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Making sure your company gets paid on time over Christmas

Making sure your company gets paid on time over Christmas


For the first PAY of Christmas, this one is quite easy…

Is your invoice correct? Check and see.

Make sure your payment due date is shown LOUD AND PROUD, maybe in red – well, it’s a festive colour after all, and be sure all required details are there, including those required by your customer. Remember, 49% of invoices don’t get paid because they contain errors. Don’t ruin your Christmas due to a typing error or omission.

For the second PAY of Christmas, you’ve done your job with glee…

Send out invoices promptly…

Ensure your invoices are sent as soon as you’ve finished the job or sent the goods. The sooner your customer has your invoice, the sooner it can be paid. And remember, at this time of year, many businesses will bring their payment runs forward so you don’t want to miss out on your chance to be paid by being late with your invoice. DO IT NOW!

For the third PAY of Christmas, you should not work for free…

Has the invoice been received?

Yes, I know. You don’t feel it’s right to call and ask for payment.

So, don’t do it!

Make a customer service call instead. A quick call will enable you to help your customer implement their system smoothly. And it starts with – “Have you got that invoice?” If they haven’t, send it again whilst you’re on the phone and make sure they confirm receipt.

For the fourth PAY of Christmas, is it a he or she?

Who will make the payment?

If the person or people responsible for authorising and making the payments are not going to be there, find out who will be responsible, get names, dates, and full contact information.

If it appears no one will be there to deal with it, discuss the potential for early payment whilst they are still there.

For the fifth PAY of Christmas, how easy will it be?

Five payment options!

How are you usually paid? However, your customer usually pays you, they may come up with some poor excuse why they can’t do it THIS month. So, make sure you have at least four alternatives available, to cover all bases…

Cheque, Credit Card, Debt Card, Go Cardless, Cash (remember that!) or BACS.

And to avoid them feeling disadvantaged through paying early, they can schedule bank payments in advance.

For the sixth PAY of Christmas, it still must be easy…

Can I pop by and collect it?

Well, if your customer is fending off your attempts for payment and they are close enough to make it worthwhile, tell them you’ll pop by and collect the payment later today or tomorrow.

Or maybe just pop by without an appointment. You can wish them a happy Christmas at the same time.

For the seventh PAY of Christmas, to talk with them is key…

The payment’s due next Tuesday.

As part of your customer service call, you should always confirm the actual date the payment is due. Don’t leave it too late or the person who makes the payment may have already gone away for Christmas.

You need to aim to have all your payments agreed and sorted at least one week before Christmas.

Make sure you r customer knows you expect timely settlement of your invoices. The relationships you build, and regular contact will help with this, especially during the festive season.

For the eighth PAY of Christmas, they must very clearly see…

Is there a reason this won’t be paid?

Use your customer service call to find out what’s happening with your customer during the Christmas period. When are they doing the regular payment run? Are they shutting down and if so, when? Are there any queries on the invoice? (If so, deal with them on the call).

Never be afraid to ask – “Is there any reason this won’t be paid?” If you know, you can resolve it straight away.

For the ninth PAY of Christmas, give them no way down the lee…

No extended terms on offer!

The most common ploy used to delay payment in December is – “It’s our year-end on 31st December”. Which means they are looking to make their figures look better, but at your expense.

They want your money to boost their bank balance. Is that what YOU want?

For the tenth PAY of Christmas, there’s no sacrifice for free…

A deferment’s going cost you!

You should only ever consider allowing your customer deferred payment terms if there’s something worthwhile in it.

They must pay for the privilege if they want you to sacrifice your cash position to make theirs appear better. Apply a statutory late payment charge or interest payment. Better still, apply both.

For the eleventh PAY of Christmas, suppliers they are key…

Pay all bills to you suppliers.

Remember, goodwill is very much a two-way street and as the old saying goes – Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. So please make sure your suppliers get paid.

For the twelfth PAY of Christmas, a Happy New Year you will see…

If you pay your own bills early.

Make sure you pay all your suppliers and any other bills you may owe, even if it means paying them a little bit early. This is an investment in you and your business, strengthening your supplier relationships and setting you up for a flying start to the New Year.