It's next to impossible for a freelancer to know without any shadow of doubt whether a client will pay for services rendered. However, the truth is that you can guarantee that a client pays you with a bit of creativity and some hint of aggression.
It's important that you think ahead and put plans in place just in case the client disappoints you by not paying. This is where you need to be ready and creative with the freelance invoice terms. The invoice should have terms that protect you against customers who may not want to pay you.
So, what should you do to guarantee client payment?
First, make it a habit to use signed contracts every time a client wants to hire you. The contract should be legally binding and enforceable. According to the Law Teacher, a contract is proof of commitment between various parties and can be in writing, by conduct or oral.
Ask for deposit
Demanding a deposit is a good way of guaranteeing payment. Even if the client flees with the balance, you will at least have something to show for your work. For most projects, it's advisable to ask for a deposit of 50%, according to the Sexton Group Ltd.
Contact the right person
Next, you ought to find the person under whose docket you should address the invoice. It would be foolish to send an invoice to the wrong person only to demand payment from the right person. Know the right people to follow up all the payments with to reduce the risk of non-payment.
Include overdue fees
Adding overdue fees on the contract and as part of the freelance invoice terms is a highly effective strategy for ensuring that clients pay you the full amount all the time. The overdue fees help when the client ignores the terms you indicated on the contract.
Communicating with the clients is mandatory. Lack of communication fosters the conditions that convince a client to take off with your money. Regular communication plays a great role in the growth of your freelancing business, according to the Australian Institute of Business.
The payment terms should be short. For example, ask the client to settle the invoice in a week instead of 30, 60 or 90 days. Who knows what will happen in a month, two months or three months? It's good to patient, but better to get paid fast.
Therefore, include these freelance invoice terms to guarantee client payment.