just keep in mind to leave the emotions at home and stay professional.

Keep yourself organized from start to finish will make you a better professional, will create a better image in front of your current and potential clients and will get you paid on time. That way you will protect your cash flow and your business.

Envoice, the simplest invoice app for businesses and cross-border payments company Payoneer are teaming up to bring the best experience to the Payoneer Customers in making it easier for them to send invoices and receive online payments via Payoneer without any additional fees or limits.

Envoice is a free invoicing software for small businesses and freelancers. It’s simple, easy to use and has additional features like recurring invoicing, API integration and team collaboration features that can help Payoneer users easily send invoices to their clients and receive online payments quickly.

Through the integration, the small businesses and freelancers that have Payoneer accounts will be able to:

– receive online payments using their Payoneer account without any additional fees

– receive personalized support with Payoneer for any issues regarding the integration with Envoice.

– receive money online via iCheck without fee

 

Additionally, Payoneer users will be able to benefit from Envoice features such as:

– tracking their paid/unpaid invoices,

– detail report on how much you’ve earned,

– notifications when an invoice is paid or overdue,

– team collaboration

– recurring invoices,

 

We are pleased to partner with Payoneer to offer freelancers and small businesses, a simple and easier way for them to be paid by their clients.

Each and every one of us is trying to be as productive as possible during the day. In this quick business world, we all struggle with the toughs of how can we be faster in finishing our work tasks, not be distracted easily and have time for everything we thought of finishing during the day.

Here are several tips on how to make your life easier, get your work done and have time to spare.

Have one task in mind. An average person has 70,000 thoughts per day which 49 per min. So keep things organized and do tasks one at a time. Multitasking is a bad habit that does not result in long-term productivity.

Don’t stop if you get stuck for more than 30 seconds move on. If you stop and decide to open Facebook or look at your phone, you can get easily distracted and lose time that you can spend working on your tasks.

Listen to music – Background music helps finish tasks faster. Choose music that will not distract you like instrumental music or hip-hop. Do not choose music that is too loud or too soft – it can distract you or make you fall asleep.

Keep the lights bright – increasing light levels from 300 lux to 2000 lux improve productivity by 8% (most offices work at 300-500 lux ) 1000 lux is full daylight (not direct sun).

GUIDE: HOW TO WORK FAST AND BE MORE PRODUCTIVE
Infographics courtesy of Funders and Founders

Don’t question anything you do in the first 15 minutes. Start your tasks and finish them. Afterwards, review them and see where did you make mistakes.

Make 1st draft in 15 minutes (let it be bad). Take a break, drink coffee or chat with collages, clear your mind and review your task from more clear perspective.

Do use a timer if you can’t hack it in 15 minutes you can’t-do it at all. Tracking your time is very beneficial so you can have a clear view on how much time you are spending on your tasks during the day.

Write short 140-characters emails otherwise you don’t know what you are saying. Make your emails simple and elegant. Gmail for example now offer a quick reply suggestions for their mobile app. This will save you time and you will still keep your professional attitude.

Keep your desk clear it will clear your mind. Many things on your desk are the same as many thoughts in your head. So keep things on your desk tidy and clean, that way you will be more concentrated on your work instead of your trash.

SMALL BUSINESS GUIDE: HOW TO SET UP A BASIC SEO

When starting an online business there are several key elements involving your website that you must do and have. From a well-made website, good design, readable content to excellent SEO.

So today we are sharing with you several easy things you can do while setting up your basic SEO when launching your website for your business.

On-Site SEO – Research and create your metadata.

  1. First, you need to use the Google Keyword Tool to research meta keywords that are mostly searched by your potential customers on Google. This tool will give you an idea on which keywords you should use in your metadata as primary keywords.
  2. Crease a meta title that explains your business in one sentence and meta description that will give the searchers detail info about what you do. Use SEOMOFO to check if you are in-line with the guidelines. Keep in mind that this data should include your meta keywords.
  3. If your website is on WordPress you can use the free plugins such as All in One SEO, Platinum SEO, and SEO by Yoast. You can also get SEO suggestions by using premium plugins such as Scribe SEO. This way it will be much easier for you to implement the metadata in your website code without any knowledge in programming
  4. Keep in mind for the additional on-site SEO elements like internal links help search engines learn more about your website by internally linking to other pages on your website within your content; Header Tags are HTML header tags that help break the content into sections as well as let search engines know more about what each section of content is about. There is <H1></H1> tags surround the post title, <H2></H2> and <H3></H3> tags surround subheadings on the page
  5. Image Name & ALT Tags – If you have images on your website, you need to have good keywords for both the image name and the alt tag.

