Window Cleaning Surrey
What can you do about late payments?
Late payment advice, window cleaning is the easy part when it comes to commercial cleaning. But waiting ... and waiting ... and waiting for payments can seriously affect your commercial cleaning business. I run Jarvis Clean a domestic and commercial cleaning business for over 12 years now and understand how late payments can affect your cleaning business and your family. How does late payments affect you? What can you do about late payments? And with the challenge of late payments, how can you continue to grow your window cleaning business? Let’s talk about those questions.
Late Payment how does it affect your business?
Why do we have late payments? Some bigger companies have a structure in place to make payments and that takes time. Maybe a simple misunderstanding. There are a number of reasons why we get late payments. Late payments for self employed people are a real challenge. You rely heavily on payments being made on time so that you can pay important bills, rent or mortgage payments and you can not be late making those payments! Late payments cause stress, spending time and effort on a commercial cleaning job you do not want to worry about getting paid late. If you have employed people to help you complete your cleaning job, you are obligated to pay them on time and you do not want to be out of pocket. Though our own experiences running a commercial cleaning business in Surrey and London in the UK for the last 12 years, we have learnt a number of things to help with late payments.
What can you do about late payments?
There are many things you can do about late payments. You should always do research on the .gov website for the latest information. Citizens advice is a free advice service that can provide great information to help you recover late payments. From our experiences in the commercial cleaning industry we can share what we learnt. For example, recently Jarvis Clean completed a commercial clean for another cleaning company (not naming them) who had the contract for a big Primark in London. We were asked to clean the scenic lift and payment would be made to us as a subcontractor. We provided a price quote, completed the commercial clean to a high standard and submitted the invoice on time. After 30 days without receiving payment and no contact disputing the invoice that we submitted to them, we started to panic. We sent kind reminders via email but didn’t get any answers or payment. We called citizens advice and they gave us some great advice which we followed through with. Here is some advice we received.
Put everything in writing with late payments.
If you do have to go to court to recover payment, you need to be able to provide proof that you have done everything you can to find a solution but had not option left but to go to get late payment compensation. Keep records from your price quote, their responses. The invoice, the date the work was completed, a record that the work has been signed off and approved but a supervisor. A record of all your attempts to contact them for the late payment etc. Try not to make it a “he said this” and “they said that” situation but written proof that you are owed money for work you have completed and done to the best of your ability.
Invoice with late payment instructions
When you submit an invoice, also state your payment instructions. How you want to be paid, when you want to be paid and the consequent of a late payment. For example, you could instruct:
“If not paid in full 30 days from the dated invoice, we will charge 5% plus £40 per invoice.”
When they accept your invoice and agreed for you to complete the work, they also agree to your payment instructions. Here are some more useful links:
on your first invoice you can state your terms of payment, how and when you want to be paid. On receipt or 15 days but if they are late with payment you need to make every effort to contact them and have proof of that. After 30days you can start to charge fees. Theses are the fees you can charge and what we put on the bottom of our invoices:
Late payment, when to go to court?
This is a really hard question to answer because going to court over a late payment will take time and money. Two things you do not want to spend over a late payment. 9/10 when you warn of taking legal action, you will get a response. Politely but firmly communicate that you will be taking them to court for not paying an invoice. Only after you have exhausted all other avenues and going to court is the only option.
Do late payments hinder business growth?
Late payments have the potential to hinder business growth so what can you do? First plan for late payments. Expect it will take 30 days for the date of your invoice to reach your account. Although you do the work this month, it will not be until next month before you get paid￼. Do you rely solely on commercial work? Can you have a mixture of domestic work and commercial work? What way you can have regular money coming in from your loyal customers (residential) and a big chuck of money from commercial clients 30 days after the invoice (if you get paid before 30 days then great!) in conclusion.
Hope you found this blog to be useful and although the information is about late payments for a window cleaning commercial business, the points apply to all late payments in the UK. please share and like please.
Jarvis Clean owner, professional window cleaner and blogger
Matthew Jarvis. Professional Cleaner for over ten years.
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