My customers are paying their bills late!


http://freelanceswitch.comGetting Paid by Freelance Clients

Freelancers have the most unusual type of obstacles when it comes to getting their clients to pay them. Beyond customers going M.I.A. or claiming they forgot, sometimes freelancers find clients refusing payment because they are unsatisfied with the work or not sure if it’s what they wanted. Yet, the work was done, so you deserve to be paid. End of story.

As a freelancer, you need to take proper and effective precautions to make sure you don’t find yourself in a position where a customer is paying you late or not even paying you at all.

1. Do Your Research

Get to know as much as you can about a client before you agree to do business with them. Get references from people who have worked with them and even pull a business credit report on a client if necessary. You must find a way to verify their financial behavior. You don’t want to bother wasting your time with someone who is notoriously a deadbeat.

2. It’s About the Contract

Never do any work on a freelance basis without having a well-structured, detailed contract. Although this takes time to prepare, it can end up saving you time (and huge amounts of money) in the end. Verbal agreements, handshakes, etc., these kind of agreements will never be enough. You need it ALL in writing.

You need to make the customer sign to the fact that, basically, they won’t be wishy-washy.

Be sure the contract specifies exactly what the payment terms are. Do they owe you money up front? When is the exact due date of the payment? And of what amount? Don’t leave any room for questions. Make sure a customer knows exactly when and how much they have to pay and signs to acknowledge this.

Include in the contract that “opinionated oppositions” will not be accepted. Specify that customers are paying for the service provided regardless of final reactions and that you are promising to deliver the service to the best of your ability in line with everything they ask.

Include in a note that if a customer decides that the original service was not what they had intended, or if they’ve changed their mind, that is to be considered a separate process and transaction. You need to make the customer sign to the fact that, basically, they won’t be wishy-washy. This video provided by the “Don’t Get Screwed Over”campaign highlights exactly what I mean by “wishy-washy”.

3. Utilize the Invoice

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Office Romance: Would You Sign a Contract to Date a Colleague? ***HoT***

Sound too simple? Not really. According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, 11,364 charges were filed alleging sexual harassment in the workplace last year. Alan Lesnewich, a partner at law firm Fisher & Phillips, told Forbes the contract is a preemptive approach to avoid any vengeance that might surface if an office relationship should sour. “The advantage of a love contract is that you have a document to point to in addition to your normal second line of defense,” he said.

In a new survey by CareerBuilder.com, 38% of workers admitted to dating a colleague at least once during their careers. Another poll by Vault.com found that last year 59% of respondents claimed to date a co-worker at least once.

Lisa Friel, vice president of sexual-misconduct consulting and investigations at T&M Protection Resources, told Forbes a 2010 study in the Hastings Law Journal found that 4 out 10 employers admitted to ignoring office-relationship policies because they are difficult to monitor. “It’s never a good idea to have a policy you can’t enforce, or you set yourself up for legal issues,” she said.

Lesnewich said he’s never seen a love contract tested in court, but suggested there are loopholes: participants could claim that he or she was coerced into signing a contract and also that the agreement doesn’t protect future occurrences.

Friel touts love contracts, which have been around for about eight years, as a method to e


Frederic Cirou / PhotoAlto / Getty Images

FREDERIC CIROU / PHOTOALTO / GETTY IMAGES

Workplace romances are no new phenomenon. Most offices have undoubtedly seen their share of co-working couples, torrid love affairs and sordid scandals. But in the latest effort to curb the (sometimes) messy aftermath of those relationships, some companies are enforcing “love contracts.”

Rather than prohibiting office romances altogether, the love-contract policy requires both participants to sign off that the relationship is consensual, with full understanding of the company’s sexual-harassment policiesForbes reports.

(MORE: Does Online Dating Make It Harder to Find ‘the One’?)

Sound too simple? Not really. According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, 11,364 charges were filed alleging sexual harassment in the workplace last year. Alan Lesnewich, a partner at law firm Fisher & Phillips, told Forbes the contract is a preemptive approach to avoid any vengeance that might surface if an office relationship should sour. “The advantage of a love contract is that you have a document to point to in addition to your normal second line of defense,” he said. Leer más “Office Romance: Would You Sign a Contract to Date a Colleague? ***HoT***”

Turning All Clients Into Dream Clients (or Common Client Difficulties)

Clients can be tough… real tough. Working side by side with some clients can be an agonizing experience — an experience so painful that you often wonder what exactly you have gotten yourself into. On the other hand, some clients are an absolute dream to work with. Every day spent working with them reminds you why you became a Web designer and just how enjoyable your job actually is. The question then is, how do we take our most difficult clients and turn them into dream clients? The answer may be easier than you realize.

Clients often require a bit of hand-holding. When dealt with correctly, this is not too overwhelming; it just calls for some simple guidance. You may be surprised by how a few extra emails here and there can make a world of difference. Outlined here are some of the most common client difficulties our Twitter followers have run into and how to best resolve them.
Common Client Difficulties
Doesn’t Know What They Want

Tweet-1 in Turning All Clients Into Dream Clients (or Common Client Difficulties)
“They have no idea what they want!” (@daveom)

More often than none, clients have no idea what they want and look to you for your expertise. For a designer, it can be annoying. Then again, how many times have you been to a restaurant and had no idea what to order and asked for a recommendation? Clients are no different. They are looking for recommendations, not fixed solutions. Talk it over with them, get all the details, and then start making educated recommendations. As ideas start to bounce around, one will hit home and provide a base from which to work.

It takes a great deal of patience, but getting all of the necessary information and building a solid starting point will not only help you throughout the project, but also reassure the client that they made the right decision.
Feels Left Out of Process

Tweet-2 in Turning All Clients Into Dream Clients (or Common Client Difficulties)
“They never feel ‘in the loop’ — so to solve this, I try to call them each week for an update and a chat.” (@jaaved)

Communication is the foundation of any successful client relationship. When this foundation starts to slip, the relationship begins to crumble. Starting a project on the same page as the client is easy, but staying on the same page throughout the project requires tenacity.

At the beginning of each project, create a calendar outlining a timeline of events for the project. The calendar should explain when the client can expect certain tasks to be completed and when they will need to provide certain information. A calendar is just the start to keeping the client in the loop; it should be followed up with regular emails and phone calls. If you are making a change that will take up to a day or two, send a quick email to let the client know. A quick email takes only a minute to send, and it assures the client that you are indeed working. Simple and small efforts such as these keep the client happy and informed of the entire process.


Clients can be tough… real tough. Working side by side with some clients can be an agonizing experience — an experience so painful that you often wonder what exactly you have gotten yourself into. On the other hand, some clients are an absolute dream to work with. Every day spent working with them reminds you why you became a Web designer and just how enjoyable your job actually is. The question then is, how do we take our most difficult clients and turn them into dream clients? The answer may be easier than you realize.

Clients often require a bit of hand-holding. When dealt with correctly, this is not too overwhelming; it just calls for some simple guidance. You may be surprised by how a few extra emails here and there can make a world of difference. Outlined here are some of the most common client difficulties our Twitter followers have run into and how to best resolve them.

Common Client Difficulties

Doesn’t Know What They Want

Tweet-1 in Turning All Clients Into Dream Clients (or Common Client Difficulties)
“They have no idea what they want!” (@daveom)

More often than none, clients have no idea what they want and look to you for your expertise. For a designer, it can be annoying. Then again, how many times have you been to a restaurant and had no idea what to order and asked for a recommendation? Clients are no different. They are looking for recommendations, not fixed solutions. Talk it over with them, get all the details, and then start making educated recommendations. As ideas start to bounce around, one will hit home and provide a base from which to work.

It takes a great deal of patience, but getting all of the necessary information and building a solid starting point will not only help you throughout the project, but also reassure the client that they made the right decision.