Quality content is a must. Today on the internet there are so many websites that are unique in their own way. If you want to have a unique website as well, you need to create a unique content that will connect to your industry. So keep in mind to enrich your website with content like Blog posts, Industry Articles, Tutorials & How-To Guides, Infographics or Videos.

Off-Site Optimization or so-called Link Building – Link building is one of the most must-have SEO tasks. The basic goal is to get other websites to link to yours. That way you can increase your Google website rank and your website will show up higher in the organic search results. What you need to is:

  1. Submit guest blog posts to popular blogs in your industry.
  2. Reach out to related businesses if they will link your website. In most cases, this will show up in their partner’s page
  3. Create social media profiles
  4. Submit your website to applicable industry directories
  5. Create links worth linking

Monitor your results – By using tools such as Authority Labs or Google Analytics you can monitor your SEO progress by reviewing your results. Here you need to set up goals that you want to achieve in order to review SEO metrics. Some of those goals can be website visits, purchases of a product, signups or registrations, downloads of a white-paper, clicks on a link etc.

By setting up your basic SEO you can improve the initial ranking of your website. That can give a clear and fast start to your first organic visits and first customers without any advertising.

SMALL BUSINESS GUIDE: Create an accurate invoice

How you create your invoices and what kind of content they have on them, can say a lot about you as a professional. That is why when drafting your invoices you need to think about the accurate content you put it, the design and the professional attitude behind them.

Here are our tips on what you need to have in mind when you construct your invoices:

Leave the best impression – with your invoices you send a message about your business. So when your clients receive that invoice can which more information about what you do. So if it’s not-well designed or it does not give the specific indication about your business, often can leave a bad impression on you as a professional.

Keep the number correct – the invoice is a request for payment so you need to be super careful while adding the correct amount of payment. So track your hours and product sales accurately, send the correct amount for payment and keep the same timing while sending the invoice – good time management can take you a long way.

Keep sending invoices regularly – it’s the most important part of your business. As if you not getting paid it’s bad for your cash flow and you won’t have a business by the end of the day.

Select a delivery method – some companies tend you have paper invoices, either prefer online documents as they are more flexible, they can more around faster, can be processed, indexed and search easily.

Create well-designed invoices – everyone loves beautiful invoices. If you don’t have design skills there are a lot of invoicing solutions that have pre-designed temples which can fit your needs.

Personalize and add your business information in the invoice– your invoice is same as your business card. It needs to have all the information about your business provided so it can look professional and can make your business stand out.

Don’t get surprised – create an invoice with the amount that was already discussed with your client. If there is difference in the amount that needs to be paid, leave the difference out of the invoice and setting the misunderstanding additionally with your client.

Keep your items in order – there are several items that need to be added to your invoice like services performed, date and time range, hours worked, the quantity of items supplied, the rate per hour or item, amount, sub-total, tax amount and total. Some invoicing software has all this data pre-arranged so you do not forget some of them.

Add previously discussed payment methods – keep in mind not to forget the pre-defined terms about payment methods with your client before you send the invoice

Be professional and polite – at the end, this is still a business communication and part of the overall image of your company and business. So keep things professional if you want to retain your customers.

Accounting Software, Invoicing tool or Do Invoicing the Traditional Way

Each business has to handle its finances which include invoicing and bookkeeping in most cases. It can also include estimation of taxes, expenses, and billing from clients, which is the key feature in every sustainable and profitable business.

With the tendency of growth in all online businesses, as well as the increment in the number of freelancers and independent contractors, the need to have the right online tool or software to help with invoicing and bookkeeping is getting more stronger.

But when is the best time to get rid of the endless spreadsheets and docs in the cloud and start using a tool that can save you time, make you seem professional in-front of your clients and help you get your finances in a row?

Each and every one of us has started doing their invoices the hard way – the traditional way. In the beginning, the accounting needs to be simple and easy. All you need is a good knowledge of MS Excel, Mac Numbers, or Google Sheets. But as your business grows your accounting and invoicing becomes more complex. And you need more time to do it by yourself and it is a risk for potential mistakes while doing it.

