As a self-employed business owner, you work harder than ever for your money. This is especially true for freelancers. Unlike a salaried job, freelance income doesn’t come with the security of automatic scheduled payments. Instead, getting paid relies on your ability not only to find customers, but also in your ability to secure a timely payment when the work gets done. How quickly you get paid can vary from project to project, whether you like it or not.
Makeup artist and eyebrow expert Suzie Moldavon is no exception, but she’s learned how to manage her varied types of clientele. For individuals, she typically expects payment on the day of her services, or very soon thereafter. In contrast, most larger companies pay her within the standard 90 day period. That said, there have been rare occasions when clients have not paid Suzie at all, which she views as a valid reason for breaking up a relationship. Contracts are important, Suzie says, but may not be necessary for every single client. At the end of the day, you have to decide whether the opportunity is worth your time and cost, and act accordingly.
Whether it’s cash, credit, mobile or online payment, getting paid is the most crucial aspect of financial management. The freelance lifestyle involves working with a variety of clients, from individuals to giant corporations, each of whom may expect different payment terms. If you find yourself facing a late or delinquent payment, send a friendly reminder. If this happens frequently, then it’s likely time to draw up a contract that has clear repayment terms reflected on your outgoing invoices. If there’s no contract, however, then you have to decide whether or not it’s worth the time and energy to pursue the matter further. Learn to choose your clients wisely, and you’ll be on your way to getting paid.