At the very core of my being, I am helpful. Must be the Boy Scout Law in me. I really want to help others get what they want, complete their goals, and see their success. It makes me feel really good to see others succeed. But I have to tell you that I have been burned multiple times by businesses/individuals that never had any intention of keeping up their end of the bargain. So I have a few suggestions to limit the cash flow issues that may come in to play when someone is like this to you.
- You pick who you work with. You don’t have to take on just any client, even if money is tight. If you do they can waste your valuable time. Time is more valuable than money. You can’t get your time back.
- Limit your exposure. If you need to have scheduled meeting/calls, then work that in, but keep it professional and to the time allotted. Once again, it is your time we are talking about here.
- Write it down. A paper trail is very important, even if it’s digital. How many hours of contact, what it will cost, changes/adjustments and most importantly the final goal. If there is no clearly defined goal, don’t start.
- If a payment is late, wait. If two are late, then it’s time to cut them off. All depending on what you do, don’t waste anymore time if they run behind on their bills. When they get caught up, then they can have your attention. I’ve let payments slide more than a few times, never again.
- Payment up front (or credit/debit card on file.) Even though I may do some of my own proof of concept tests, I don’t start showing them any work until I get the first payment. I can show a portfolio of my previous work, if that’s not good enough, then it’s not a client I want to work for.
By using these sensible rules, you may lose an occasional client but over all you will be better off for it. I have found that those clients that don’t want to adhere to these rules are trying to find a way to get something for nothing.
Is there anything I missed? If so please comment below.