On this week’s episode, #007 of The Prosperous Tradesman Podcast I’m looking at How To Get Paid In Advance For Service Calls, and six payment platforms that tradesmen in business can use to accept payments from customers on the go. Taking payment for service calls from non-account customers in advance of arriving to site in critical for any tradesman in business and these apps will help you achieve that.
In This Episode
- Why you need to get paid in advance
- 6 smartphone apps you can use to get paid now
Links Mentioned In The Show
Notes From The Show
One of the biggest issues that face tradesmen in business is getting paid, and getting paid on time. Cash flow is the blood in your veins and if you can’t keep a good positive cash flow in your business you’re screwed.
Back in the day I was foolish enough to trust everyone to pay me on time. I gave too much trust to people I didn’t know, and even to those who were referred to me.
I didn’t ask for payment up front for non account holders because it felt weird to do so. Now it might seem obvious to do so to some, but I was a green around the gills kid and I didn’t know any better.
But you don’t have to be the dumb ass who doesn’t get paid. There’s something you can do about it.
You need to take a bottom line on all new customers whether they are completely unknown to you or referred by someone you do know. That bottom line is, you get paid in advance. Then when a relationship has been built you can afford them credit if you wish.
If things don’t work out on the job, such as the problem goes deeper than was first reported to you and the customer chooses not to pay you, then at least your callout time is covered.
How To Get Paid In Advance
There are six apps that I’ve got for you here. This won’t be a comprehensive breakdown of each one, so you will need to investigate them to find out what one suits you best.
First up is one that most everyone is familiar with and is pretty much worldwide. PayPal has a pin pad that you can buy for €149.00 and a 2.7% charge for each swipe transaction.
You don’t necessarily need the pin pad as you can simply get the customer’s email address and send them a payment request from your smartphone.
Freshbooks is an accounts package that offers the small business owner good level of functionality for their entire accounting needs. I use it for my business and I find it really easy to operate.
There is an iPhone app that you can create a new customer and send an invoice from. The customer then has the option to pay you using PayPal or Stripe.
Long story short here, Jobber is the dog’s bollox. I love this platform. It is a field service management software that includes so many feature a service business needs that I just don’t know where to start.
For the purposes of this post I’ll just mention the financial side of things. In the settings of your account there is an “Add-ons” section where for $5 per month you can connect your invoicing application; PayPal, PayPal Express, PayPal Pro, Braintree, Stripe, Square, and Authorize.net
Jobber can do so much more for you in your business and I’ll be doing a top to toe review of the app soon on the blog so keep an eye out for that.
I’m not entirely sure if this is a worldwide platform of just UK and Ireland so you’ll need to check that out. It’s similar from what I can tell to PayPal in that it has an app and a card reader.
There are two models of pin pad available under €100 and it also has a receipt printer available. Costs are 2.95% per transaction so make sure you increase your rate to allow for this.
Much the same as above WorldPay offers a smartphone app and a pin pad to take card transactions in person. They are a big outfit and probably one of the first organisations of their kind.
They say their mobile apps and card readers are suitable for tradesmen so you should certainly look into it. although it seems you’ll need to jump through a few hoops to get signed up. Their costs and process is not clear from their website so getting set up quickly might be an issue.
Along with Paypal, this bad boy looks like a good option. I used Sumup a couple years ago when I was trialling a few options and I ended up choosing PayPal, but it looks pretty solid 24 months later and worth trying out.
Sumup operates internationally and pays to your bank account within 3-4 days. Transaction fee is 1.95% which is probably the best rate you’ll get from the providers mentioned.
Sumup has the option to buy a pin pad card reader for €79, has no contract and no monthly fees to pay.
Apart from people dragging their heels or not paying you at all for your work, one more reason to get paid in advance is avoiding your guys handling cash. Another is bouncing cheques, you don’t want either.
Getting paid in advance for service calls is very important for your business and technology has made it easier. If you take getting paid seriously you should consider getting one of these platforms into play.