First of the month seems like a good day to talk about getting paid. How many invoices of yours are overdue? Follow these 4 steps to collect on overdue accounts, today in my How To column at Copyediting.com.
‘It’s been a long time since we’ve reviewed your contract, so let’s just take a look at it. I have a net 20 days policy on payment. Your cheque is late, and I will waive the late fee for the next five days but after that I’m going to have to adhere to the policy we both signed off on.’ The contract is the bad guy. They gave their word, you’re holding them to their word — it’s clean, it’s simple.
More great resources:
- “The Editor’s Interest: Copyright or Not,” An American Editor, by Rich Adin
- Ripoff Report
- Preditors & Editors
- The Science, Art and Voodoo of Freelance Pricing and Getting Paid, by Jake Poinier
- “Handling the Slow-Pay Client,” Words/Myth/Ampers & Virgule, by Dick Margulis
- “How to Spot Bad Clients Early (and How to Gracefully Fire the Ones You Can No Longer Serve).” Episode 11 of the International Freelancer’s Academy podcast
“No, I’m really sorry, Mr. Person, that you’re having trouble but if you can’t pay me, I can’t do work for you.”
And remember that failure to pay on time violates the terms of your contract. When contract terms are broken, everything resets, legally speaking (in Canada and the US). You are totally within your rights to say “since the agreed-upon terms have been broken, full payment is due immediately.”