Consultants: How To Make Sure You Get Paid

Entrepreneurs: Here's How To Make Sure You Get Paid

If you’re a consultant, entrepreneur or reelancer, client payments are your lifeblood. Should clients neglect to pay, business operations grind to a halt. And, if you’re not getting paid, your bills will remain unpaid — which isn’t good for anybody. While the problem of deadbeat clients has been around from time immemorial, the “Freelancer Generation” — the 53 million Americans now engaged in freelance work — has brought the issue of missed and late payments into the limelight. So, if you’re struggling with this issue, consider the followinge 11 tips, including which systems you need to put into place to avoid non-payments and what to do when a client flat-out refuses to do the right thing. Step 1: Set the stage to attract paying clients. Before taking on your next customer or client, consider implementing the first two strategies below. These will help ensure you attract those clients who are most likely to pay — and are the people who understand how you expect to be treated. Raise your rates. Okay, so maybe this tip is a bit counterintuitive, but bear with me. You may believe you can compensate for rock-bottom rates by increased volume. But, trust me when I tell you, this strategy rarely works in the long term. Clients who truly value your services will expect to pay a fair (and sometimes premium) rate, and will be unlikely to give you trouble when it comes to making payments. Have a payment policy in place. Having a payment policy screams “professional” to clients, and helps ensure that you and your clients are on the same page right from the outset. Your policy should cover all aspects of invoicing and collections, and explicitly lay out what’s included in your rate. Specifics can include: How often you’ll send invoices Payment terms and penalties […]