Losing Your Invoice… What Happens If A Client Won’t Pay?

It’s the farthest thing from your mind when you start a business. The little idea that turned into a fully-fledged business is now the biggest headache, and everything is threatening to crumble, all because a client won’t pay up. For a lot of business owners, a client avoiding paying is a typical issue, but one that shouldn’t ever come up. If you’re new to the entrepreneurial way of life, the fact that you have a client is relief enough, but when you’re left in a bind because you have a final payment due, the whole business can be tinged with regret, especially when you’re relying on this one client. So how can these situations be prevented?

Make Sure You Have A Proposal And Contract That’s Solid

Outline a proposal before any contract is signed. You need to make sure the proposal shows a status report for the whole project on a monthly basis as well as a schedule of payments. This helps to keep everyone that’s internal and external on the same page and motivated, so the project can stay on track. When drafting up a contract, you should make it as very specific as possible. Information such as legal fee clauses or the outcomes of the project being delayed as far as the financial penalties are concerned. Collect a retainer up front, most organizations demand 50%, and as the work is being done, be sure to document the process in as much detail as possible. If you end up going to court, you will need this to cover your back.

Get Legal Help

This should be a last resort, but if you’ve not been able to successfully obtain your payment, you will have to get legal help. Hire an experienced debt collection attorney or one who works on cases of breaches of contract. The costs will be front loaded of course, but if you emerge victorious from the legal wrangle, the client will cover the payments as outlined in your contract. Make sure to send an official letter to the client, and include the proposal, a copy of the contract and inform them you will be proceeding with legal action. Also, send these to the company attorney if there is one, their in-house public relations team, and the immediate contact. Usually, a letter of this magnitude will make them pay attention, and they may try to settle before the case goes to court.

A Couple Of Hints…

It is always so tempting to give these clients a public shaming, and social media can seem like a purpose-built soapbox, but try and maintain some decorum in this instance. Don’t forget that you have other clients or prospective ones, and you need to be professional at all times. In addition to this, the benefit of hindsight is a wonderful thing, and in the future, one approach to payments would be to divide the fee into sections and send an invoice for each section. So if your work has very definable sections, send an invoice once one part is completed, and when you receive payment, you can press on with the assignment.

When Home Problems Become Work Problems

If you have followed the plethora of advice on business ownership, then your home and business life are kept very separate. Home is for the cups of coffee to rouse you in the morning, the relaxed evenings with your feet up, the afternoons spent sweeping leaves in the yard. Business is for… business, really. The two remain very separate.

That’s why it can be so discomfiting to discover that some of the problems you’d think belong at home might actually crop up at work.

When you own business premises, the true separation of work and business might not be obtainable. Occasionally, you will find yourself with a problem that is more suited to home ownership – but you have to rectify it all the same. You can’t be nothing but your professional self, seeing your office premises as a shell you inhabit for eight hours per day. Just like your home, it’s going to need maintenance.

It’s probably not welcome news. After all, your business is where you can go to escape that kind of maintenance. Except… it’s not. The following problems might be more suited to your domestic residence, but they’re just as likely to crop up at work as well.

1) Infestations

Crawling in the walls, squeaks in the office kitchen… yes, you might have an infestation problem in the office. Not only is this going to gross everyone out, but it’s also going to require some work to fix it.

If you suspect this might be an issue for you, then the likes of Urban Property Inspections are perfect to suss out just how big of a problem you are facing. When you know what you have to do, bring in professionals to do it. This is your place of work, so no “at home” remedies for pests are going to cut it.

2) Building Problems

If you rent your business premises, then this is less likely to be an issue for you. Or if it is, you can just bounce it to the landlord.

If, however, you’re responsible for this kind of issue, then it could be a big headache. Roof problems are perhaps the most common; any leaks should be treated as an emergency that has to be fixed as soon as possible. It’s always useful to have a reliable team of tradespeople on hand that you can call in at the first sign of problems.

3) Cleaning

“Spring cleaning” is the kind of phrase that is massively overused, but it’s something many of us engage in. We acknowledge that, at least once per year, our usual cleaning regime needs to be deepened as we clean our home right down to the basics.

