It can be very frustrating when customers are not on time with your payments. Especially when you’re a small business just starting out, cash flow is probably pretty tight, and those payments are crucial for keeping the wheels turning in your company. If your customers are chronically sending payments late and acting like it’s not a big deal, you don’t have to accept that as an inevitable part of being a business owner. If you’re currently in this situation, here are some strategies you can utilize.

1. Respect Your Company

Your company may be small right now, but you may be an irreplaceable source of products and services for your customers. You may offer a competitive advantage, and you may have positive working relationships with plenty of buyers. Know your worth, and remember that you’re necessarily not at the mercy of your customers.

2. Pay in Increments

If a client is chronically late with payments, communicate with them and ask what a reasonable pay schedule would be. If they can’t afford to send an entire chunk of money all at once, maybe they can pay in increments? Decide on a pay schedule that works for both of you. If you go the distance and make the effort to accommodate your client, there’s a good chance that client will be more careful about meeting your pay schedule as well.

3. Accommodate the Client

Let’s say you and your client have a 30-day pay agreement, in which all products and services must be paid for in 30 days. And let’s say this client routinely takes two months, or 60 days, to pay you. Maybe a 60-day pay agreement would simply work better for your client. If that is the case, it may not be a bad idea to give this a try as long as it also works for you. Sometimes, companies and clients have to accommodate each other and give a little back. Your client will definitely remember it.

4. Have a Middle Man

This is where your accountant comes in. Sometimes, it’s better to have your accountant deal with your client’s accountant, instead of you talking directly to your client. Accountants are able to take a neutral third-party standpoint, and this eliminates some of the emotion and bad feelings. You hired an accountant to help you deal with financial issues, so let them do their job and take the reins.

5. Drop the Client

This should be a last resort, but if things have gotten so bad to the point that your client hasn’t paid a cent for products and services from a year ago, it may be time to get your money and say goodbye. A client who is constantly causing you headaches may not be worth keeping around.

All small business owners have dealt with clients who don’t pay on time. For more information on how to deal with difficult clients, visit our website at