1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Billing clients

Discussion in 'Business & Tax Advice' started by PeaceLoveSubmission1, Feb 13, 2012.

  1. PeaceLoveSubmission1

    PeaceLoveSubmission1 Regular Member

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2011
    Messages:
    482
    Likes Received:
    256
    Hi everyone,

    Coiuld rteally do with some advice, what is the best method of billing offline clients. For example if i close a client over the telephone what would be the best method of billing them. If they were paying by card i would need a card machine? Or would i get them to pay online. Is there any sort of billing sofware that lets you set up a recurring payment for each individual client depending on what you quote them?

    I already have some invoicing softeware that I want to use from sliq tools, now just trying to figure out how im going to bill all my clients in easy accessible and professional manner.

    Your help is much appreciated.
     
  2. MagicMike

    MagicMike Power Member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2010
    Messages:
    702
    Likes Received:
    1,446
    I use paypal for subscription billing. While I'm not a huge fan of paypal, they are trusted by customers and that is important. Here's my process... its a bit of a pain in the neck at first, but I have a system in place now for it and it works for me and for the new customers.

    I let new customers know that I use paypal and that after 3 months they need to create a "subscription payment". However, for the first 3 months I will simply send them an email each month with a link to their personalized payment page. This way (I tell them), we can work together for 3 months to make sure everything is going well, and then we start the automatic payments which they are still able to cancel at anytime.

    This makes sense to people, its easy to get them started, and the first 3 months they are always thrilled anyways since they generally see huge improvement during that time. At the end of 3 months they are more comfortable with me and its easy to remind them and have them set me up as a subscription payment.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  3. PeaceLoveSubmission1

    PeaceLoveSubmission1 Regular Member

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2011
    Messages:
    482
    Likes Received:
    256
    Do you use a contract?
     
  4. Loony Larry

    Loony Larry Newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2012
    Messages:
    22
    Likes Received:
    15
    I take credit card payments. When I used to take PayPal people wouldn't pay on time!

    Now I just get their cc info and keep it on file. I run their cc's through ProPay. Way better than PayPal. Of course there is a yearly fee of around $50 or so.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  5. shravandude

    shravandude Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2009
    Messages:
    2,172
    Likes Received:
    379
    Location:
    On this earth
    paypal and plimus both accept credit card payments.
    But the good thing with paypal is you can send an invoice
    through your account and sent the client a bill to pay.
    If you choose plimus it can accept credit card payment but
    the only problem with them is they pay you once per a month
    you cannot withdraw when ever you want.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  6. assassinmarketing

    assassinmarketing Regular Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2010
    Messages:
    248
    Likes Received:
    179
    Occupation:
    SocialPrenuer
    Location:
    Darkside
    check out stripe.com a decent alternative to paypal.
    freshbooks / billingboss etc are ok choices
    I've been using square for cc's works for me
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  7. MagicMike

    MagicMike Power Member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2010
    Messages:
    702
    Likes Received:
    1,446
    I almost never use a contract for my monthly clients. I find it to be an impediment to the sales process and the fact is that I'm not going to court to try to force someone to pay anyway.

    I'd rather be in a stronger selling position by being able to say "we never require a contract, so we consistently have to be showing you good results". I have very, very few people ever opt out and its a much easier sell in my opinion.
     
  8. 44proseries

    44proseries Junior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2011
    Messages:
    179
    Likes Received:
    236
    Occupation:
    Offline/Online Marketing
    Location:
    Seattle
    I use Freshbooks + Authorize.net, which deposits into my business checking. And yes, I use contracts, albeit short ones most of the time.

    The Authorize.net payment gateway is awesome because the business can use eChecks, which they tend to like more than someone using PayPal. This is just in my experience.
     
  9. TNphoneman

    TNphoneman Senior Member

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2010
    Messages:
    1,177
    Likes Received:
    695
    They can use echecks in paypal also. I have people do this all the time.
     
  10. MagicMike

    MagicMike Power Member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2010
    Messages:
    702
    Likes Received:
    1,446
    It's actually a good idea to use some sort of "agreement" form, especially to cover the "scope of work". I don't, but I probably should and will.

    I'd probably stay away from the "monthly payment" type of contract for myself, but should have something that covers the work to be done... otherwise there could be potential problems down the road when the client expects you to do things outside of what you think you should be doing. I've not had a lot of these problems, but it makes good sense from a business standpoint to cover that.
     
  11. volund

    volund Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2010
    Messages:
    1,158
    Likes Received:
    728
    Occupation:
    Trying to make a buck or two
    Location:
    NW Arkansas
    While paypal works pretty well for the IM/Ebay crowd it is not as well accepted for the offline local crowd. There are lots of people out there that have never heard of or used Paypal. If that is the only choice you give your offline local customers you are going to be losing a fair amount of business.

    If you are going to be dealing with off line/local clients you need to get yourself a regular merchant account so you can accept CC's over the phone. Use paypal for people that are OK with it but you need to have an alternative unless you want to limit your customer base.