Recently I was speaking to a contact about cash flow and payment terms after his client had taken an astonishing 15 months to settle their bill. The terms of this were set out upfront as payment within 30 days!
Similarly, I had a client who didn’t pay me for eight whole months over the duration of 2019 and another who still owes a month’s payment dating from last September. Both are businesses that have a turnover above £750,000.
Failures to pay for so long has all manner of consequences for sole traders and smaller businesses and all costs associated with these clients must be covered as well.
Although I was eventually paid from the first client, I’ve decided not to accept any future work from them. I’ve written about why client relationships must be the right fit here.
And as for the one who still owes me from September, I’ve decided to stop investing my time and energy into chasing this payment (it’s not a large enough sum for a debt collection agency to help me) as it’s distracted me from more positive actions and activities for long enough.
It goes without saying I wouldn’t dream of accepting further work from this client either.
Sadly, the reality for many sole traders, freelancers, and writers is that this is routine.
We experience overdue invoices regularly and spend precious time battling with bureaucratic red-tape.
Some have even reported that the financial hardship they experience as a result leaves them with no option but to leave the profession.
Have you experienced late or non-payment? What did you do to resolve this issue?