How much chasing after clients for payment do you do?
I'm ready to fire a client. I run a very small farm sitting, per diem type business with a handful of good people who pay me a premium for my time. A popular time slot was reserved for Ms X who has been a PIA trying to chase down the last 2 times for payment. Ms X's time slot is wanted by 2 other clients. I have told Ms X this, and if she cannot be forthcoming with payment, then our relationship is over.
I'm like baseball.. 3 strikes and you're out. So Ms X is on her last 'chance'.
I'm curious to see how other service based businesses approach this matter. I do not work for free in this luxury industry, and I WILL NOT have clients in arrears.
Thanks for the reply. Yes. That is our current 'agreement'. But X asks me for reminders prior to start date, then doesn't pay until the 9th hour, then it's short. This is twice I've had to threaten with not showing up b/c payment wasn't there or was shorted.
All my clients pay at the time of service or in advance BECAUSE I am loathe to chase people down for what is MY money.
Was there a signed agreement? I have my clients sign an agreement that says payment is due BEFORE or at time of services rendered and it is x amount of dollars per day/visit. But the agreement also says that if payment is not given in the appropriate time frame, the price increases 50%. And if a client can't respect me enough to pay me correctly for my services, then I am no longer available to them, end of story.
Signed? no. But there had been emails in which I outlined terms, as you described though I don't add 50%. Because if I can't get the original balance I'm SOL for the additional 50%.
So, what's your timeline of 'respecting you enough to pay you for services'? How/ When do you make that call. This X person has had 2 warnings and only comes through when I threaten with not showing up.
They had the audacity to tell me they were running 'a big corporate business', as if it were an excuse not to pay me. I don't care if your'e Mick Frikken Jagger. Pay me my money you cocksucker!
How many days in advance do you currently confirm with a client that you are available? 3 days? Make your policy payment due by 72 hours prior to farm sitting or it aint happening. If you have an outstanding bill you will not be even penciled in on the calender until it is paid in full.
That's a fabulous idea Renae. If I implement that, then there will be no whining when I don't show up. Terms are defined in advance, and if they can't abide, then too bad, so sad. I know it's going to come to a parting of the ways, but I want to give X every opportunity to be fair.
I think I would have all ready kicked the to the curb. I had a client once that would give me crap about the price each and every time I farm-sat for her. Mind you, she is an instructor and the price I was charging for an entire day of horse care (7 horses with a ridiculously inefficient set-up) was what she charges for an HOUR riding lesson. So after several times of her insulting my abilities by wanting to pay me a crazy low amount and waiting in payment, I just told her I was unavailable. Let someone else get stuck with the crazies!
I only give one warning, then the next times I don't do business with them.
I do find that the people that run/own there own business are the worst to pay. Everyday blue and white collar works are the best. Those that try and show they have money are the worst. I would say that 'X' has money problems if she/he is shorting you all the time. I would not work for them again, just let them know that you are "Sorry but it didn't work out". Don't give any more of a reason.
Are you going to cowboy up or lie there and BLEED?
This is twice I've had to threaten with not showing up b/c payment wasn't there or was shorted.
This makes me think she knows exactly what she's doing. She's not just spacey or put upon. That'd be the end of her for me.
You sound like you've got mostly great clients. Open up that space for another person who pays on time and is not a PITA. Life is too short, man.
I really like Renae's policy. Makes it fair for everyone and keeps your head aches to a minimum.
I would put Mrs. X on notice that in order for you to confirm her timeslot she needs to give you 50% deposit at the time of request and balance due the date care is given. You should also send her notice that starting X date, you will charge interest of (whatever is legal) for any outstanding balances over 30 days... Agree w/ post above that said her policy was any outstanding amounts would have to be paid in full before any additional service would be provided.
I agree with Renae and Ironwood--send an email to everyone -- due to some confusion regarding the timing of payment, please be advised that my policy requires payment in full to be made within X days of making your reservation in order to secure your spot. If payment is not received X days in advance, you will be automatically removed from the calender and your spot will be given to the first person on my waiting list. Happily, business is booming, so I no longer have time to send multiple reservation reminders. Your prompt payment is appreciated.
I am in the service industry too, and it is ALWAYS the rich people who nickle and dime and are late with paying. Everyone else says "thank you" and pays up.