Accounting Software, Invoicing tool or Do Invoicing the Traditional Way

Then comes the need to research and try out invoicing tools or accounting software or maybe both.

Here are several points to keep in mind on why you need an invoicing tool or accounting software:

  • If you create invoices, you need an invoicing tool. That’s the only way you can benefit from features such as recurring invoices and automatic payment reminders.
  • Invoicing software is very affordable. Some invoicing tools start from 0$ – 20$ per month depending on the features they offer.
  • When looking for “Accounting Software,” keep in mind to look for “double-entry accounting” or “double-entry bookkeeping” feature. If the software does not have that it’s an accounting software.

But what if you are a freelancer that has only a few clients. Or you just started your business?

Here are some criteria to have in order to qualify to use an invoicing software or tool:

  • You don’t have inventory.
  • You don’t have any payable account – like stuff you haven’t paid but you are going to soon
  • You are a one-person business and you don’t have any employees

Invoicing tools bring a lot of benefits for your business. Here are some of them:

  • They have fewer features and are simpler to use
  • Better value for money. Usually, they are much affordable for starting businesses
  • You can be paid faster especially since most invoicing software allows you to receive online payments via services like Payoneer, PayPal or Stripe
  • Accounting software can be hard to manage and confusing if you don’t have an accountant knowledge.
  • You will be more organized and you will look more professional in front of your clients
  • You can collect automatic payments and sales information
  • You will save time and resources used for traditional invoicing
  • You can send invoices from everywhere and have secure data

So do you use accounting software, invoicing tool or you do your invoicing the traditional way? Let us know!

Invoicing: Do it Yourself or Hire a Professional?

Many small business owners struggle when it comes to bookkeeping, accounting or invoicing. Some decide not to use the services of professionals and others tend to pay accounts at the moment they launch their business.

There are situations when business owners decide they will use professional accounting or invoicing only part time like when they need to create a business plan or company formation, to fill in the loan application or create government audit.

In all cases when starting a business you need to focus on the growth of the company and eliminate all time spending tasks.  Because if it takes you 10 hours to do your invoicing, and your time is worth $100 an hour. That’s a cost of $1000 to do your invoicing yourself.

So if you are thinking of doing your invoicing yourself or hiring a professional here are some tips you can take under consideration:

  1.  An accountant can do a complete analysis of your financial situation and offer strategic advice. It’s always good to have a professional take a look at your business finances and give you a clear picture of the whole situation. Even if it just an audit.
  2.  Outsource if you can afford in-house. Many small business owners stick to outsourcing accounting or bookkeeping services for quite some time and in some cases, they outsource them for part-time as they don’t need a full-time person for that type of task.
  3.  If you decide to hire an accountant do that when you are ready to delegate – some business owners need to control everything in order to run their businesses but the moment you let go of some of this control you can focus on your part and that is managing your business and employees. That moment is perfect to hire an in-house accountant.
  4. Hire an accountant when you need to deal with government or audits – these are serious matters where you need to have a professional on board. Have this in mind when you need to fill government paperwork, you are being audited or even in a situation when you need apply for a business loan or overdraft.
  5. Calculate and plan – if you are a small business or you are just starting you can start doing you invoicing or account at first, as there are a lot of tips, tools, and software that will guide you on how to do it best without taking too much time from your core business

Whatever option you choose is up to you and what you think is best for your business.

If you start researching you can see that most companies have leaders that have strong operational that are needed to maintain perfect organization and productivity in each team. Which of course is crucial when running a business.

The lack of employees with know-how, experience, and confidence can bring down your business and cause problems that can not be fixed in time. In some cases, this means total anarchy in the company, missing respect, and managerial hierarchy – mostly seen in the companies or startups where the lean organizational structure is practiced.

10 tips on practicing to become a strategic leader

But it does not matter if you are a new small business owner or a startup founder. Having a strong leadership and management in the company is the key to running a successful business.

