Money is always a tough conversation, especially when you start out in business. However, if you want to stay in business, you need to get comfortable with money and talking about it with your clients.
Below I want to share 7 tips for dealing with this sometimes tricky situation.
- Get Clear – Ensure your clients are clear on how you charge, how you invoice, and how your payments are structured. I have all my clients read and sign a Client Agreement which includes all details about pricing, as well as the terms and conditions. Ensure this is signed off before you start any work for them.
- In The Client’s Name – If you are arranging a service for a client that will involve an invoice (i.e. removalist, gardener etc.) ensure that the invoice is made out in your client’s name and not your own business name. If it turns out the client is unable to pay, you want any legal or debt collection agencies to know that your client is liable for payment and not your business. Another tip, for any quotes that require sign off, ensure it is your client, and not you, who does this. Trust me, I’ve this learnt the hard way (a story I will share with you in the future!).
- Get The Money Upfront – If you are paying cash or credit for purchases on behalf of your clients, like groceries or gifts, ensure you get the money up front before you hand over any money. We have our clients put money into our bank account as credit for any purchases we are making for them, and then send them a transaction statement for all purchases.
- Keep The Receipts – Firstly, receipts are cruicial for your record keeping. It is also important to have these items on hand in case your client has any queries, or you need to return an item for them. Keep them somewhere safe, and also consider having a zipable receipt envelope to put them all in whilst you are on the road.
- Send The Invoice – I hear from a lot of people who dread sending invoices, and almost feel guilty about it. If you refer back to point number 1, and you know that you have been clear and up front about how you will be invoicing, then there should be no guilt or hesitation. Your client has made an agreement and will be expecting your invoice. Send it to them! When I was first starting out, I even had a few clients who asked me to change them more – they thought my hourly rate was too low!
- Speak To Your Accountant – Although most of us may only speak to our accountants when we need to do our tax return, I do suggest, especially when you start your business, but also on an ongoing basis, that you meet with your account to discuss the best way to structure your finances. You will leave their office feeling confident in what you need to do.
- Get It Out Of The Way – Finally, money shouldn’t be an uncomfortable part of the conversation. I ensure I cover off on the way we charge at the beginning of a meeting. It puts everyone at ease, and means the client can be clearer and more confident in what they’ll ask of you and how often they will use you.
I have found that if I approach the money issues using these seven tips, we rarely have any queries from clients, and often they ask us to invoice them! Make life easier for yourself and your clients, so you can finish the money conversation and move on to the fun part of being a personal concierge!
Do you have any money tips to share? We’d love to hear them in the comments below.
Need some business advice? You can schedule a call with Abbie here – https://clarity.fm/abbieallen