Unfortunately, a string of clients not paying on time has left us in a very awkward position financially. Not sure whether to attribute it to the downturn in the economy & the global credit crunch, or just to a series of coincidences of bad account management. Either way, it's distracting us completely from our work: the reason people want to hire us, and it means we're finally bringing in our 100% UPFRONT policy for all irregular clients and a €1000 on account for all our regular clients (whereby at the start of every month each regular client's account has to be €1000 in credit). We have no alternative if we want to be able to concentrate on the research and writing and coming up with the ideas. I'd rather scare off a few potentially good clients than have the risk of facing more of this bank account mess. If there's ever an excess in the client's favour, we will refund the money, and I'd rather have it that way that be acting as a short-term lending house for the clients. I've been hassling them all, chasing them in every way I can (including putting the following at the bottom of each progressively nastier email: "When small companies fail, they don’t run out of ideas, products or customers. They simply run out of money. Late Payment is crippling small business." (Patricia Callan, Small Firms Association)), near to fighting with some of them, but still struggling.
So, know this:
If you're hoping we'll do some work for you - you have to put the money our way first. We're not the kind to just grab it and then not bother to do the work ... you'll just have to take my word on that (or you could ask my Dad).
Pic by Mompes http://www.sxc.hu/profile/mompes