The Business of Being Paid What You’re Owed

One of the hardest jobs as a small business owner is also one of the most fundamental to your business — getting paid. Unfortunately, a lot of entrepreneurs find themselves in this position, having done work but being seemingly unable to collect the money for it. If you’ve been in business for a while, you’ve probably experienced this before. Though, this doesn’t mean you will have to go through it again. Instead, this post will be going through some of the best ways to keep yourself from fighting for your finances, so that you can focus on business.

When you go into business with someone, trust is a big part of the arrangement. Your client will have to be able to trust you with their work, while you’ll also have to be able to trust the client to pay you at the end. Thankfully, building trust like this should only take one or two meetings.

Before you agree to a job of any size, you should always make sure that you’re confident in the person you’re going to be working with. Follow your gut here, only choosing to work with those that make you feel comfortable.

Of course, relying on trust alone would make the business world a very different place. Instead, most countries will recognise contracts as a legally binding way to agree upon work and pay. Before you begin working, your client should have the chance to read through the contract and decide whether or not it’s fair. Then, you should both sign it, sealing the deal completely. You can use an online service to generate a contract for you. But, it can be much more secure to use a legal professional to handle this sort of complex work for you.

The way that you ask for the money from your clients could be playing a huge part in your likelihood of getting paid. Unfortunately, invoices can often be as complex as the contract itself, being hard to write and even harder to enforce. Using a service like QuickBooks or Sage, you can have all of this work handled for you, plus your other accounting will be taken care of, too. This is an excellent way to send compliant invoices which will notify you once they’ve been read and paid, saving loads of your precious time.

Getting paid will always be a challenge, even with all of the time and resources you put into it. Of course, you will make it better, but you won’t be able to eliminate awkward clients entirely. As your business grows, a credit recruitment agency can help you to find an employee to handle this side of your business for you.

Image Credit: Pexels

With a lot of clients, it will be hard to make sure you’re focusing on all of them. Payments could go missing, never coming back. Or, you could make a mistake which costs you a payment. Having a dedicated professional to handle this will increase your chances of getting paid by a high margin.

Hopefully, this post will give you the help you need if you ever find yourself struggling to get paid as a small business. A surprising amount of companies have to deal with this sort of issue, often resorting to extreme measures, like taking money before jobs. But, it doesn’t have to be this way. Instead, you just need to put the right kind of work in.

On Pricing Your Work: Be Fair to Yourself

Image credit: Peanuts by Charles M. Schulz.

What is your work worth to you?

A lot of designers and artists undervalue their work especially when they are just starting out in the industry as freelancers. However, you will eventually come to realise that you should always try to be fair to yourself when you put a price on your work.

The value you place on your work is the value others will put on it as well. Besides, I am sure that you would not want anyone to misinterpret “cheap” for mediocre work.

Pause for a moment and think about all the creative effort and never-ending hours that goes into your work. This is a great exercise for constructing prices for your services. Focus on making prices reasonable to the prospective market.

Your goal is to succeed in getting serious customers, build your portfolio and reputation and grow your business. Once you have accomplished getting customers, you eliminate the people who claim to want your services, but are not serious. Some of the telltale signs of this special bunch usually include the following:

  • Cheap; always desire to negotiate to lower prices;
  • Fail to understand your value-added;
  • Do not consider the creativity and hours spent on each design; and
  • Lack perception on art and design

Be fair to yourself and you will never have to work with those persons in your career.

Speaking from both professional and personal experience, the people who value quality will pay for quality. Fret not. The best decision I ever made for my graphic design business was increasing my initial prices.

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