According to a research done in 2015 among 6,000 senior executives analyzed only 8 percent of them turned out to be strategic leaders or those effective at leading transformations. But what it takes to be a strategic leader to run a company in good times and bad times through different transformations? Here are several tips that you can practice to become a successful strategic leader:

  • Distribute responsibility – one of the things you can do regarding the distribution of responsibilities is to know your own current and future role and responsibilities of the company after which to identify each employee’s duties and level of responsibilities. That way you will have a clear structure of roles and responsibilities in the company as well as you can be informed of the potential each employee has  as well as be ready for possible restructure if needed

 

  • Be honest and open when sharing information – employees prefer honesty instead of internal PR and missing out of important company information that is considering their work position and future in the company. So being open is hones can build strong loyalty towards you and the company

 

  • Have several ways for raising and testing ideas – from brainstorming to A/B testing, from encouraging one to one meetings with team members to open discussions, there are multiple ways to bring out ideas within the team and boost team work and team spirit.

 

  • Create a safe environment for failure – most people have fear of failing which can lead to demotivation, lack of contributing to team work and fear of losing their job. That is why it is crucial to use methods like test-driven development, eliminate the blame game points and reward some failure moments, divide failures into: preventable, complexity-related, and intelligent mistakes and deal with them with a different approach, and create best practices for safety and risk management to avoid unavoidable failures in complex systems.

 

  • Give access to another strategist – diversity and different point of view can always be beneficial for the company, especially when it comes to strategies from different industries or teams that can see things objectively and share ideas for improvement.

 

  • Provide opportunities for experience-based learning – real-life experience has often shown that working in outside environment can boost learning, brainstorming, developing new ideas and boosting team work. Having that combined with opportunities like month climbing, cycling, fun games, swimming etc can give surpassing results among the team

 

  • Hire for transformation – not just to fill in someone else’s spot. If your company is growing and developing, then hiring new competencies is an important requirement for seeking executive talent from outside your organization.

 

  • Bring your whole self to work – embrace the fact that you can be vulnerable. Too often we avoid difficulties, challenges, and conflicts with others because we’re afraid of the consequences of speaking up. But, if we engage in those kinds of conversations, we can increase our ability to resolve conflicts and create deeper connections.

 

  • Find time to reflect – period for you to create a good  time-management schedule, self-retrospective, and organization as well as one-thing-at-a-time focus

 

  • Let the leadership development be your ongoing practice – don’t push yourself to bring results in a short period of time. Unleashing leadership potential in all employees will help you develop your leadership skills as well, boosting team spirit and helping company growth.

Envoice now works with Stripe #workswithstripe

Tailoring new features, expanding and improving the Enovice experience to our current and future users and firmly working on developing new partnerships are our team’s primary goals. And we are celebrating every small or big step towards achieving those goals.

That is why we are excited to share with you the news that recently we partner with Stripe to bring Envoice closer to Stripe users. This way everyone that are possessing payments through Stripe, can now create and send professional invoices and get paid online safe, secure and on time with Stripe.

Envoice now works with Stripe #workswithstripe

Stripe is an online payment gateway that has made amazing strides in the financial tech industry to help make payment methods secure, efficient, and easy to use. They’re also known for partnering with businesses large and small to help fuel their financial needs and also power well-known systems such as Apple Pay.

Try out Envoice here

5 most important points every PayPal account holder should know

If you are a freelancer or a small business owner and you have a PayPal account, there is at least one example where you found yourself struggling with PayPal plans, fees, TOS, different account types etc.

FREE E-Book: 3 Important Things To Know About Calculating PayPal, Payoneer and Stripe Fees >>>>>> Download >>>>>

 

If you do a short research on Google Search you can find hundreds of people having issues with Paypal, Payoneer or Stripe fees. Those people in most cases had problems with not knowing the additional fees that they were charged when doing a transaction paying online or converting to another currency.

We are Envoice wanted to do a thorough evaluation and research regarding those so called “hidden” fees and come up with several points that every PayPal account holder should know.

  • There are two types of accounts in PayPal. Personal and Business. One person can have two accounts: Personal and Business
  • It’s free to open a PayPal account for all account types.
  • Receiving funds from a PayPal personal account is free but Receiving funds from a PayPal business account involves fees
  • You can also receive funds from a credit/debit card.
  • Stay safe and never click a PayPal link in your email. There are lots of scammers around.

If you want to know more about each specific PayPal fee download our FREE E-Book: 3 Important Things To Know About Calculating PayPal, Payoneer and Stripe Fees >>>>>> Download >>>>>