You can get paid faster with a written agreement

How To Get Paid Faster

To get paid faster by your customers, consider having a written agreement or contract.    For many people, there is no written document or no written invoice for the work they do for their customer.   Instead, a customer asks you for your rate, asks you to do the work, you do the work and then look for payment.    No one wants to have the “hard talk” about money up front and you trust that – just as you take care of your customer – they will take care of you in the end.   Sometimes they do and sometimes they don’t’.   When they don’t, you’re left holding the (empty) bag.

So, let’s start at the beginning and to get paid faster, consider having a written agreement and deciding how you are going to get paid.

  • How about getting paid up front?   If that’s not possible, get some money up front.  Get the rest in stages, based on what you are accomplishing for your client.
  • Give a discount for prompt payments.   Be specific.   Spell it out.   For example,  “If you make your Stage 2 payment on or before December 1, you will pay $900.   From December 2, you will pay the invoiced amount $1,000.”
  • Give a time limit for reporting problems with the goods or services.   For example, “Please let us know within 30 days if there are any problems with the goods or services so we can fix them promptly to your satisfaction.”   When you have this language and the customer later tries to claim they are dissatisfied so they don’t have to pay, you can point to this clause.
  • Include a finance charge of interest cost if the payment is not made on time.
  • Include language that says that if there is any dispute, the winning party can recover their attorneys’ fees against the losing party.   That way, the other side knows that if you have to sue, you will also get — and they will have to pay — attorneys’ fees if you win.
  • If possible, give yourself the option to STOP WORK – even mid-project—if the second or third stage payments are not made.    No one should have to work for free.  That’s called slavery and it was abolished at least 150 years ago.

There may be other language that you want to put in your written agreement.  The important thing is to have the “hard talk” in advance so that each side knows what to expect.   By putting the contract in writing,  each side has a written record of those promises made.   This should help you get paid faster.

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