Special note on this post – just so we’re SUPER clear, I don’t advocate sending your invoices with the title of this blog post as your subject line.
Back to life… Back to reality!
Spring has sprung in the Northern Hemisphere and so the UK weather oscillates between…
“look, the sun is coming out to play”
“here, have this rain and 30mph gust of wind in your face!”
The general zeitgeist in the world of Doing Your Thing Online is that we’re ready to pick it all up again, after a time of pulling back, feeling fuzzy-headed and all very “whatever”!
Thoughts turn to getting clients and how they can pay you.
What super-duper system can you use to take payments oh so easily? Coz asking for money can feel a bit icky so we want to do it smoothly and hitch-free.
There are a fucktonne of blog posts out there you can read. Hoards of helpful people in Facebook groups who will share with you what they use.
Now, if that gets you rocking and rolling and has your business’s till ringing, fair do’s my sweet, go have it large!
But if you’re still umming and ahhing and feeling all a bit “well this sounds as much fun as popping my finger into an electrical socket!” then read on for some more targeted help.
Do you have more clients than you can handle?
Do you feel as if you are juggling appointments + intake forms + invoices?
No? Then, just ask them to pay by bank transfer.
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with this.
Ideally, you have a biz bank account coz putting this into your personal accounts risks your bank saying “Nah mate, can’t do that!” and also it can get tricky with bookkeeping.
Don’t have a biz bank account? In my experience, the high street names are still stuck in the 20th century on this…
They still mention cheque books! 😜
They also charge! 💰
🏦 Try the Fintech banks like Wise, Starling and Manzo.
Back to invoices.
Create a simple invoice in Word, Google docs or whatever the document software for Apple machines is and send that to them.
Yes, you do have to go check they have paid etc but if you’ve only got a handful of clients this isn’t onerous.
Ok, you have more than a handful of clients and/or they want to pay by credit card. 💳
By far the simplest is PayPal. You just create an invoice in PayPal, send it to them and they can pay with PayPal or their card.
However, you will be subject to PayPal fees
I am sometimes asked is there a way people can pay by card but the biz owner have no fees at all and to be honest, it gets my goat! 🐐 🤦♀️
There might be, I’ve not looked too hard to be honest with you!
If there were, I wouldn’t trust it!
Back in the corporate world, I was the IT Manager for a national insurance company and I used to sit next to the Finance Manager.
He was quite cute… 😉
…he also went into detail about the Financial Services Authority requirements about storing credit card data and I thought two things…
😍 Wow your eyes are lovely
🤔 This is a tight set of requirements and the IT solution is going to need to be very specific
So, yeah, I’m happy to pay fees to ensure the data is kept correctly. I am not risking my clients credit cards being cloned and suddenly buying Nike trainers 👟 in Singapore and a Happy Meal in Amsterdam! 🍔 🍟
Back to the options – here’s number 3
The next one is to get Stripe and link it up with an invoicing system.
They are a bit of a pain to get set up but once you’re done, it’s DONE!
I currently use Stripe & Zoho Books.
(BTW… Stripe fees are lower than PayPal’s)
I like Zoho coz I can set up invoices easily, pre-write the payment chasing emails, have them set to go out at specific intervals, have recurring invoices go out for my clients on monthly subscriptions and it automatically send a receipt once they’ve paid.
My set up is what most people want and I do it coz…
✅ I have more than a handful of clients
✅ I can… systems and process configuration are my superpowers. 🦸♀️
But you don’t have to go full on automated at the start. Simple and manual will totally work.