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The art of being paid

Small business owners have a huge variety of skills. But most of the business owners we talk to say that "being paid" isn't one of them.

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Why customers delay paying

Incredibly, our 2017 report found that 35% of customers have no reason for paying invoices late.

Meanwhile, 40% of SMBs cite "protecting client relationships" as the biggest barrier to chasing payments.

But in our experience, the solution to this problem stems from the same place as the SMBs' concerns - customer relationships.

1. The domino effect: the impact of late payments

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Improving customer relationships

For some, chasing invoices is irritating admin that eats into family time. For others, it's an anxiety-inducing task where they struggle to balance their need for money with the need to avoid awkward conversations with their customers.

But being paid is an essential part of any successful working relationship. Like most relationships, those with your customers will benefit from a better understanding of their motivations and pressure points.

Know your customer

The more you know about your contact, the better chance you have of getting paid on time - or even early.


Procrastinators know they're late paying, but there isn't always a reason for the delay. They ignore your emails. They don't respond to texts. They may even call you back at a time when they know you're busy and leave a voicemail to avoid talking directly.

Plate spinner

Plate spinners, as the name suggests, have a lot of things on the go at once. Sometimes, the environment they work in can seem a little chaotic, but they get things done. They normally pay you on time, but every so often they let it slip.


Perfectionists are process-driven people, who sometimes seem to be looking for reasons not to pay. Perhaps your invoice is missing the PO number. Perhaps it's in the wrong format. They're only small things, but they seem to make a big difference to this individual.
Sage Accounting powered by stripe

No more chasing late payments

Available with Sage Business Cloud Accounting, the new invoice payments feature powered by Stripe makes it possible to take payments directly from your invoice. It means getting paid is so easy, you don't have to ask twice.


Now customers can pay the moment they receive an invoice.


Get a complete view of transactions, right from when the invoice is paid, to when the money enters your account.


No need for you to deal with the messy bits of invoice payments when we do it all for you.

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