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How to get paid on time

1st March 2023

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How to get paid on time

Whatever the nature of their enterprise, customers tell me that keeping cash flowing has to be a priority, especially in tough economic times.

Running your own business involves many challenges - and getting paid on time is one of the toughest. Recent research revealed delayed payments are costing small businesses in the UK £684 million a year, with 49% being paid late.

You need to be on top of payment admin too. But being organised about accounts and invoicing doesn’t have to be time-consuming or a chore. There is a range of dynamic tech solutions to help sole traders, limited companies and small businesses get it right.

At TSB our Business Banking team is always on hand to provide expert guidance and support. We’ve teamed up with Small Business Britain, which champions small businesses all over the country, to produce these top tips to keeping things running smoothly.

Speedy invoicing

It sounds obvious but when you’re busy it can be easy to overlook invoicing.

Remember, the sooner you raise an invoice, the sooner you’ll get paid - so issue yours promptly!

Once your invoices are sent over, set calendar reminders to help you keep track of expected payment dates - and when to chase them.

Keep in touch

Make sure you know who looks after payments on behalf of your clients. Who should your invoice go to and who should you chase for payment or with any problems?

Keep those contacts up to date and remember - the person who commissioned the work from you might not be the same person who looks after payments.

Get the invoice right first time

Many firms have strict guidelines about the information they need to see on an invoice, including dates, issue or PO numbers.

If any of these details are missing it can hold up payment so check ahead to make sure you provide everything that is needed - and that all the information is accurate.

Set and check payment terms

Think about a cash flow system that works for you - and how long you can wait to get paid.

You may decide to use different terms for different clients - including 28 days from invoice, immediate payment and cleared funds before products are released, non-refundable deposits or monthly subscriptions.

Be ready to chase

You will always need to check payments. Don’t feel embarrassed to do this - you have done the work, now it’s important to know when you are getting paid.

Consider setting a regular time aside in your working week to do this so it isn’t overlooked.

Open up payment options

Processing traditional payment methods like cheques and cash can be slow.

So why not go digital? Issuing digital invoices, with an embedded option to ‘pay now online’, can cut reaction times and allow you to benefit from instant or same day transactions.

Embrace joined up tech

Connecting your own software solutions can help speed things up and automate some aspects of invoicing and getting paid. If you already use accountancy software, connecting it to a payment provider will streamline processing.

At TSB Business Banking we’re supporting all our business customers with tools to protect their cashflow and help them ensure that they get paid quickly and efficiently.

For example, we've partnered with BankiFi to bring Revenu, an app which lets business owners get paid by SMS, WhatsApp, email and QR codes. The app seamlessly integrates with your bank account or accounting package (if you have one) to help you receive money quickly. So, you needn't spend as long working on time-consuming admin and reconciliation tasks and can instead concentrate on taking your business to the next level.

We’ve also partnered with Square to make it easier for our customers to take card payments; whether taking a payment in person or online, or wanting to streamline administration with a range of automated payment services.

For more information on ways TSB can help you and your small business, click here.