The same is true of your business premises. If you have a cleaning team, then every six months or so, hire them in for an entire day for a special deep clean. If you don’t have a cleaning team and it’s up to you, then sorry, it may be a work day but it looks like you’re going to need to don some rubber gloves and get going with the polish!

Business Funding: How To Get The Money You Need

Lots of people come up with excellent business ideas during their lives. However, only a select few will ever launch a company. That is because the process is often complicated, and many entrepreneurs don’t know where to start. There are many guides online that help to simplify the venture. So, people just need to perform a lot of research and ensure they leave no stone unturned. For the purpose of today’s post, we’re going to focus on funding. Unless you have a good track record, you might struggle to get the money you need through traditional means. Still, there is no reason to stress because there are plenty of other options on the table. Just read this article and work out which solution is best for you.

Go to the bank

Before you do anything else, you should book an appointment to see your bank manager. Of course, you need to develop your business plan first. That is the document that will highlight the nature of your company and how you will make a profit. With a bit of luck, the bank will decide that your idea is going to work. If that happens, they should provide you with the capital you require to get things off the ground. Just make sure your business plan also contains a guide to how you will grow the operation. If you don’t have any luck with the bank, there is no need to worry. There are lots of other ways to get the startup money you need. Just try one of the other suggestions below. However, most banks are willing to lend these days. So, you might get lucky.

Contact private equity firms

Getting an investment from private equity firms is often a little easier than the last solution. There are hundreds of companies out there, and you just need to make a shortlist of the most suitable. Once you’ve done that, you can get in touch with them and try to arrange some meetings. Pitch your idea and provide them with your business plan in advance. The only issue is that private equity firms will want to take a percentage of your business. That means you might have to part with 10%, 20%, or more. Of course, there is always room for negotiation. For that reason, you need to work on your skills. You can always take another person along to the meeting if you think it will help. Also, make sure you use visual aids like PowerPoint presentations.

Get a second job

Sometimes you have to work hard to get the money you require. With that in mind, you might consider getting a second job. It’s not the ideal method of raising cash, but it’s better than nothing. Don’t worry if you don’t have much time on your hands at the moment. You could become a freelancer and just earn money whenever you have a free moment. There are also lots of work from home jobs available these days. You just need to search online for the most popular roles. You can then work out which is most suitable for you, and send some applications. At the end of the day, you must believe in your business idea. If you don’t want to take a risk of that nature, nobody else will either. Considering that, sometimes you just have to bite the bullet and get your head down.

Ask friends and family

If all else fails, you might have some luck if you speak to friends and family members. They might be able to raise the money you require between them. It all depends on your ability to convince them your concept is going to make a profit. Who knows? Maybe your aunt has just sold her home for a profit? Maybe your uncle just received a large payout from his workplace? Either way, you should only ask them to part with their cash if you’re 100% confident with your business idea. The last thing you need is for family members to fall out with you because they lost their investment. So, think long and hard before selecting that option. While it might be possible, you don’t want to cause anyone trouble.

Crowdfund the business

There are hundreds of different crowdfunding websites online today. The idea is that you list your pitch and opportunity. Interested parties then get in touch to make you an offer. It’s an especially useful method if your business benefits society. For example, people are more willing to invest in a company that offers green technology than something that harms the planet. You get the idea, right? Still, that doesn’t mean other entrepreneurs won’t be successful. It’s often down to the luck of the draw. You just need to register with as many sites and possible and wait a month or so. With a bit of luck, someone will see value in your idea. They will then send the money you require.

Remortgage your home

If you still struggle to get the cash injection you need, remortgaging your home is always an option. If you’ve paid the current contract for more than ten years, you have a lot of equity in your home. That money could help to get your company off the ground and leave you some money spare. So, now is the time to get in touch with specialists and find the best rates. In most instances, you shouldn’t stay with the provider you use at the moment. You will find better deals elsewhere because competitors will want to steal your custom. That means they’re more likely to undercut each other in the hope of getting you to take out a remortgage with their firm.

Now you know some fantastic ideas for getting funding, we hope you will make the right decisions. When all’s said and done, you just need to keep moving forwards. At least one of the suggestions on this page should get you to get your business off the ground. Work through our ideas from the top of this page until you get the desired results. That is your best strategy in this situation.