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How to Get Paid on Time if You Are Self-employed


Get paid freelancer

We read daily about how difficult it is to get paid on time when you are self-employed. Many times the excuses of companies are they must first pay larger companies or that they get a lot of taxes this month. 

In the case of the self-employed, it is even more critical to charge on time for their work, since they live exclusively on this income. In this article, we will see some recommendations to get paid on time.

When you start to work as a freelancer, and you obtain your first clients, you usually depend on them and do what they ask for, so they continue to require your services. The fact is that many times it is better to establish certain limits and previously define how far you would go in case they don’t pay you or don’t pay on time.

You may think that in your situation you cannot do without clients, even if they pay to you late, but consider the following points:

– If the company / professional is late in their payment, you are already thinking of it to see when they will pay you. If you don’t tell them anything, you will have to insist by calling again and “asking for explanations”.

– Being aware of the non-payment causes you to lose some time every day that you could use to find other clients or improve processes in your company.

– The concern that generates you not to get paid and not knowing when you will do it goes further. When talking to potential clients, you go with a point of scepticism: “let’s see if this one is not going to pay either”. This type of negative energy often causes you to lose business opportunities.

– If you live exclusively from your income as self-employed (or you pretend it), this can disappoint you. It could even make you decide to stop trying to establish yourself as self-employed and look for employment. 

On the other hand, you do whatever for your first clients, even not signing any service contract or a document of payment agreement. So after a while, some companies deny you have done the work for them, so they don’t have to pay you. It may seem incredible, but there are people like that!

To protect you and start your business relationships properly, we have compiled a few suggestions. 

– Set your basic rules and how far you would go. Example, charge from 1 to 10 every month and wait until 15. If they don’t pay until 15th, you won’t accomplish more work.

– Learn to say “no”. If they don’t agree with your basic rules, do not try to adapt and think that “I’ll do an exception only for this time”. Next time you have to tell them there is no deal. You cannot please everyone, and some clients are not worth the investment of your time.

– Have a firm contract and the terms established with an agreement signed by both parties.

– Ask for a 50% payment in advance before the work begins. That way you can be sure of at least the half part if there is finally a non-payment.

– Include offers for customers who pay early.

Make sure you send the email with your invoice to the correct email address and with enough details about the payment method. Ask for confirmation that they received the email to avoid delays.

– Offer at least two types of payment to give several options, for example, bank transfer and credit card payment.

– Don’t be evil-minded from the first moment if they are late in payment. Get in touch with your client calmly, since in many cases it is due to a genuine mistake in the remittance of domiciliation, etc.

– Finally, and this advice is valid especially for those self-employed whose client is some Administration, arm yourself with patience! We all know that the Administrations take a long time to pay, but they ask for work to be done on time. If you are starting, do not devote all your time to work for the Administrations, because you may delay in charging and enter the loop of frustration.

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