This Is Why Your Customers Are Not Paying You
Running a service based business can be both beneficial and challenging. You get to create intangible products, spend lesser money on promotions, and deliver value with almost zero added costs.
The benefits of running this type of business makes it attractive to a lot of people, and so, professionals with unique skill-sets go on to start their own businesses when they leave their jobs.
While this type of business is usually run with a low overhead cost, many service or contract based businesses face one major problem: “Late paying clients”.
The people who suffer this the most are freelancers. A majority of them are less informed on how to properly structure a deal that ensures they get paid their agreed sums, have poor management skills, and also mostly have weak financial expertise that could hurt their business.
If your business is currently experiencing this problem and you’re trying to figure out why, here are 5 reasons your clients are not paying you:
1). You Have No Clearly Stated Terms:
It is not enough to have a verbal agreement before you start a business relationship with a client, you must have clearly stated terms and conditions, and ensure your clients agree entirely to them. The conditions stated in the agreement must not be relaxed. They must send a sense of urgency and concern to both parties, so they will always live up to their obligations on time, every time!
2). You Carelessly Select Clients:
Some clients have a reputation for paying late or never making payments at all, while others show a lack of seriousness from the beginning of every project. When you’re trying to select clients from a pool to prioritise your operations, it is important to pay attention to the tiniest details like their communication style, budget size, project specifications, and a lot more.
When you watch these largely overlooked pointers, you’d make better decisions in knowing the right type of clients to build a relationship with and those to stay far away from.
3). You Don’t Follow Up:
Communication is key in every project and in all aspects of life. To keep your clients concerned and alert on all their monetary obligations, you must always carry them along in every phase of the project. Let them know how far you’ve gone, give weekly updates, and always ask for their feedback. As they follow the project, they become more concerned about getting your final payment ready as its completion quickly approaches, and so, feel more inclined to source the funds to pay up quickly.
Asides carrying them along with the project, you should endeavour to contact them periodically to know when they’d like to launch and how the payment process is coming along.
But then again, sometimes, they may simply forget! A follow up then ensures they’re up-to-date on what stage of the agreement you’re both in.
4). You Keep Working Without Payment:
If your contract states you’re to receive certain payments over a specific period of time, continuing work when a payment is due will make you appear cheap. Every phase of the project must be paid for before it starts, else, people will begin to believe your labour is free and will treat you with much lesser respect than you deserve.
There can be a few exceptions to this, like continuing the project after the first missed payment. But the moment the second deadline is reached, all services must be stopped until the payment issue has been addressed with positive results.
5). Your Prices Ended Up Being Too Expensive:
Nothing hurts more than finding out you were ripped off by a consultant in the execution of a project. This one reason can build up enmity and cause many companies and individuals to default on their payment obligations. It gets even worse if the delivered project is far off from what was presented in a bid to get the contract.
If you find yourself in this situation, assess what was delivered and determine if you can make a compromise on a small part of the outstanding balance. If you’re confident that you delivered an exceptional project instead, you should use your contract terms to remind the client of their financial obligations.
What are your thoughts on these 5 reasons your clients don’t pay? Let me know by leaving a comment below.