From hanging around online forums, I know it’s not just me, many freelance businesses have the same issue.
So tell me, why is it so many businesses and committees pay their rent, electricity and phone bills by the due date, but when it comes to paying the freelance contractor on time, not so much!
At the end of 2014 my resolution was to remove ‘naughty, not nice’ clients from my list.
So this year, clients who objected to answering really basic questions about the potential job, or who clearly indicated they knew better (then why did you call me?), NO THANK YOU!
“I know you are busy, and my questions may seem irrelevant, but trust me, without the right answers we are going to flounder around for a while, wasting more of my time and your money.”
Worked a treat, I have only collaborated with nice people this year and the quality of my freelance business / life balance significantly improved.
But getting paid on time by some clients is still an issue, contract notwithstanding.
[WARNING - I HAVE MY CHRISTMAS CRANKY PANTS ON]
So let’s see, why should you pay me, and all your freelance subcontractors, on time?
1.WE LIKE TO EAT…
What’s more, I like to eat regularly, like on a daily basis. I even like to feed my family! And I thought it would be nice to get food and presents for Christmas, WOW!
However, like many freelancers I have a limited budget that tends to go up and down like the stock market, especially with a growing teenager who apparently requires copious amounts of cereal, AND a new Mac for school (I’ll keep the old Dell, thank you).
I’ve done the work as per our contract, so I’d like to get paid, thank you.
2. WE HAVE BILLS TO PAY
What happens when YOU don’t pay me on time? And when other clients also don’t pay me on time?
First of all, I still pay any of my subcontractors (like photographers or graphic designers), on time, because they should not miss out. So I’m short of funds until you reimburse me.
I then have to prioritise the essentials, like the mortgage and petrol for the car, boring stuff like the internet bill as I kinda need that to run my business, and keep my teen connected to the online world (apparently he cannot survive without wifi, it’s a recent genetic mutation).
Running a freelance business is not always easy. So when you don’t pay me on time, it means we might miss out on some other niceties, which at this time of the year is particularly frustrating. Trust me, I do have better things to do than to send you yet another reminder (like planning 2016 or updating my website!)
3. WE’VE DONE THE WORK
Due to personal and health issues, I’ve had major issues getting some jobs done this year. But in the end, if I’ve done the work, now it would be nice to get paid!
I think it is really a case of showing decency to another human being, showing some respect for the work completed.
If for some reason you are having financial issues, just pick up the phone, or shoot me an email. We’ll work it out, I really don’t bite (unless I’m absolutely starving).
So my resolution at the end of 2015? Only work with people who will pay me on time.
Now which client list do YOU want to be on, the Naughty or the Nice one 😉