Time and money are both critical resources for any organization. When a challenge arises that costs both time and money, decisive action is imperative.
I work with entrepreneurs and organizational leaders who have had to overcome a lot of past pain and trauma associated with money. The scars can run deep, affect your self-worth, and cause you anxiety the moment anything financial is even mentioned. This money-related stress has a clear impact on your organization. Even if it’s unintentional, the unspoken language of fear is carried through to the organization and how it manages its finances.
But let’s say you’ve done some hard work to try to get past your money mindset challenges. Your organization has performed a service and you’ve sent the client the invoice. Time has passed, but they haven't paid.
Cue the rapid heartbeat and sweat. A brand new money challenge has emerged.
How long do you wait to follow up on the past due invoice?
Do you usually follow up on past due invoices? Or does it make you cringe to even think about it?
You need the money to keep your organization functioning well. You need it to make payroll. It’s time to take a deep breath and remember that you and your organization have value and deserve to get paid for your services. It’s hard, it can make you feel terrible, but you have to follow up with that client sooner rather than later.
Not following up promptly gives your mind time to spiral -- to invent stories for why the payment is late. But once you make the call, you’ll likely find out that the client does want to pay you and does value what you do.
If you find out that the invoice went to the wrong person or email address, you can update your files so that the same problem doesn’t happen again. Whatever the reason, use it as a data point. How can you make it easier to pay you? How can you adjust your process to smooth out the flow from invoice to payment. The faster you receive payments from your clients, the healthier your organization will be.
What did you learn the last time you had a client with a past due invoice? Let us know in the comments below!