When you own a business or do work for someone else – getting paid is a pretty important part of the deal.
After all, you are in business to make money.
So what do you do when a client just won’t pay their bill?
Before you come down on the client, take a few minutes to look at your payment process.
The most common reason for not getting paid, is not being clear up front about your expectation for payment.
- Do you provide prospective clients with clear, written communication around your payment process BEFORE you start working for them? Why/Why not?
- Do you require some type of payment in advance? Why/Why not?
Be brutally honest – what’s stopping you from spelling it out?
Asking for money is a sure fire way to bring up your fears about being good enough, being successful or just plain getting the business.
And those fears aren’t going to make asking for money easy. Bring them to light now, question them and empower yourself to put the right process in place from the get-go.
Once you’ve done the hard work of looking at how and why you’re current process is working, then it’s time to tackle this specific client.
Decide how much time you’re willing to invest in recouping the money. Decide how you want to feel about this specific circumstance and decide what action you’re willing to take.
From that place, send the No BS email.
It goes like this:
“I require payment for X service in X amount by X date. If there’s anything else you need from me to make this happen, I need to know immediately so I can provide that to you.”
If you’ve decided to pursue the payment further, you’ll want to add that to the end.
“If payment is not received by X date, my next step is X.”
Keep it clear, specific and to the point. No explaining. No emotion. Just the facts.
In the comments below tell me what systems you have to ensure payment from clients and how you’ve handled non-payment in the past.
Email your money questions to firstname.lastname@example.org