In the freelancing world, it's common for some clients to take off with your money. You ought to have a plan just in case this befalls you. Without a plan, you would struggle trusting other clients, even if they prove that they mean well for your business. It's true that nothing is easy when doing freelancing work. Collecting a freelance unpaid invoice isn't something you would expect to be easy or straightforward. Nonetheless, you can make the process as painless, stress-free and straightforward as possible by continuing to read below.
Approach client with all the facts
The first thing you ought to do is have all the facts. This begins with keeping proper records of all the freelance work you have done for the customer. Getting your facts right also has to do with checking if the invoice is accurate. You also need to confirm that you actually sent the invoice. It's important for you to only begin following up with the client after ascertaining that the due date is passed yet he hasn't made any payment. Therefore, set reminder systems to avoid making such mistakes, according to the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.
How much grace period does the client have?
Next, you ought to know how much time you should give the customer before contacting him about unpaid invoices. Many freelancers give their customers a week or two before picking the phone to call and demand payment. Some freelancers have no problem contacting the customer a few days to the due date to remind him that payment is expected. It's your prerogative to pick whatever you find suitable. According to AppointmentPlus, timing proves that you have improved your ability to make good decisions.
How to approach the client
When the due date has come and gone without any communication from the client, you will be free to establish contact with him. It's a good business practice to start with email. According to British Broadcasting Corporation, emails are great tools for communicating with clients because they reach the intended person extremely fast and can be sent 24/7. Moreover, you can send them to one or more people. More importantly, emails are cheap. Therefore, start with emails before opting for other more aggressive sources.
Lastly, remember that your goal is to find settlement for all the freelance unpaid invoices. The goal isn't to lose more money. Therefore, try to be as civil as possible in all your correspondence with the client who is yet to pay you. Send several emails before moving on to the phone if the payment is way past the due date. Learn to take control of the bad situations that could make a customer take off before paying you. Once the customer pays, spend time talking with him about changes that are required to prevent such scenarios from occurring ever again.