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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.

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.