In previous posts, I’ve discussed the importance of invoicing daily and putting the right support systems in place to make this your reality. Without doubt, it will have a huge impact on cash flow. Another is taking care of the customer and getting the follow-up right.
I don’t have to tell you the importance of reputation; word-of-mouth is a tradie’s bread and butter and the way most of our work comes in. So, ensuring every customer is happy with the outcome of the job is vital to your success.
Yet, how often do you mark a job as complete, send the invoice, and then wait (and wait…) for payment? Eventually you get around to calling the customer to chase payment, and only then you find out they weren’t happy, or the tradie missed a bit and needs to go back out? It’s so common it’s not even funny, and a surefire way to create cash flow problems.
So, how should it work?
Once the on-site work has been completed, the follow-up admin has been done and the job is marked as ‘ready to invoice’, you can just bang out that invoice, right? Wrong. Before any invoice goes out the door, and regardless of what the guys who did the job tell you, you need to ensure the customer is happy - or they won’t pay.
- A quick call from someone in the office to check in with the customer is invaluable. If they’re not happy for any reason it’s an (otherwise missed) opportunity to turn it around and fix the issue, but it’s also a great ‘heads up’ to tell them the invoice is on its way.
- Once sent, you make another call to confirm they’ve received the invoice and understand everything in it. If they don’t, you can deal with the query speedily, which in turn increases speed of payment.
Depending on the size and make up of your team, you’ll find your own ‘system’ that works (if you’re using a tradie app or job management software it will have functionality to support this process) but the core function of calling before and after the invoice is sent remains the same.
It’s a simple task but done consistently it can have massive impact on your business. From the customer’s perspective it gives them a very impressive experience, while from a cash flow perspective you’ll get paid faster and waste less time chasing overdue invoices - everybody wins!