Odds are you didn’t spend a lot of time thinking about how you’d get paid when you started your small business. You figured you’d do the work, send a bill, and a check would come a few days later.

Given that receivables rarely work that way, here are three ways to get your money faster. 

  1. Send the bill immediately. Whether you’re invoicing for the whole sale or a portion of it, send the bill the moment you hit the benchmark. Clients rarely pay quickly so there’s no reason to compound the problem by waiting on your end.
  1. Follow up sooner than you think you need to. You mark the bill “due immediately,” which clients read as “pay when you feel like it.” Given that, it is not tacky to start following up within 15 days. It doesn’t have to be anything more than an email saying “just checking on the check.” If clients object to the note or the frequency of the follow-ups, offer them a discount for paying immediately. Keep following up at least every 10 days.
  1. If a client has an automatic payment option, take it. You should do this even if, in exchange, the client takes a small discount-;usually 2 percent. The discount is not onerous, and they typically wire the money on the exact day promised.