So you’re a blogging extraordinaire now. You’re getting paid work, making money, doing your thing and all of a sudden one of your invoices is late. Perhaps your cashflow is a little precarious, or maybe you just want to receive the money that you are owed in a timely manner. We’ve got you covered!
How to deal with late payments
Chasing payments can feel a little bit daunting, but here are some easy tips to follow to make it easier on yourself.
The invoice date has passed and you haven’t been paid
If the terms of your invoice have passed, and you have not received your payment, or an expected date for your payment, then start with a polite chase.
You can keep it breezy and friendly. Just state that you haven’t received your payment yet and wondered if it could be chased up with the accounts department. If you know that there isn’t an accounts department you can just chase up and check when the payment was sent.
The promised date has passed and the payment still hasn’t arrived
If you’ve already chased your invoice, and received an expected date, and this hasn’t arrived then stay calm and polite. Keep your email factual. State that the promised date has passed and unfortunately the money hasn’t arrived. From here you can provide a date that you want the payment to be received by, perhaps offering 1-2 extra weeks as a grace period.
Still nothing has happened.
If you’ve been chasing, and follow-up chasing, and nothing has happened, then consider locating a telephone number to ring the person or company who owes you money. Often a polite telephone chaser makes you a higher priority for someone. After all it is significantly easier to ignore an email than a telephone call and chasing by phone, or even asking to speak to the accounts department, can see your payment suddenly become a top priority.
The last resort to try to get paid
If you’ve exhausted your options by email, and by telephone, then next you can proceed to the small claims court. This should be used as a final option, but if you’re not being paid, and there is no sign of any money, then this is a sensible decision for your business.
You can apply to the County Court when you’re owed money by a business or individual. You can make a claim online, if you’re claiming for a fixed amount of money. Before you file your claim then you need to send a letter before action. This will make it clear that you’re serious about proceeding to court.
Always remember that with a court case you could lose, and the court could rule that you won’t receive your money, or that you should pay the other parties costs. This is why it is important to try and persuade the individual or company to pay you before you have to use claims court as your last resort.
Remember that this is YOUR MONEY that you are owed. You’ve completed the work, as agreed, and you have been let down. Always keep records of calls you’ve made and all email correspondence in case you need it to proceed to work.
Always make it clear, before proceeding with work, what your payment terms are. For blog content and social media posts a good idea is 30 days. This gives businesses enough time to set you up on their systems, and ensure that your payment is made on time. However, some businesses work to 45-90 day terms, and by checking upfront you know exactly what to expect.