Landing a contract with a big company is the stuff of dreams for many Small Business owners. At long last, there is a regular income from a big customer, and there is usually a quantum leap in turnover to go with it.
What’s not to like?
But, as I wrote in a post at the end of January, getting your money can sometimes be difficult.
Here are three tips to ensure that you do get your money, on time.
1. Get THE DETAILS CORRECT
There is a special place in hyperspace reserved for invoices that fall foul of the corporate accounts payable system. Once your invoice disappears into that black hole, you may never get it back. So, make sure you are clear on EXACTLY what they want – and how they want it set out – right down to the last detail. This sounds trivial, but if you’re waiting for a payment that has lots of zeros at the end, you’ll regret not doing your homework.
2. PHONE A FRIEND
One of your first tasks once the contract is signed, is to locate an ally in Accounts Payable or Administration, and be very nice to them.
3. SYSTEMISE THE INVOICING FUNCTION
Following a set procedure for every invoice means they will be sent out accurately and on time, and that overdue payments are followed up – every time.
This is one of the 3 major issues that big businesses have with SME’s – that they don’t have proper systems.
For the most part, big organisations are good at paying their bills, and default rates are very small. If the work is going along nicely as per the contract, and you have mastered their invoicing process, all will be well and you will get your payment on time. Or at least 99% of the time anyway.
Here is my previous post about the payment practices of Australia’s largest companies. Follow the links, and you may find the name of your own big customers.