I played the song and dance of being a “collections” department some years ago with clients, and I had to put a stop to it.
Having a billing system in place is basically a working assistant. While you work on designing or other tasks, it will take care of sending invoices, reminders, and suspensions for you. If they do get suspended, once they pay, everything goes back online. If they just go ghost…after it suspends, it’s terminated. If for any reason they come back because of some form of miscommunication, there’s always a backup waiting them
When you dig deeper into the ones that pay late…sometimes there are many valid reasons, and for those accounts, I set it to not suspend or terminate. They are the few that will pay late, but they will always pay. A couple, always late on payments, but the amount of referrals they have sent, one of of them has earned free hosting, while the other, a discount. But I’ve had a few cases where I had to track down anyone in the company to cover an invoice, which is usually more of an issue with annuals than monthly, and in most cases, the invoice went to a previous employee that took care of account and was no longer with the company. Once that was sorted out, the invoice was paid within hours, and a new email address (usually to the owner) was added to prevent the issue in the future.
I also sometimes think maybe the person running the company has passed away, retired, or in the last year, just couldn’t handle the financial stress and closed up. You can tell because if you look them up months later, no website, expired domain, and if they have social media, it’s pretty much quiet.
The higher paying are usually more reliable, and funny thing with locals….even though were about 20-30 minutes from each other, we never see each other. Just too much happening in life sometimes.