Keep An Eye On This Detail

Post image for Keep An Eye On This Detail

by Tom Watson on July 2, 2010

As I have mentioned many times before, a cleaning business has many moving parts. They all need to work together to run smoothly. The moment one part jams up, it creates problems elsewhere.

One part that is quite important is your accounts receivable. This is the money that is due you. Generally you create an invoice for any cleaning work your company performed and mail it. Normally this would be net 30, which means the customer has 30 days to pay.

Most customers pay on time, but some will try to stretch it out longer. Sometimes this could mean 30 days past due, or even longer in some cases. To avoid waiting so long to get paid you need to call the customer before it reaches that point. I know many people feel uneasy making these types of calls.

But they are necessary.

You need to get over that uneasy feeling because it comes with the territory. For those of you who are a little ticked that their late, cool down!  You want to be tactful in the process. No point in calling the customers yelling and screaming. That wouldn’t be a good idea. Always be friendly on the call when you make it. The point here is to stay on top of this early in your career. It is a good habit.

How long should you wait before calling? Well…there is not set answer on that. I recommend making a call after 7 – 10 days. I like to stay on top of things before they get out of hand. How do I handle it? I call the client and ask for accounts payable. Then I inquire about whatever invoice number is in question, explaining that it’s overdue.

Most of the time they are very helpful and will go out of their way to assist you. It is always a good idea to have the invoice in front of you to answer any questions they may have. Also be prepared to fax, re mail or email the invoice over if needed. Many times it gets misplaced, and that is why it’s late.

Make notes of the conversation (who you spoke to etc…) and attach the note to the invoice. Keep the invoice aside until paid. It is as simple as that. Just remember to stay on top of your money.

When the money is slow coming in it can make your cleaning business grind to a halt. Being disciplined and making the calls each and every month keeps your business running smoothly. The smoother it runs the more fun it is!

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Steven August 4, 2013 at 5:16 pm

What can you do if the person decides not to pay you for service rendered after you follow a few time.

2 Tom Watson August 4, 2013 at 5:25 pm

You can threaten to turn the issue over to a collection company. That is not something I ever had to do, but at times I did make mention that if payment wasn’t resolved by a certain date I would have no choice. If it was a large sum a lawyer would be another option.

Leave a Comment

{ 1 trackback }

Previous post:

Next post: