There are many tribulations involved with working as an independent contractor, late-paying clients chief among them. Since most contractors do not draw regular salaries, it’s important for their payments to be processed in a timely and hassle-free manner. When a client is late in submitting a payment or simply forgets about it altogether, this can cause considerable problems for cash-strapped contractors. Independent contractors who are unclear on how to properly address this situation should heed the following tips.
Resubmit Your Invoice
As an independent contractor, it behooves you to promptly submit an invoice once a job is complete. If you simply hang back and wait for a client to request one, you’re going to find yourself waiting for a long time. Conversely, if you submit an invoice in a timely manner and your payment is not processed on the agreed-upon date, it’s possible the client never received it. There are a variety of reasons for this – most notably, oversensitive spam filters. If you suspect this to be the case, simply resubmit your invoice and wait 24 hours for a response. Furthermore, to maintain an air of professionalism, try this template when putting together your invoices.
Confirm That the Invoice Was Received
If resending your invoice fails to produce results, your next step should be confirming that it was received in the first place. This can be done in a number of ways. If you think there’s a problem with your client’s email, simply place a call to your contact at the company. In most cases, there’s a reasonable explanation for why your invoice went unnoticed, so avoid adopting a harsh tone when making this call.
Visit the Client in Person
If the client in question is a local one, consider visiting them in person in the event that you’re unable to get a hold of them by phone or email. Again, there’s more than likely a perfectly valid explanation behind your late payment, so don’t go in looking for a fight. Odds are the client will be accommodating and apologetic, so you’ll need to maintain your professional composure – particularly if you hope to work with them again in the future.
Although there are many perks to working as a contractor, the lack of a regular salary can be daunting. If the amount of money you make wildly fluctuates from month-to-month, it’s only natural that you’d want your payments processed as expediently as possible. In the event of a late payment, taking the previously discussed steps can prove helpful in getting you your money and sorting out any misunderstandings.
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