Hands up if you have people who are rubbish at paying you money? The ‘So sorry I forgot my purse I’ll pay you next time’ ones.
Every business will experience this at some point – so how to make a plan
1. See it as a good thing – yes you read that right …
Whatever happens, good experiences and less than ideal ones I now see as a learning opportunity – so what are bad payers trying to tell you?
Are you a ‘bad payer’ yourself? Do you leave bills to the last minute, or have something outstanding that you need to settle?
Do you need to work on your money mindset? Do you hate talking about money, don’t want to ask for payment so people can get away with not paying promptly? (see point 2).
Do you need to upgrade systems in your business to allow people to pay in advance or on the day? (see point 3
2.The elephant in the room – upgrade your money mindset
So many equine practitioners hate talking about money … and this leads to numerous issues in their business, like random discounting and undercharging. You need to be confident in your prices, and not feel awkward asking for payment. Turn it into a double positive – “Would you like to pay this way or this way”? There is no “Do you want to pay me now or later?”
If you have clients who owe you money right now you need to make a plan with them for how they will pay this back. Would they like to pay in instalments? Do they need to pay you at the end of the month when they are paid?
It needs discussing so be brave and talk to them.
3. Prevention is key
- Ask new people / bad payers to pay in advance.
- Put your prices up – when you really charge your worth you don’t tend to have so many of these people appear.
- Offer a monthly plan or subscription so that people pay every month for a set number of treatments across the year – this way you have been paid prior to the treatment.
- Cancellation policies that you actually enforce are essential.
- Have a way that people can pay you on the day easily – cash is becoming less used, so could you offer an online method as well? Look at PayPal, Stripe or have your bank details to hand to make it easy for your clients.
Cash flow (or a lack of it) can really stifle a small business, so don’t let this hold yours back. You can’t leave a tack shop with a new bridle without paying so why should people not pay you for your hard work and skills.
Reach out and tell us which one of these ideas you are going to try first.