Money makes the world go ‘round and getting paid is one of the most important aspects of running a business. Let’s face it, without getting paid, you’d have no way to sustain your business and keep it running for the long term.
There are many obstacles for small businesses in getting paid such as late payments from clients, long overdue invoices, or an outdated invoicing strategy. Learning to collect payments from your clients is half the battle, having a smart tool to help you collect money more easily is the other half.
With vcita,there are many different options on how to collect payments from your clients. Here’s a look at how some different businesses use vcita to expedite their payments and ensure their money is always on time.
Get paid when your clients book in advance
Some of our small business clients prefer to take payment in advance for their services, that way, when a client walks in for an appointment, you know they’ve already paid. This option means that upon booking an appointment, a client is asked to pay for that service in advance. This is the easiest way to collect payments as everything is done beforehand and there’s no need to wait or chase clients for payments.
Ashley Perkins, a Tax and Accounting Consultant, uses this form of payment collection with her business and says she’s been able to expand her business by 50% since using vcita. She claims her ability to take payments up front has reduced the time it takes for her to run after clients and makes the payment and booking process simple and easy to use. And, as we know, when you make it easy for your clients to pay you, they tend to pay faster.
Sell prepaid packages
Dr. Angela Santavicca owns and runs “Easy to Be You” coaching services. For her, retaining and nurturing clients is the name of the game. In order to do so more efficiently, she bundles her services so that clients can buy more than one session at a time. Using vcita’s packages feature, she is able to better track who buys what and how many sessions each client has remaining.
This workflow is perfect for businesses that want to package their services and have clients pay for more than one at a time. For example, a yoga teacher that wants to bundle 10 sessions at once. It’s important to note that throwing in an incentive to get clients to pay for packages (like a free towel, in the yoga instructor’s case, or a discount for buying 10 classes at once), is a smart tool to turn one time clients into returning clients as they’ll be convinced to buy more sessions in reaction to the incentive.
Create and send estimates
Estimates help a client understand what they’re paying for in an upfront and organized manner. With vcita, you can send an estimate to your clients and ask them to approve the estimate via a click or an online signature. This becomes even more handy when the job is done because then you can easily convert the estimate into an invoice with one click.
Once the estimate is an invoice your client can pay the invoice online at their convenience. This is a great way to collect payments for contractors for example, who send a work estimate before the job is done. Jessica Campos, founder and owner of Marketing for Greatness, uses this method to collect payments from her clients once a job is completed, especially for high-end clients.
Charge credit cards
vcita also offers a virtual terminal that allows a business to charge ad hoc payments for any product or service. In this payment method, a client can pay either in person or over the phone. The business must enter in the transaction details using the vcita platform and then can charge the client for services or products purchased.
Bonnie Negron, owner of Bonnie Career Services in New Jersey, loves this workflow: “the quick ‘charge’ button in the client record is my favorite. When I use this feature to charge, the client’s record is immediately updated and a receipt is sent automatically.”
The nice thing about this method is that a client’s card information can be saved and retrieved at a later time for future purchases. This makes the payment collection process so much easier for small business owners who need to charge their clients often.
Close open payments
If you offer a lot of different services that you want to charge for, say, once a month, this might be the best option for you. With this method, you can close a client’s open payments by sending a payment link where the client can click and pay, or sending an invoice to the client in seconds.You can also charge the credit card on the spot, since their card information is securely saved.
For example, a housekeeping business might service a client on a weekly basis, however the items cleaned vary from week to week. One week the cleaner does windows, the next week they clean the yard, for example. This means that at the end of the month, the client will have accrued quite a bit of work done by the cleaner and it all needs to be charged at once, which can be done via a payment link, invoice or credit card charge as mentioned above.
Auto-bill open payments
This method is similar to closing open payments except here, you collect payments via a payment request link or invoice that are generated automatically. The client clicks the link and is taken to a window where they can enter (or auto-fill if it’s a repeat purchase) their credit card information and complete the transaction. Here, you can automate the billing process by sending scheduled invoices or payment links for clients to close open payments automatically.
This is a great “set it and forget it” method, perfect for tutors and the likes, who have regularly returning clients and provide a variety of services. You can set the reminders to be sent out on a weekly, monthly, or whichever basis you’d like, making this a great way to make the payment collection process easier for you as well as your clients.
Get paid your way using vcita
Getting paid is important, probably the most important aspect of running your business. However, learning to collect payments from clients is a skill that must be mastered. Luckily, with vcita, you have all the tools and workflows in place to successfully collect payments and make the process easy for you as well as your clients.