A Sale Is Not a Sale Until You’ve Been Paid (Part 2)

A Sale Is Not a Sale Until You’ve Been Paid (Part 2)

I recently wrote a blog called “A Sale Is Not a Sale Until You’ve Been Paid” which touched on the impact of late payment for freelance business owners, as well as some tips suggesting what you can do about it. However, this is an ongoing problem and many freelancers remain reluctant to discuss terms with their customers. Often this is driven by fear, in case it puts off the buyer or because they think “It won’t happen to me. I have a great relationship with my client”. However, I can’t stress enough how important this is. Currently, UK freelancers are owed an average of £5431.03 in late payments, with 36% borrowing from a payday loan firm to cover a shortfall. If that still doesn’t make you think you should do something about it, how about this? I asked some freelancers this question: “How much are you owed now, in late payments only, and what impact is that having on your business?” Here are some answers: “At the moment, £1200, with a knock-on that I have an outstanding invoice to another local company and need to get my payment to pay them. I usually run a bigger buffer fund so I avoid that kind of clog in the works, but all the being ill has decimated that.” – Megan Kerr, The Writers Greenhouse. “£5.5k – it’s only a week late (but still – this client was late with their last payment too!)” – Imogen Hitchcock, Beaumont “I have £3,500 overdue, across five different clients. Most are a month overdue. I am starting to worry about how I’m going to pay...
Be a Freelancer, Not a FREElancer!

Be a Freelancer, Not a FREElancer!

Sainsbury’s hit the news in May 2016, when their Camden store sought a local artist to refurbish their canteen. What got the most reaction was that they wanted the artist to volunteer their craft. In return, the artist would have their work recognised, got to share their gift with the heart of Camden, and left their mark by doing what they did best. Is that a fair return? Often, freelancers that I work with are asked at some point to offer their services for free, in return for alleged “exposure” to their target audience. Many are also asked to lower their prices considerably for the same return, or for the loose promise of more work from the person asking. I say loose, because why would they suddenly start agreeing to pay your full rate? No More FREElancing Once you’ve moved the goalposts and you start to provide your services to a client at a heavily reduced rate, or for free, you have no future rate leverage with that client. Imagine charging them £50 for a logo as a “one off”. Then, when they come back for another one, you charge £400. Why would they suddenly agree to an 800% increase? If their budget doesn’t match your fee, from the offset, then walk away from the deal. You will, of course, need to have the absolute confidence in your abilities and why you charge what you charge. Once you have that, clients will pay your going rate for the skills you have. Sourcing clients to create a portfolio, in the attempt to create a financial safety net, won’t happen. Certainly not in the...