Earning your livelihood as a contractor or freelancer can be challenging. Depending on your chosen field, you may not be able to depend on steady business or regular paychecks. That being the case, it’s only natural that most self-employed individuals wish to be compensated for their services in a timely manner. Needless to say, some clients are liable to be more expedient in submitting payments than others, and as any long-time freelancer can attest, the occasional late payment is inevitable. Fledgling freelancers looking for constructive ways to address tardy payments can benefit from the following pointers.
Resubmit Your Invoice
Most late payments are the result of miscommunication. This means that if a client is late in submitted your payment, there’s a good chance they never received your invoice. In some instances, an overactive spam filter is to blame. Other times, invoices are inadvertently ignored because of jam-packed inboxes. Regardless of why you suspect your invoice went unnoticed, your initial response to a late payment should be a timely resubmission of your invoice. Additionally, to ensure that your invoices and estimates are sharp-looking and easy to read, download this professional estimate for free.
There’s no faster way to get the answers you seek than reaching out to the people who have them. So if resubmitting your invoice fails to generate the desired response, don’t hesitate to reach out to the client. Some freelancers are understandably uncomfortable with this, as they believe it comes across as too forceful or aggressive. However, provided you keep your tone and demeanor in check, there’s nothing wrong with politely enquiring about the status of your payment. In all likelihood, your client would rather hear about this issue in a timely manner than have it presented to them weeks or months after the fact.
Keep Your Cool
When a payment is submitted late, it’s only natural to feel frustration or annoyance. After all, you went to the trouble of completing your work by the agreed-upon date, and the least your client could do is return the courtesy. However, this doesn’t give you free license to be aggressive or impolite when reaching out. Odds are your payment was late because of an innocent mistake instead of malicious intent on the part of the client. Copping an attitude or being outright combative when asking about your payment is unlikely to make a client want to work with you again in the future – and seeing as most freelancers depend on repeat business, this is less than ideal.
To call self-employment challenging would be an understatement. While there are certainly exceptions to the rule, many freelancers fluctuate between relentlessly busy periods and depressingly quiet periods. As such, it’s perfectly reasonable to expect clients to uphold their end of the agreement and provide timely compensation for services rendered. When working in a freelance capacity, you’re practically guaranteed to deal with a late payment every now and then. Fortunately, the next time you do, you’ll be armed with the previously discussed tips.