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To ask how I politely ask for this money?

(94 Posts)
Ohpleasenotnow Thu 12-Sep-19 14:36:17

I started a small cleaning business a few months ago. I've built a really good group of clients up and pleased with how it is going. However, I had a new customer last week - lovely lady, will be a regular from now on and has asked me to clean again tomorrow, however I have not received a bank transfer payment for last week's clean yet.

When I invoice her for tomorrow's clean, I want to pop a little note in that I haven't received last week's payment yet but how?

I don't want to embarrass her or anything, she is lovely and has probably forgotten. Any advice much appreciated flowers

ElizaPancakes Thu 12-Sep-19 14:38:50

I mean this with respect.

Unless you’re doing this for a favour, don’t try and be nice and accommodating. This is your business and livelihood; allow a client an inch and they’ll take a mile. You’ve only cleaned for her once and she’s already taken the piss.

Invoice her and put in your own T&C that late payments will incur a surcharge or that you will not be able to continue with clients who do not pay, with maybe a 2 payment cutoff.

VladmirsPoutine Thu 12-Sep-19 14:41:05

You're running a business not a support group so get any notion of embarrassing her out of your head. I don't think you should even be doing tomorrow's clean having not been paid for the one last week. What next... next week she'll 'promise' to give you the money for the last two cleans? Nope. Write an e-mail saying that you haven't received payment for last week's clean therefore she can only book appointments once the account is up to date.

Hooferdoofer37 Thu 12-Sep-19 14:41:33

Just send her a message saying that you wont be able to attend tomorrow until your first invoice is paid.

Set that as your standard policy, then people will either quickly rectify their mistake of not paying you, or show themselves to be the CF that they are, but you won't waste any more of your time.

Mammylamb Thu 12-Sep-19 14:41:51

Hi, I’d text her to remind her for payment!!

WeeDangerousSpike Thu 12-Sep-19 14:44:33

Agree with saying you can't come tomorrow unless paid for last time. That's completely reasonable.

Ohpleasenotnow Thu 12-Sep-19 14:45:54

I see what you're saying but how do I word it politely? blush

reetgood Thu 12-Sep-19 14:48:55

‘Just to let you know, payment for last week is still outstanding. I won’t be able to attend further engagements until outstanding payments are settled. Im sure you understand’

And if she doesn’t, she’s not a client worth having. You are going to need to get used to enforce payment terms.

shearwater Thu 12-Sep-19 14:51:09

Hi there, just a reminder that you need to pay last week's invoice before I can clean for you tomorrow. Let me know when it goes in and I'll look out for it. Many thanks!

Piffle11 Thu 12-Sep-19 14:51:27

Not wanting to cause embarrassment is why a lot of good people get taken advantage of, and why a lot of unscrupulous people get away with so much! I wouldn't be cleaning for her a second time if I hadn't yet been paid for the clean the previous week. Bank transfers are pretty quick, aren't they? So chances are she's not paid you … yes she may have forgotten, but you should have reminded her straight away. I know you shouldn't have to, but I mean rather than leave it until the next clean - could have given her time to either sort out the transfer or have the cash ready to give you. You would also have been able to work out what sort of person she is: any excuses and you could have chalked it up to experience and cancelled the job. This is your livelihood: start as you mean to go on - good cleaners are hard to come by and I'm sure you could find another client.

Toucan123 Thu 12-Sep-19 14:51:34

"Just to remind you - I haven't yet received payment for last week so if you could please transfer the money today that would be much appreciated. I think you have my bank details but here they are again just in case: xxxxxx, xx-xx-xx. Let me know if any problems! Thanks."

PEkithelp Thu 12-Sep-19 14:51:48

I think being rude will lose you clients and is probably total overkill.
I would say “hi xx looking forward to coming to clean tomorrow for you. I notice I haven’t yet received payment from last week. In order to avoid this happening again and me not being able to come to clean, could I suggest you set up a standing order. I know it’s so easy to forget in a busy week!”

Piffle11 Thu 12-Sep-19 14:54:04

I think reetgood has worded it well - succinct and to the point. Don't get too friendly or too apologetic: don't apologise for having to ask for payment for work done. Any decent client will be mortified that they forgot to pay you and will sort it asap … if she doesn't respond by saying that she'll sort it immediately, then bin her.

Namechangeforthiscancershit Thu 12-Sep-19 14:54:12

Being too polite and friendly will risk sounding patronising

Either she is a piss taker and you do not want her as a client or she has forgotten and a simple reminder is fine

Inebriati Thu 12-Sep-19 15:03:30

Its not embarrassing to give someone an invoice, its a business relationship.
Good cleaners are like hens teeth. If you are competent and doing a good job, then never worry about losing clients.

HollowTalk Thu 12-Sep-19 15:07:04

Think of the most confident person you know and act like they would. You can't afford to be a people-pleaser to the extent that you are cleaning someone's house for free.

IamWaggingBrenda Thu 12-Sep-19 15:08:43

I ran a home based business for years and there are some people who will not pay or will be late with payments, with a myriad of excuses. Be polite but blunt, she needs to pay for the first clean before you will return. Require payment at the time or in advance, or don’t keep her as a client. You’re not running a charity. If she genuinely forgot, she’s the one who should be embarrassed.

TheFaerieQueene Thu 12-Sep-19 15:10:25

I guarantee she hasn’t forgotten.

dollydaydream114 Thu 12-Sep-19 15:13:03

I had a similar thing recently when I totally forgot to pay someone for a service. Text he sent was “Hi Dolly - I don’t think I’ve received your payment for your September sessions yet? Could you let me know if it’s been sent, so I can check if there’s any issue with bank transfers on my side if I need to? If not, just a reminder so you can put it through before your session on Tuesday. Any problems, give me a shout! See you soon.”

dollydaydream114 Thu 12-Sep-19 15:14:12

I guarantee she hasn’t forgotten.

She may well have forgotten, actually. I recently forgot something like this myself and was mortified when I realised. (see my post above)

Span1elsRock Thu 12-Sep-19 15:14:46

She's taking the piss. Why you should wait a week to be paid for something you did last week? She's never going to pay on time so heed the warning.

Save your time and energy for customers who appreciate you flowers

DarlingNikita Thu 12-Sep-19 15:14:48

I'd say 'Can I ask, have you transferred the money for last week's clean?'
and wouldn't mention tomorrow's until I'd seen what she said.

I recently had a haircut and forgot (genuinely) to transfer my stylist the money and she sent me a text with basically that wording. It gave me the opportunity to say 'Oh God, sorry, forgot! I'll do it now' without her having to say she wouldn't come again until I'd paid.

Of course, if your client says something less accommodating then you can point out that you can't clean for her tomorrow until you receive the outstanding money.

Fluffycloudland77 Thu 12-Sep-19 15:17:08

Don’t go back till she pays up.

Exploring Thu 12-Sep-19 15:18:28

I'd say be polite but firm now and if you are a new starter maybe decide your terms and make a little print out with your bank details to give to everyone. If I start again I'll be a lot tougher as it took me far too long to let go of a client that paid late, and actually said they didn't like to be to reminded as it made them feel bad.

WhatToDo999 Thu 12-Sep-19 15:18:43

@Ohpleasenotnow

how about a note saying "Please find attached my invoice for [date]. I note that my invoice from [date] is yet to be paid. Please could you pay immediately"

Polite, but not giving any scope for another week or two to pass

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