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You'll Be Paid In Our Next Invoice Cycle

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  • You'll Be Paid In Our Next Invoice Cycle

    Bit of a new one with me, a long standing client has attempted to call the shots. First off refusing to pay deposits, and will instead pay at the end of each project (which I can deal with), and secondly, refusing to honour the terms of the invoices that have been set in stone for years.

    According to the client, I am now subject to their Invoice Payment Cycles for every future project, and payments will be made on the next Invoice Reset.

    How to you broach the topic that you're uncomfortable with such a delay in payments, and that their need to call the shots has changed the dynamic of the working relationship.

  • #2
    If it were me, I'd say just that. I'd remind them that I'm a small business, and little cash-flow interruptions like that are difficult. If they insisted on being difficult, I'd likely consider invoice financing for that client, and just charging them the fee for the service via an upcharge on the invoice. That way you'll get the funds as soon as the invoice has been posted.
    Chicago based graphic designer from a little border town in Scotland | Co-Owner of Kom Creative


    • #3
      You need to evaluate your business relationship.
      Over time clients change, policies need to be reviewed, even long-standing relationships.
      You need to determine if it is worth your while to negotiate in order to keep the client.
      You do have to negotiate. It isn't fair to you to do work for which you are not paid promptly. You need to ask them what the necessary procedure is to get on the on-delivery payment schedule. It could just be you are too small a contractor and need a special dispensation of some kind.

      Do you happen to know what changed in the company's dynamic to make this change to cyclic payment?
      Can you negotiate a more contractual work relationship, perhaps a retainer?
      Are you looking at a month delay or quarterly delay?
      Do you submit payment vouchers in order to get paid?

      Since their terms of payment have changed, it is equally right for you to change your terms as well.

      I've dealt with Invoice Payment Cycles, but only on jobs that have a contracted guarantee of payment through government or payment-bonded sources.
      Never on a speculative schedule (like ''if we make enough money this quarter we'll pay you''...) and any job that requires outlay for materials does not even start without a deposit. ''Materials'' includes billable time where you could be working on stuff for paying clients.

      Here is an interesting read. Do some follow up searching on Ted Leonhardt. A lot of this site is behind a pay wall but you should be able to see this article:


      • #4
        You didn't mention what their invoice cycle is. Are we talking days, weeks or months late?

        I only make new clients pay a deposit. My regulars get a bill at the end of each month. On my invoice, I specify that payment is due on the 20th of each month but some companies pay me on the 1st. So I start debt collecting "This payment is now overdue" after the 1st.

        I don't want to be that person that sends debt collection emails on the 21st, but that's just my personal preference.

        Some clients pay me on day of invoicing. They are my favourite clients, but usually they are tiny operations that just like to keep on top of things. If an invoice has to go to an accounts person, the process usually takes longer.

        To broach the subject, you just have to be honest. If they cannot pay on time, then you can suggest they honour the deposit at the start and then you can be more lenient on late payment at the end.
        It is more fun to talk with someone who doesn't use long, difficult words but rather short, easy words like "What about lunch?" Winnie the Pooh






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