Let’s face it, some freelancers often worry about how and whether they’ll get paid. This isn’t anything new and according to a report from Freelancer’s Union and Upwork, over 56 million Americans did freelance work in 2018. Not getting paid or getting paid late is a huge issue that freelancers shouldn’t have to deal with.
Luckily, you won’t have to if you take certain precautions in advance. Here are 3 easy moves freelancers can make if you don’t want to ever worry about getting paid on time again.
Write Your Own Contracts
I’m not going to lie, sometimes I loathe when new clients ask me to draft up a contract. However, recently I’ve seen this as a way to ensure that I get fair terms. I created a contract template that I can customize with each client and I make sure payment details are clear and specific.
Having a contract in place will make sure you and the client are on the same page and it can also serve as extra insurance if anything goes wrong. Now, it would be a pain to have to sue someone over non-payment, but the fact that you have a secure contract could help motivate clients to pay on-time and adhere to the terms. So hopefully, it never even has to come to that.
Send Invoices in Advance
If you’re worried about getting paid on time, send your invoice in advance. Some freelancers send an invoice for 50% upfront and the remaining 50% after the work has been completed. It’s also not uncommon for freelancers to bill for the entire amount upfront.
If you operate with integrity and will commit to making sure the client is pleased with the final product, why not take this route? It’s much safer especially if you don’t want to worry about having to chase down payments.
Use the Right Invoice Software
Investing in the right invoicing software can do wonders for your freelance business. It not only helps you come across as a professional who knows what they’re doing, it’s great for tracking your income and keeping up with payments.
Invoicing software helps me keep a record of all my payments and their status which becomes super helpful when I’m filing quarterly taxes. Another benefit is that automatic reminders get sent to clients so I don’t have to worry about chasing down payments. Another perk of using invoicing software is that I can add a late-fee charge to invoices that don’t get paid on time.
Of course, add this clause to your contract in advance before applying it with invoices. However, having a late fee policy for payments that are outstanding past the due date is a great way to motivate clients to pay on time.
Join a Freelancer’s Union
Joining an organized freelancer’s union can help you connect with the proper tools and resources you need to level up your business. Freelancer’s Union is free to join and they’ve rounded up helpful resources to aid you in developing a proper contract, tips on getting paid on time efficiently, as well as discounts on services and things you may need for your business.
Freelancers shouldn’t have to worry about when and how they’re going to get paid. Luckily, you won’t have to with these tips. Just focus on getting off to a solid start with clients and clearly outline your payment process and details. Being professional and organized in your business will prompt people to treat you more professionally in turn.