5 Ways to Ensure Timely Payment for Freelancers
The single most frustrating thing to deal with as a freelancer is not getting paid on time. So, you’ve been commissioned to do the work and held up your end of the bargain by meeting the project criteria and deadline as agreed. It’s only fair that the same courtesy is afforded to ensure timely payment for your work as a freelancer. The freelance world is amazing, but as with anything, a few sharks can muddy the otherwise pleasant water. So far I have only had positive experiences in this area, but I am well aware of the horror stories.
Unfortunately, some people want what they want, but they don’t want to pay for the service. Or, they do, but they want to delay payment until they have to. What people fail to realise is that freelancers also have their own lives and bills to pay. You don’t walk out of a supermarket, test the food and then pay for it. You pay for it before you get it because you know that these products are essential. If you have been contracted to do a job and you aren’t getting paid for it, it’s difficult. However, it doesn’t have to be. The five tips below can help to ensure timely payment for freelancers. Well, they have definitely saved my bacon a few times at least!
Start With a Contract
You do not have to be a lawyer to know what goes into a contract, but that’s what companies like Slater Heelis solicitors are for. Of course, you can choose to draw up your own contracts! But if you have the budget, it can help you to get a trained professional to look over them. This process ensures your contracts are meeting the right expectations. When you provide your clients with a clear contract, you’re going to be able to detail exactly what you want from them in a way that sets out the terms of the job. Make sure that you include:
- The job
- The fees you charge (including late payment fees)
- The deadline for the project
- Your deadlines for payment
Before work commences, take your client through the contract and get their signature on it. Do not start work before this, as you then have a contract in place if you need it.
It’s Ok to Request a Deposit
One of the most important details you should include is if you require an upfront deposit for the work you are about to do. Charging a deposit is common for freelancers, and it’s more than reasonable to get that set up straight away. It shows you are serious about the work that you’re about to do. If this is something you require, make it very clear that you will not commence any work until a deposit is made and the contract is signed.
Always Invoice on Time
In your contract, ensure that you detail the date you plan to invoice the client. Then, send the invoice on that date. If you expect prompt payment, then you must be prompt in asking for it.
Provide Accessible Payment Options
If PayPal is the easiest way to pay for your services, then you should offer this as your client’s method of payment. Whatever payment method works for your client, offer this at the time you are going through the contract together. This way, you have made it clear and they cannot say that they didn’t know the best way to pay you.
It’s OK to Send a Polite Reminder…Or Two
As per your contract, you should set out weekly reminders for payment. Only go so far with reminders. Two reminders are enough before you take action. For example, if the contract states that you expect payment within thirty days of receipt of the completed project, your client should adhere to this.
If you have any questions or feel that I have missed something vital, please do leave a comment below!
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