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    Late Payments Can Cripple Commercial Electrical Contractors: Here Are Some Tips On How To Get Paid Promptly

    With late payments costing SMEs across the UK thousands of
    pounds to collect, and the total amount owed to small and medium sized
    enterprises across the country now totally £23.4
    billion, it’s clear that this is a serious issue that needs to be
    addressed.

    This is particularly true for commercial electrical contractors,
    as their time is particularly valuable as they’ve had to study for many years
    to earn the qualifications needed to fulfil their role. They might need to pay
    for additional support, equipment rental or parts, which will be paid out of their
    own pocket if the payment is late.

    Late payments also affect the cashflow of a commercial
    electrical contracting business and can make it hard for it to continue working
    profitably.

    As such, it’s important that commercial electrical
    contractors work to recoup the money they’re owed. Going to court is one
    option, but this can take a lot of time and incur considerable costs, so for
    those who are keen to avoid going down this route, here are some practical tips
    on how you can drive commercial clients to pay their invoices on time.

    Provide Your Estimates Promptly

    It’s important that you provide your clients with their
    estimates and other documents quickly and efficiently, so that they have no
    excuse not to do the same to you and pay their invoice on time. If you delay
    providing estimates, then they may use this as a justification for their late
    payment. One great way to create estimates quickly is to use Ensign, a software
    product which will quickly work out how long a job will take and how much it
    will cost, then create an accurate estimate of how much you should charge for
    it. All you need to do is visit
    ensignonline.co.uk to find out more about this innovative estimating
    software and how it can benefit you.

    Speak Directly With The Accounts Department

    Often, when working with businesses, particularly large
    organisations with multiple departments, it can be hard to communicate with the
    person who will be actually paying your invoice. As such, you should try to
    place your invoice directly into the hands of the person responsible for paying
    invoices and chase them directly. This will boost your chances of getting paid
    swiftly and ensure that your invoice doesn’t get lost on the way to the
    accounts department.

    Highlight Your Qualifications

    Commercial electrical contracting services are expensive
    because they require a lot of training, insight and qualifications, meaning
    that companies cannot bring this expertise in-house easily. If you ever find
    that your customers are late with making payment, or they query why your
    services are so costly, then take the time to explain the hard work and effort
    that went into earning the qualifications you had to earn to give them the
    service they received. You should also highlight the dangers that electricity
    poses and make it clear that your services are vital to the smooth running of
    your clients’ property and business. This should help them to understand the
    importance of working with a skilled and qualified contractor and drive them to
    pay their invoice without complaint.

    Keep Chasing For Payment

    When an invoice is long overdue, it can be easy to forget
    about it and not chase it, but this could lead your client to think that it’s
    not important. As such, you should make sure that you keep on top of your late
    payments and push for them to be paid. You can automate this function on most
    phones and email systems, allowing you to set of reminders and send scheduled
    messages. This will help to reinforce the message that the bill needs paying
    and, hopefully, get your invoice paid.

    Offer Multiple Ways To Pay

    In some instances, clients could be struggling to make
    payment for your services because they do not have the cash ready to pay or are
    slightly behind trend and only use cheques to make payment. They could also be
    too far ahead of the latest developments in payment technology and only make
    payment using innovative new solutions that you don’t currently use. As such,
    you should try to offer a variety of payment
    methods so that your clients will have no excuse not to pay and can easily
    find a way to pay their invoice that suits them.

    Put An Interest Charge In Place For Severely Late
    Payments

    Late payments can seriously disrupt your business and cause
    cashflow problems, so if you have payments that are really late, but you don’t
    want to go to court just yet, consider charging
    interest instead. This will incentivise clients to pay their bills. Send an
    updated invoice with the new charges and make it clear that the interest will
    continue to be charged the longer they avoid paying the bill. You could even
    offer to remove the interest charges from the invoice if it is paid
    immediately, to expedite the process and get your finances back on track.

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