In the modern era there are a lot of ways to find companies and individuals to work on projects. You can get someone to work on your website, make a costume or pretty much anything you want from next door or from the other side of the world. The problem comes when you are the person that makes something or does a service and doesn’t get paid. Here are some tips to help you get the money that you’re owed.
Have a policy in place
It doesn’t matter if you’re an individual or a company – make it clear by having a policy. For example, if someone doesn’t pay on time you can impose a fine. This should be clearly stated in any contract but equally you should discuss this so the client is clear on this and agrees to it.
A phone call, online video call system or face to face meeting is more effective than an email as these are harder to ignore. Ideally this should be done as soon as the payment is overdue. Keep it reasonable and polite – in some cases it may simply be the client had forgotten and you don’t want to create needless tension.
If they fail to contact you need to send a formal letter reminding them that legally they should pay 8% interest on top of what they owe due to it being an overdue payment (this interest can vary in different countries).
If this doesn’t result in a client repaying you then you should warn them that you will be seeking legal action. However, you should only say this if you intend to go to court, otherwise this is an empty threat and will be ignored. While this should be a last resort it is still important to clarify this.
Likewise be wary of making threats such as removing a website that a client owns – this should only be done after serving a notice. Also be wary of badmouthing clients on social networks – this is likely to reflect badly and while you may get some short term sympathy it may harm the image of your business in the long term.
Often the advice with contracts is that “prevention is better than cure”. As much as possible do your research about your clients and have a well written contract. This is where a legal representative can help – ensuring that you make it clear what service you expect and what penalties will occur if people don’t pay.
Of course this is not always the case – this is why it is vital to get the right representation. We offer a service that is both specialised but also offers the personal touch you need when going through a stressful time. For more information on how we can help please contact us today.