Running A Trades Business To Thrive in any economy
Trying to run a business can be a challenge, to say the least. As there continue to be periods of business disruption and uncertainty, it’s essential to make the time to take stock of how your customer service processes are set up.
A business with solid procedures that put the focus on their customer experience will stand out in the crowd.
Communication is key
More than ever before, we need to communicate with our customers with clarity. You may need to let them know details about site capacity limitations, social distancing and hygiene measures. You may need to reschedule at short notice or impose longer delivery times for the work due to restrictions.
There’s a global supply chain issue that means tricky conversations with customers about a scarcity of their chosen materials for their job.
As restrictions continue to change, you are probably creating regular client communications. Depending on your local area, this might even be as frequent as weekly updates.
You’re already regularly communicating these critical bits of information to your customers, so are you also taking the opportunity to communicate the right things to your customers in order to get paid on time?
If not, it’s the perfect time to give your customer communications such as your emails, calls scripts and quote layouts a makeover to ensure they’re setting you up for success.
Why Cash Flow Has Never Been More Important
As some of you have had to completely halt work for long periods of time, cash flow has become more important than ever.
Getting paid on time is critical for every trade business, you can no longer ignore the need for clear client communications about your terms of payment.
These are the bedrock to your business getting paid – and ensuring those payments come through on time, every time.
The issue is that most trade business owners will be so focused on getting the jobs booked in and delivered, they have precious little time left to focus on other elements of their business. Over here at Tradie Terms®, we help trade business owners get skilled-up on creating clear emails and FAQs along with using better layouts for their quotes.
Why? Because it’s no longer viable to keep relying on payment terms that are either buried in your quotes, tacked onto the back page of your invoices, or hidden somewhere deep in your website and expect clients to pay you on time.
It’s no longer viable to keep relying on payment terms that are either buried in your quotes, tacked onto the back page of your invoices, or hidden somewhere deep in your website.
3 Golden Rules To Improve Client Communications
So, how do you go about improving your client communications when it comes to payment terms? There are a three golden rules when it comes to best practice:
Clarity around payment terms
Tell your clients early and often what your payment terms are. This includes explanations of how you’ll work, what their options are for sending payments, and when these payments fall due.
Speak the same language
Explain to your clients in words they understand. Forget the legal jargon! Complicated clauses will make no sense to you or your customers. If you want to avoid confusion about your terms of payment, get clear with customer-friendly wording.
Simplicity is key
Make it easy for your clients to get additional information, should they need it. A treasure hunt is great if you’re a kid or on a team building day out, but a surefire way to create payment hassles is to make clients search high and low for answers to common questions. Using a set of clear emails, FAQs and well-laid out quotes will give your clients the info and tools to understand the job, the payment arrangements and anything else they need to organise to pay you on time. Importantly, it also provides them reference documentation should they need to look up any of this detail at a later date.
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Concentrate On Your Customer Communications
Remember, contracts are created with your customers the minute they accept your quote – but this is not where your communications should stop. If you fail to communicate, you’re setting your clients up to be confused – and confused clients rarely pay on time!
As the pandemic continues to shape the way we live and work, it’s the perfect time to reinforce best practice when it comes to payment terms.
Sorting your contract communications will maximise your cash flow and get rid of annoying follow-up paperwork – so you can get back to doing what you do best.
Are you located in New Zealand and ready to take action to thrive in the new era of post-Covid-19 business?
Tradie Terms® is here to help you build a future-proofed trades business and we are registered to provide funding support. Get in touch today to find out more.
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Tradie Terms® gives you everything you need - terms of trade, quote templates, email templates and payment terms- so you can easily and quickly make the changes your business needs to get paid faster.
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It’s essential to identify the changes you need to make in your trade business to survive and thrive in any economy. The key is to focus on implementing and communicating your payment terms so clients know when to pay you and you can maximise your cash flow.