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From Agreement To Payment: It’s A Long Road

Estimated reading time: 4 mins

As a freelance worker or small business owner, you have a lot of challenges on your plate. First, you have a lot of setups before you can even start looking for customers. And, then once you’re ready to start looking, you have even more challenges to deal with.

But, one of the biggest issues you will face will come once you’ve started working. In fact, any freelancer will tell you that collecting payments from their clients is the hardest part of their job. Usually, people make big mistakes when they’re making agreements which will impact the entire job, including payment at the end. To help you with this, this post will be going through a process which can be applied to most clients. So, now, you just have to start working hard to make sure everything is done as it should be.

Before you can start asking for money, you have a lot of work to do. This doesn’t start with quotes, though. Instead, you need to meet with the client and talk over the job they need doing, before you give them an idea of what it might costs. Quoting too early can leave you having to do more work than you realised. Spending a couple of hours with your clients, taking notes about their desires gives you the chance to assess the job fully. And, it helps you to prepare for any surprises. A lot of people will want to have a quote there and then. But, this can be hard when you’re first starting out and don’t have a reference to base prices on. So, how do you make your quote?

As a freelance worker, you can charge whatever you want for your work. But, if you charge too much or too little, you could struggle to get customers. Of course, people never want to pay too much for a product. But, undervaluing yourself can also serve to make people feel less confident with your work. When you’re coming up with a quote, it’s best to think about what the work is genuinely worth. In most cases, when you first start out, you can base your quotes on the time it will take you to finish the work. For example, a lot of people will give themselves a normal hourly rate. Then, when it comes to quoting, they will break down the time they have to spend on the project, multiplying it by their hourly rate. Of course, you also have to consider additional costs like other services you’ll have to use.

There might be a little bit of negotiation over the price you give. And, you might have to remove or add things before you agree on it. But, once you are all in agreement, you’re not ready to stop. Instead, you need to find a way make the agreement stand in the eyes of the law. To do this, you need a good contract in place which covers every aspect of your agreement. Client engagement contract software is much cheaper than a lawyer. And, it allows both you and the client to collaborate on your contracts. So, it’s a great way for a small business to afford this sort of resource. You should never base your agreements on trust. It’s very easy for this sort of relationship to end. And, this could leave you without payment or recourse to try and chase it.

Now, it’s time to fast forward to the job being completed. Of course, in most cases, the biggest issue you’ll face with clients is forgetting to pay. People don’t like to spend money. And, in this sort of transaction, it can feel as though they’re paying for nothing. So, a lot of people need to persuasion to pay swiftly. To encourage a fast payment, it’s best to use an online application like Freshbooks. This sort of resource can be used to monitor invoices, enabling you to see when they’ve been read. And, they can even manage things like your taxation for you. Along with this, it’s also wise to have a good idea of what you will have to do in the event of a non-payment. Going to court and fighting your corner will be much easier if you’re prepared. Some people will even get insurance to limit this sort of threat.

Hopefully, this will give you a good idea of what needs to be done when you’re trying to find ways to get paid by your clients. It’s a shame that so many people have to deal with issues like this. But, once you’ve solved them, you can simply follow that route with future arrangements. This will make life much less stressful.

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About the author /


Simon is a creative and passionate business leader dedicated to having fun in the pursuit of high performance and personal development. He is co-founder of Applied Change, a Business Change consultancy based in the UK. Simon is also an Ambassador for Gloucestershire business. Simon is an Associate Member of the Chartered Institute of Professional Development.

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SimonStapleton.com located at Watledge , Stroud, UK . Reviewed by 10,923 readers rated: 9.5 / 10
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