There’s a part of business some of us are uncomfortable with, especially when we first start out. It makes us feel a little squeamish, uncertain, even brazen. Yet without this part, the wheels of commerce would not turn and we’d all resort to an agrarian lifestyle of growing our own fruit, threshing our own wheat and using papyrus toilet paper because no company could be bothered making the soft triple ply sheets as there would be no return on investment. Of course I’m talking about asking for payment.
Let’s face it, money puts food on our tables, pays off our mortgages and funds our dreams. Depending on how you look at it, it may be a necessary evil, a reason for being or a saviour because it means soft toilet paper exists. Whatever your perception of it, we all need it.
So it surprises to learn, as I have this week from multiple sources, that quite a number of women feel uncomfortable asking for it upon the completion of a service or the delivery of goods.
Most people habitually say they want to grow their businesses. I can assure you Telstra, the banks and Woolworths did not grow by being afraid to send an invoice. You shouldn’t be either.
Another word for commerce is trade. Trade means one thing is exchanged for another. Unless using a barter system, that usually refers to goods and services being exchanged for money. If this is to occur, the recipient of the goods and services must know how much to they will cost. Generally, this is advised in a quote (written or verbal) prior to supply. Once the goods and services are delivered the recipient fully expects to pay for them so an invoice is merely the final phase of the transaction.
So if you’re a little squeamish about asking – DON’T BE. In the absence of payment, you are not a business professional. You’re a volunteer. Yet, I bet you went into business to be an entrepreneur.