Warning: Paying your bills on time is crucial as it keeps money flowing around the economy. But there are times where you may need to delay a few payments temporarily in order to stay in business and survive. I am assuming you will pay all of your bills eventually, I am not suggesting for you to never pay.
Collecting money is crucial, but paying it out all at once can also kill your business. The best way to managing this is to establish payment terms that you pay for items and sometimes you just need to delay payments because you just don’t have the money. Delaying a payment can be quite uncomfortable and almost awkward in business because of circumstances or a relationship. Regardless, sometimes it just has to be done as you need to wait a little longer to get the money.
Top 9 justifications to delay a payment
Note: Some of these might require a bit of a confidence in your tone of voice, its crucial to be firm and logical when delaying a payment.
- Misplaced Invoice – You have misplaced your invoice and you need another copy. Sometimes invoices get misplaced.. especially big ones.
- Dialogue: “Please can you resend the invoice.”
- Approval problem – The people who need to approve the invoice haven’t done it yet. Sometimes there is more than one person that needs to approve an invoice before its paid in big organisations.
- Dialogue: “The person who needs to sign that invoice off is not in the office”
- Mail Delivery problems – Mail is inherently unreliable and sometimes things just don’t come through or get lost when there has been wet weather. Either the invoice hasnt come through or your cheque you have sent hasnt gotten there yet.
- Dialogue: (Assuming: The invoice has been sent in the mail) “I havent received that yet, we have been having some mail problems are you able to resend that invoice?”
- Technical Systems are down – Payment systems normally hold all of the information about particular payments and their payment details. If they are down then there is no way to make payment unfortunately.
- Dialogue: “I will need to check this invoice off against our PO System which unfortunately is unavailable.”
- Someone else is responsible – If you have multiple people in your organisation then you might not be responsible for the actual payments. Someone else might be! Handballing to a different person who is actually responsible for payments can buy you some time.
- Dialogue: “That’s Mike that looks after that, I will send this through to him for you so he can give you an update.”
- The invoice has missed the Pay-run – A pay-run is normally all done on a specific day during the week to make things more efficient. Paying invoices on all different days throughout the week creates some serious time burn chopping and changing between tasks. Instead, do a pay-run, the day which the pay-run occurs might change, but its all done at once.
- Dialogue: “Unfortunately the Pay-run has already gone you will have to wait till next week. I will get you scheduled in for next week.”
- Increase the size of the pay-run – Changing the pay runs for once a week to once a month will buy you some more time.
- Dialogue: “Ah we do our pay-runs each month now and so your payment date will likely be the 5th of September. Sorry to give you late notice on this change but it should be consistent for you going forward.”
- Not in the office – The person who actually makes all the payments might not be in the office every single day of the week. This means that when they come in which might be next week, you can then make the payment.
- Dialogue: “I am only in the office once a week, I will look at it next week.”
- Changing the form of payment – Asking if you can pay with a credit card as opposed to EFT might cause difficulties at a suppliers end. Usually they prefer EFT because there are less fees. Although, confirming in your organisation on the way the invoice is paid can help buy you a little more time. You need to know that they don’t normally accept credit cards before trying this one.
- Dialogue: “Do you accept credit card as a form of payment?” If, yes or no say, “I will need to confirm this with your superiors/partner if they are ok with this.”
Obviously the best way to ensure you pay on time with your suppliers is to have plenty of cash in the bank, but managing your payment times can really help smooth that out.