To run and grow your business, you rely on payments from your customers for products sold or services rendered. It’s basic economics. But getting paid isn’t always so simple. In fact a recent poll found that 71% of Canadian small business owners aren’t getting paid on time. This means they have to spend valuable hours chasing the funds they’re owed.
Not only can delays in payments make for lean living (many business owners admit to dipping into personal savings or credit to keep the business going), it can hold you back in terms of business growth. A lack of cash in hand means your capacity to take advantage of opportunities, hire staff, purchase equipment or expand your space is significantly limited.
You’ve got a business to run, and plenty to do in a day. So here are five ways to get paid faster, without having to spend your time chasing your invoices.
1. Mobile Cheque Deposit
Some of your customers may still be settling up payments the old fashioned way, by cheque. But that’s OK too, because with Mobile Cheque Deposit, you can deposit the cheque as soon as you receive it — no need to go to a branch or ATM. Using your mobile device, you simply take a picture of your cheque, enter the amount, choose your bank account, and voila. Money is deposited directly into your account.
2. Interac e-Transfer & Request Money
For many small business owners, an e-Transfer is a perfect way to get paid. It’s fast, convenient, and money is available to use immediately. Interac Request Money is a handy feature that lets you politely and professionally request funds from a customer. When you send a request for money, the recipient is notified and can instantly accept the request. When they do, the requested amount is automatically deposited into your account. Remember, it’s important to keep security questions secure between you and your customers. You can include an invoice number to help you and your customer keep track of things, and because everything is pre-filled, it’s easy for your customers to pay you at any time, from wherever they are.
When you sign up for autodeposit, money sent to you by Interac e-Transfer will be automatically deposited into your account. Your customers don’t need to set a security question, and you don’t need to log into Online Banking to accept the transfer. Once you register your email or mobile phone number, money goes directly into your specified account, no questions asked (literally).
4. Credit Card Payments
With advances in credit card technology, even the smallest, most mobile businesses can easily accept credit card payments — which is often a customer’s preferred way to pay. Whether you want to accept payments in-store, need a wireless terminal, or a digital solution for your mobile business, there’s a solution that fits.
5. Accounting Apps
The best small business apps likeWave can automatically flow your invoices and payments into your accounting records, helping you keep track of who owes you what. At the same time, they can also make the whole invoicing process easier. From setting up recurring billing for standing orders or projects, to enabling your customers to make automatic or credit card payments, the right tools can seriously simplify your invoicing start to finish. Which means less time you need to spend on accounting and administration.
Still having trouble managing your cash flow as you wait for payments to come in? Check out these tips from HGTV Canada’s Bryan and Sarah Baeumler, who share ways to keep business running smoothly and avoid cash crunches.
RBC offers access to special offers and support from a wide range of business services, including payment tools and apps that can help you operate your business and set yourself up for success.
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This article is intended as general information only and is not to be relied upon as constituting legal, financial or other professional advice. A professional advisor should be consulted regarding your specific situation. Information presented is believed to be factual and up-to-date but we do not guarantee its accuracy and it should not be regarded as a complete analysis of the subjects discussed. All expressions of opinion reflect the judgment of the authors as of the date of publication and are subject to change. No endorsement of any third parties or their advice, opinions, information, products or services is expressly given or implied by Royal Bank of Canada or any of its affiliates.