As an entrepreneur, you probably often send out invoices for products or services. It’s just something that comes with the job. But while it’s a lot of fun seeing that money appear on your bank statements, it’s less fun when your client doesn’t pay. If you’ve never had this happen before, it might be difficult to know what to do. How do you contact your client to ask for your money? And how do you play nice when it’s someone you normally have a good working relationship with? We’ll tell you all in this article! 

Keep track of the invoices you send (with a program)

It’s always important to keep track of the invoices you send, so you know when someone hasn’t paid before the due payment term. Luckily, many invoicing programs will alert you, so you don’t have to keep track of everything manually. Handy! 

If you have a good working relationship with a client and it’s a client that often gets big invoices, we recommend you to give them a call. Of course you could send a formal payment reminder, but this might come off a bit harsh. If you call them, you can explain that you think something went wrong. Chances are something did - who knows there might have been an issue at the bank! Choose a new payment term and email them what you discussed over the phone. 

If it’s a client you don’t know very well, you might as well send a payment reminder straight away. This shows you mean business! 

Take the next step and hire a collection agency

Of course, not every unpaid invoice is a mistake. Some clients don’t have any money or never intended to pay you in the first place. You can keep on calling them or mailing them, but there’s a big chance you’ll just get ignored. 

Hiring a collection agency (Dutch: incassobureau) is a good idea if you want to get your money back quickly. They deal with debtors on the daily so they know just how to get your debtor to pay. If you google for debt collectors, you’ll probably see many in your area. We recommend you to always check their (Google) reviews and see which kind of payment plan they use. “No cure no pay” is always a good one. That means that you only pay a percentage of the money they collect if they’re successful in retrieving the money. Some agencies work with flat fees, but if they’re unsuccessful… you pay and don’t get any money back. 

Good luck in retrieving your money!