How do you improve cash flow on ongoing projects that already have poor payment terms?
Many creative options exist to improve project cash flow in these situations. The concepts below are best practices for any project, but especially so for projects with poor payment terms:
For fixed date/duration-based milestones (e.g., $xxx on 01-September, $xxx each month/quarter), invoice the milestone well ahead ahead of the contractual due date.
For monthly unit based or hourly projects, prioritize this invoicing first in your close process.
As contract amendments arise, require high percentages of these amounts to be paid on signature.
If the contract includes a floating deposit for reimbursable third party costs you manage on the customer’s behalf, keep the deposit as large as possible and require replenishment payments to be due on receipt.
Most importantly, learn from your mistakes on those projects so that you don’t repeat them on upcoming new projects.