Photo by joi
We all know “clients from hell”, and we sometimes stumble upon them. But, the big question is why work with them when we all know they are irritating and hard to work with?
So, you’re in a position where you did the work, and your client told you they won’t pay. What should you do then?
The reason why, doesn’t really matter, but is it the end of story?
There is a right time to do everything, and so it is with invoicing. A few years ago I was working in publishing company as a software developer where I built an application for printing direct marketing sales notes. We would be printing these notes once a week and we were sending them to our clients. We were tracking reply rate and after many months of experimenting (sending always the same layout and similar message) we realized we were selling much more on one particular day.
When working with a client you don’t know very well, or don’t know them at all, it can be very tempting to accept the job based only on financial opportunity. I’ve seen many cases where this happens without even a contract in place. This turns out to be a major mistake for most of the businesses, as poorly defined terms of cooperation and plan of delivery can be interpreted independently from both sides and can lead to a misunderstanding later on.
When I left my job a few years ago to open my own company I wasn’t aware of the danger of unpaid bills. I learned that the hard way when I was left with no money at all. It wasn’t the clients fault, and I did a good job. All I needed to do is one little thing that later on helped me run business in years to come.
Everybody who’s running a financial side of the business disregarding of its size have met with a clients that do not pay on time or do not pay at all. Assuming that product or service were delivered in time and quality, there is no excuse for any client to avoid it’s obligation. Cash-flow is the most important thing as you have to keep people working for you on their payroll, you have to pay bills or you and the organisation you are running might be going towards bankruptcy.