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Going solo and shaking the shackles of employment has many benefits. Finally, you can control what you do, who you do it for, and when you do it. You can balance work and life in the way you never did before. For many of us though, these benefits are outweighed by one big con; you no longer get a steady paycheck.
It’s for this reason that millions of people still spend their lives in the office. And, there’s no denying the benefit of knowing what you’re getting and when if you have bills to pay. But, this may not be as far from freelance life as you’d think. When you have steady custom work, after all, you should still be able to arrange payments to meet your needs.
In theory, it’s the ideal compromise, but it’s by no means a foolproof plan. That’s because many freelancers, especially in creative fields, don’t get money when they’re owed. In extreme cases, they never get it at all. This could unravel your efforts, and it’s something you want to put an end to. But, you can’t do that until you ask whether you’re making it easy for those clients not to pay in the following ways.
The worst thing we can do as creative freelancers is doubt ourselves. If you aren’t confident about the worth of your services, non-payments is inevitable. It may be that you feel awkward even asking for money. Or, you may not want to chase clients when they don’t pay on time. If that’s the case, you couldn’t make it easier for them to get away. Make sure that doesn’t happen by remembering that payment is your right as a creator. You’re providing a service, and you deserve a monetary return. Be clear about your rates. Make sure, too, that you chase unpaid accounts until you see results. How can you be sure of payment otherwise?
Long-winded payment methods are another sure way to do yourself out of money. If you let clients leave on the promise of direct debit payments, it’s never going to happen. Make sure that no client can walk away by looking to payment product improvements like the Square Terminal. This is a new way of accepting payment which is easy to transfer and operates from battery and offline. By keeping something like this with you, you can kiss goodbye to those promises of ‘I’ll pay you later’. Instead, you’ll be able to get your money there and then.
You may simply be failing to put payment dates on your invoices. Even if you’ve agreed a day with clients, you have no standing unless you put it in writing. By providing a date on the invoice, you create a reference for both you and them. You’ll then know as soon as that payment doesn’t come in, and take action the moment the client lets you down.
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