Getting work is very hard and when you do get it the last thing you want to be worrying about is getting paid. You work hard for your clients to provide them with a very much needed service so the last thing you want is to be confronted by a client that will not pay you because of numerous reasons (all of them that you have nothing to do with); doing these 3 things may get you your money.
- Put it in Writing
If you have had a look at the job that needs doing and are sure you can do it, put it in writing. List everything with your client present and review what needs to be done. Know exactly what they want you to do so ask a lot of questions, as people often can be vague about their needs. Also, sometimes customers do not actually know what goes into a job and just know what the final outcome should be.
If you can and the client can wait, sit down and make out a quote. Include total costs for materials and labor (your prices for materials and labor need to be exact). Outline the specific steps of the job and itemize the cost for each of those steps. If there are some things that you are not sure about, ask to bring the quote later or send it electronically because a quote cannot change once accepted by the client.
- Talk about the money in advance
Tell your client your payment policy and make arrangements for payment before you deliver the final product. You should aim to get a deposit in advance and then agree to collect another portion midway through the job. The numbers out there can be so varied but get enough of an advance to bind the client and to enable you to purchase materials. Be clear about exactly how much is required and the deadline by which you must receive it in order to start the project.
Have an amount for the completion (make it clear that “completion” means on the day you deliver the completed project) and be sure to hold back enough so that they will need to pay you before you deliver the finished job. It is not unprofessional for you to do so and it does not telegraph to your clients that you cannot afford to await payment. Rather it lets them know that you are a professional accustomed to being paid for your work in a timely manner.
- Do a good Job
You want to get paid, right? So do a good job!