I recently came across this week. I haven’t linked to it, but typed it out to protect the guilty.
ALL INVOICES ARE PAID!! (Granted, I voided several, but eh) Yay, clients! Thanks for paying me mostly on time in October
I see a few issues here.
- There are voided invoices
- issues with timely payment
Can you guess how many invoices I void in a year?
Can you guess the average time an ‘overdue’ invoice goes for me?
Last Friday I did a video talking about how you need to make it you’re clients problem if they haven’t paid. You can see that it’s not just an isolated problem, lots of consultants deal with not getting paid, and it’s your fault.
You didn’t vet the client
The real problem when you’re dealing with a bunch of late invoices is you.
You didn’t control how you run your business.
You kept working when you weren’t paid for the work.
You launched/released work before the client paid your invoice.
Your client vetting process let someone through that doesn’t pay invoices on time.
Hey I know it’s hard to hear that it’s your fault. We often want to find an external reason that something went wrong.
It means we didn’t fail.
You’re a business owner though so that means you need to be a grown up.
That means you can’t push off issues with your business to external failures.
Really good business owners look for ways to take the blame.
How to get paid on time
How do I get paid on time?
I get paid up front in weekly instalments.
If I’m not paid on Friday for work to start Monday I don’t work Monday.
That means we drop a day of the project and the client still has to pay me for it.
That means the project may take longer, which is going to cost the client more.
I make late payment the client’s problem, not mine.
Now the question is…how do you get paid up front?
Make it a requirement for any project you take on.
Tell potential clients that you don’t take a 50% deposit you break up the total cost in to weekly payments and they are required to pay each week before the start of the next.
If they balk at that because it’s different than ‘normal’ stick to your guns and tell them that’s your business policy.
If you don’t stick to your guns there, they are going to push to walk over you for the rest of the project as well.
That’s going to be a sucky project.
Once I decided to make that transition do you know how many people turned me down based on how I deal with payment?
It’s likely that will be your experience as well.
If you want to read more about weekly pricing here you go:
- Weekly Pricing for Web Development
- Answering questions about weekly pricing
- Client concerns about weekly pricing
- Freelancer’s Show 097 – Weekly Billing
photo credit: daviddmuir cc