For most small business owners, getting paid quickly and on time is one of the most important yet difficult parts of running a business.
In this guide we dive into various payment methods you can use, from good old fashioned cash to the latest in digital payment technology.
Whether you’re a brick-and-mortar store pondering credit card payments, an e-commerce platform seeking seamless online transactions, or a service provider evaluating invoicing systems, we’re here to help.
Read more to learn the best strategies to always getting paid on time, minimizing transaction fees and time to deposit, and creating the best payment experience for your customers.
Which payment option is best for me?
There are a number of different ways that small businesses can collect payments from customers – some easier than others.
- Cash – Gone are the days when cash used to be king. Cash transactions are unsafe and impossible to properly track and reconcile. Being able to know exactly what money you received, from who, and when saves you a ton of time and headaches come tax season.
- Checks – used to be the rage years ago, but, just as with cash, more and more companies are leaving this payment option behind. Checks can always bounce and in this case, you will never see your money back.
- Credit and Debit Cards– absolutely essential for all businesses today. Most Americans prefer to pay with credit cards but the systems to collect this method of payment often charge expensive transaction fees or cost an arm and a leg to set up.
- ACH – Automated Clearing House is one of the best payment options for your business as it involves direct bank to bank transfers. The thing is, it either requires you to place a call to your bank each time you want to initiate a transaction or secure signed authorization from your customer to process regular payments.
- Online Payments – There are a number of various online payment providers out there that enable you to process both Credit and Debit Card payments as well as ACH through easy to use systems. Up until a few years ago, the only options were PayPal, Square or Stripe, which all charge expensive transaction fees and don’t offer many other tools for small business management.
- Finli – If you ask us, the best answer is Finli. With multiple payment options available for your customers (including ACH + Card Payments), no transaction fees, and an exceptional experience for you and your customers, we pride ourselves on one of the best digital payment systems available to date.
We have worked tirelessly to create a better payment option for small businesses that provides them with the tools needed to power their business. Aside from lower fees and faster payments, we offer business owners built-in CRM, invoice + quote generation, inventory management, recurring invoices, autopay, invoice history, and reporting tools.
With one of the most secure banking systems in place, your money is always safe and your customers will love the convenience of making payments through Finli.
How to Make Sure You Collect Payments from Customers
Small business owners wear a lot of hats, but stepping in as bill collector is certainly the worst one. Making sure payment was collected for your services can sometimes be confusing and chasing those slow or avoidant payers is awkward and almost impossible.
When strapped for cash, those late payments and unpaid bills can become a massive issue for a small business.
Our customers trust Finli to stay on top of payment collection for them, while keeping customers happy and informed.
Here are a few key aspects of staying on top of payment collection with Finli:
Set Clear Payment Terms
With Finli’s quote management system, you can easily define services and payment terms. Prepare estimates and have your clients approve them before you send the actual invoice. This clears out any potential misunderstandings and helps you get paid.
Provide Easy-to-Understand Invoices
As soon as your clients have approved the conditions, you can create professional invoices from the Finli dashboard. Read more: How to Create an Invoice with Finli
Keep Detailed Records
In most cases you’d wish to have a detailed transaction history for doing taxes, but Finli’s invoice and payment history can do even more. See exactly where your client is in their payment journey with an activity log that shows events like invoice viewership, payment attempts, and deposit activity.
Payment history is a great tool to assess client lifetime value and be able to prioritize the clients who yield the most ROI.
Follow Up on Late Payments
A nightmare for most small business owners: chasing clients who “forget” to pay. Finli makes it easier to handle this issue, with automated invoice reminders and additional notices you can trigger from the dashboard.
Instead of remembering to send all those “kind reminder” emails, let Finli’s payment system handle it all automatically.
Set Up Recurring Invoices and Make Use of Our Autopay Features
Have you ever forgotten to send another monthly invoice for the services you provided?
With recurring payments, just set up a repeating invoice series and then forget about it. When it’s the right time, Finli’s invoice management system will automatically send the bill to your client. Even better, your clients can approve automatic payments for recurring bills.
Master Payment Collecting for Only $39/Month
Use all our features and automate customer payments for a small flat fee of just $39 a month. No additional fees, no surprises. Finli’s payment management system is transparent, easy to use, and saves your business time and money.