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Transactions and Collections – How to Get Paid and Paid on Time

It doesn’t matter what type of small business you operate, making sure you get paid on time and as seamlessly as possible (for both you and your client) is critical to your success and survival. But knowing how to get paid isn’t as easy as it sounds. The payment options that work for one business, may not work for another. Likewise, getting paid on time requires you put the right pre-emptive measures in place for collecting what you’re owed and managing past-due payments.
To help you make the right decisions for your business, here are some pointers about setting up customer payment options, tips for getting paid on time, and what to do if you don’t!
What Payment Options are Right for Your Business?
It doesn’t matter whether you operate a brick and mortar store, an e-commerce site, or a home-based business, cash has to flow from A to B. But what payment options are right for your business? Here are some quick insights and FAQs that may help you decide.

  • Cash Only – Cash only businesses still exist in today’s economy but are they missing out?
  • Credit and Debit Cards – Should your business accept debit and credit cards? What are the costs and benefits? 
  • Online Payment Services – The rise in popularity of alternative online payment services such as PayPal and Bill Me Later have begun to change how consumers shop online (some freelancers insist on being paid via PayPal).  If you’ve never used one of these services, the idea may sound confusing but in reality is quite simple.

Another increasingly popular payment option are layaway plans. Layaway plans typically require customers to pay a deposit, generally a percentage of the total price for an item, and make additional payments until the total cost is covered.  Retailers agree to hold the item for the customer until the payment plan is complete, at which point they can take home their purchase.  There are several disclosure and truth in advertising laws that you need to be aware of if you choose to offers this option.
Getting Customers to Pay On Time
You’ve provided a service, invoiced your client, but payment is past due and there’s no indication of when you’re going to get paid! It’s frustrating but inevitable.  Take immediate measures to pre-empt and deal with this troublesome issue.
Gustavo A Viera CPA
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