Cash is king and the key to the throne is getting your customers to pay you on time. In my experience early payment discounts and late-payment penalties don’t work very well but here are some tried-and-tested tips to get the cash rolling in:
- Be clear about your payment terms. Use a colour printer to highlight the due date of an invoice in big, red letters so that customers know what you expect.
- Invoice quickly. Don’t wait until the end of the month to do an invoice run. If you have delivered the goods, send in the invoice. Every day’s delay costs you money.
- Check they got the invoice. A week after you send in an invoice, call your client and politely check they received the invoice. The old excuse ‘it got lost in the post’ is still common but it’s much more likely to get lost in someone’s in-tray. So get confirmation that they have actually received it.
- Be friendly (but persistent). It also helps to establish a friendly channel of communication with your client’s accounts payable people. If cash is tight, they’ll often delay payments to companies they don’t know or who don’t chase them. You want to be in the other category from the start. And you definitely want to be polite (if firm, diplomatic and persistent) rather than angry or stressed.
- Send reminders. Send a reminder about a week before the due date and then on the due date. Once the invoice is overdue, you can use colour and design on your statements and invoices to emphasise the invoice status.
- Give people lots of ways to pay you. The worst way to get paid is a cheque because it can get lost and it takes time pay in and clear. Make it easy for people to pay you online with PayPal or direct into your bank account with BACS. You could even look at accepting payment in bitcoins (like WordPress.com).
- Go nuclear. If persistence doesn’t pay off, a lawyer’s letter should produce rapid results. You can even sue someone online at the Courses & Tribunals Service’s Money Claim site. There’s a risk to the relationship, of course, but a court summons usually produces instant results.
- Re-consider your business model. Can you charge a retainer? Accept credit card payments? Ask for an advance payment before you start? There’s no law that says you have to invoice after the fact and then accept a 90 day wait for payment. Change the rules if you can.
PC Magazine says of the black and white HP LaserJet Enterprise 500 MFP M525f: ‘If your office is looking for a rich-featured monochrome MFP for heavy-duty text printing, it's worth a close look.’
And it is equally positive about the colour MFP M575dn model, saying it ‘is very fast for a color laser multifunction printer and prints excellent graphics.’
This video gives a great overview of why HP’s new MFPs are so cool – it’s about so much more than just printing.
Analyst firm Gartner gets straight to the point: ‘HP’s latest document management solutions address three major trends in enterprise printing: workflow digitization, cloud and mobility. Workflow digitization reduces the burden of a paper-heavy document system in several ways. It saves storage space, decreases paper consumption, reduces costs, saves time and makes document processes more efficient overall.’
Education is one of those universal experiences. We all went to school, of course. Many people, like me, have young children in school. And all of us are relying on our education system to produce happy, productive members of society. So, what happens in schools is important.
Here at HP, we passionately believe in the power of technology to make a difference in the classroom. It can help in many ways:
- Improve attainment with personalised learning. Give a child the tools and the right guidance and they can discover the world.
- Allow students to learn anywhere, any time. Inspiration doesn’t follow a timetable or live in one building.
- Bridge the home-school divide and get parents more involved. Parents can see how children are progressing and how they can help. Students can access resources outside school.
- Streamline and simplify routine school admin. Technology can free teachers from time-consuming paperwork and help them spend more time educating.
- Equip students with real-world skills. Students, especially as they approach school-leaving age, need to discover what the world of work is like and become familiar with the technology they will need in it.
These opportunities are worth seizing. This is why HP is committed to the education market and why we are investing heavily in developing next-generation technology that will turn these opportunities into everyday reality.
It’s also why we are co-sponsoring the TES Schools Awards. In just seven weeks we’ll help celebrate the best schools, teachers and support staff in the country and an HP-sponsored ICT award will recognise real innovation and examples of excellent ICT teaching practice.
Watch out for short list nominations in the Times Educational Supplement or online later this week.
Virtual workers? Mobile staff? Home offices? Duvet days? If you're embracing the world for flexible working, you need flexible management too. Our white paper explains how.
Did you ever sit waiting for your computer to respond? Perhaps you were recalculating a big spreadsheet, working a detailed presentation or waiting for a document to load. Maybe you were working on a big graphics file or editing a video. If you value your time, it can pay to get a faster, more capable computer.
Faster is better
HP Workstations are like regular PCs on steroids. They help you become more productive by letting you spend more time doing your job and less time waiting for your computer to catch up. This is because they are designed for performance. They still run Microsoft Windows and familiar applications, but they have been optimised with high-performance components, extra memory, faster processors and storage.
Maximum performance for digital content
People who work with digital content need workstation performance. It makes short work of photo retouching, video editing, 3D modelling, desktop publishing and graphic design. In fact, our workstations are certified by leading software vendors, including Autodesk and Adobe.
Reliability boosts productivity
Crashes and breakdowns are a big waste of time. Workstations typically have 25 percent longer mean time between failures, which reduces the chances of a hardware problem interrupting your work for an extended period. But HP Workstation reliability doesn’t end there. Features such as error-correcting memory and intelligent cooling reduce the chances of temporary faults causing crashes and short-term interruptions.
Get more done with multiple monitors
Using more than one monitor at a time can make you much productive. Studies show an average productivity increase of 20-30 percent when using two displays instead of just one. HP Workstations support multiple monitors. Depending on the model and configuration, you can have up to eight different screens. So whatever you do, if you spend a lot of time in front of a computer, you’ll get more done with a Workstation than a regular PC.
Video review of HP Z1 all-in-one workstation
For more information