Unfortunately for many freelancers, collecting bills has become one of the tasks that requires more time and effort, especially in times of crisis.
What can be done when a client does not pay on time?
Independent professionals do not have a team of lawyers at their disposal, and it is not worth investing more money than we are going to get, so we must think of other simpler and cheaper options.
In Freelance, they have compiled a few interesting alternatives:
1. Payment plan
In times of crisis many companies are struggling. And if your financial situation is not good, it is very possible that they end up giving you long when it comes to paying. You already know that the freelance is usually the “weakest link” within the providers: you can not cut off the light of your client, nor send your legal team …
Therefore, in some exceptional cases, you can make it easy for your client to pay according to a certain schedule. In principle, offering a “payment plan” is not part of your role as a professional. But it’s a better option than sticking a whole year by calling to see when they’ll pay you …
Read Also : 10 Projects That You Should Not Accept : If you do not want to waste time and money
2. Discounts for prompt payment
There are customers who delay the time of payment because they have more time to dispose of their money. If you offer them some kind of benefit for paying the bills immediately, it is very possible that all those customers decide to pay you instantly.
There are no miracles. The money has to come from somewhere, so the most normal thing is that you have to raise your rate a bit and then offer this “discount for early payment”.
3. Penalties for late payment
You can follow the reverse path. The previous advice was based on a reward, but you can also focus on a small punishment, a kind of penalty for those customers who do not pay on time.
At the time of agreeing the conditions of the work that you are going to carry out, you can inform your client that there is a complementary fee if the payment is not made in a timely manner.
It may be that executing this surcharge is not easy, but at least the client knows that you expect him to be punctual in his payment.
4. Maintain contact
A fluid and frequent communication with your client is the best way to not relax your payments.
It is better that your client knows that you are pending. The more alien and detached you feel, the easier it is for your bill to go unpaid.
5. Reminders: that nobody stops paying because he has forgotten
There are clients who, involuntarily, forget that they have a pending invoice.
You can use reminders to make sure your customers are informed of the payments they have pending. For example, sending an email 5 days before.
It is better that you are not aggressive in the language. A simple neutral email can make your invoices go to the top of the “pending payment” list.
6. Take the next step
If you have a client who, despite your efforts, is reluctant to pay, or always pays late, you will have to take the next step. It may not be pleasant, but sometimes there is no other solution.
That step can consist of any of the following actions:
– A very serious discussion
– Do not start the next project with that client until you have paid the previous invoice
– Require a part in advance in the next project
– And, of course, you always have the option of not working with that client anymore .
Read Also : How To Build Customer Loyalty By Asking A Few Key Questions
7. Prevent: some security mechanisms
To avoid the appearance of problems, there are some measures that you can take into account, although sometimes it will not be easy for your client to accept:
– Track the customer’s history on the web, to see if it has a reputation for not paying
– Require a part in advance (there are professionals who demand 50%, especially their new customers)
– Do not deliver the project until you have charged for your work
– Use a standard contract to record the terms and there is a legal commitment by both parties.
What is your system to avoid delays in bill payment?
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