Feels Left Out of Process

Tweet-2 in Turning All Clients Into Dream Clients (or Common Client Difficulties)
“They never feel ‘in the loop’ — so to solve this, I try to call them each week for an update and a chat.” (@jaaved)

Communication is the foundation of any successful client relationship. When this foundation starts to slip, the relationship begins to crumble. Starting a project on the same page as the client is easy, but staying on the same page throughout the project requires tenacity.

At the beginning of each project, create a calendar outlining a timeline of events for the project. The calendar should explain when the client can expect certain tasks to be completed and when they will need to provide certain information. A calendar is just the start to keeping the client in the loop; it should be followed up with regular emails and phone calls. If you are making a change that will take up to a day or two, send a quick email to let the client know. A quick email takes only a minute to send, and it assures the client that you are indeed working. Simple and small efforts such as these keep the client happy and informed of the entire process. Leer más “Turning All Clients Into Dream Clients (or Common Client Difficulties)”

12 Ways the Tech Industry Is Screwing You (and How to Fight Back)

You can’t install the apps you want on your smartphone. You can’t play the movies you bought on your PC. You can’t even walk into a store without getting upsold, enrolled, restocked, and recalled. Welcome to the world of tech in 2010, where your phone doesn’t work–and companies tell you that “you’re holding it wrong.”

Just because you venture into the tech marketplace with a credit card in your hand doesn’t mean you deserve to get screwed. Check out these 12 ways that the tech industry is pulling a fast one on you–and learn how to fight back.
Ridiculous Restocking Fees

Bought a laptop and realized it wasn’t for you? No problem, you can return it within 30 days–that’ll be $150, please.

Restocking fees are an easy way for vendors to make a tidy profit from a consumer’s buying misstep. The rationale for such fees may be to discourage cheapskates who have no intention of keeping a device from buying it, using it for a short time–say, for the length of a vacation–and then returning it; but the practical result is that you can get slapped with a fee ranging from 10 percent to 25 percent of the purchase price just for the privilege of returning a gadget you’re not happy with.

For example, Best Buy charges 10 percent for iPhone returns; 15 percent for opened laptops, projectors, digital cameras/camcorders, and GPS systems; and 25 percent for any special-ordered item. Amazon.com, Sears, and Newegg all charge a 15 percent restocking fee for computers and electronics, though each vendor’s specific rules vary–for example, Sears charges only if the returned item doesn’t include the original packaging, whereas Newegg dings you for anything you return after opening it.

Take the restocking fees into consideration before you buy. It’s illegal in some states to charge a restocking fee without notifying you in advance, but the notification could be buried in the return policy on the back of your receipt, so ask a salesperson before you swipe your credit card. You might discover that the $5 you save by buying a product from a particular vendor could be negated by the $50 it charges as a restocking fee. Buying a gift? Get a gift card if there’s any chance that the recipient might want to return the item you’re tempted to choose.


Whether you seek out cutting-edge tech gear or keep to a strict budget, the tech industry has ways to nickel-and-dime you out of your hard-earned cash. Here’s how to fight back.

Patrick Miller, PC World

You can’t install the apps you want on your smartphone. You can’t play the movies you bought on your PC. You can’t even walk into a store without getting upsold, enrolled, restocked, and recalled. Welcome to the world of tech in 2010, where your phone doesn’t work–and companies tell you that “you’re holding it wrong.”

Just because you venture into the tech marketplace with a credit card in your hand doesn’t mean you deserve to get screwed. Check out these 12 ways that the tech industry is pulling a fast one on you–and learn how to fight back.

Ridiculous Restocking Fees

Bought a laptop and realized it wasn’t for you? No problem, you can return it within 30 days–that’ll be $150, please.

Restocking fees are an easy way for vendors to make a tidy profit from a consumer’s buying misstep. The rationale for such fees may be to discourage cheapskates who have no intention of keeping a device from buying it, using it for a short time–say, for the length of a vacation–and then returning it; but the practical result is that you can get slapped with a fee ranging from 10 percent to 25 percent of the purchase price just for the privilege of returning a gadget you’re not happy with.

For example, Best Buy charges 10 percent for iPhone returns; 15 percent for opened laptops, projectors, digital cameras/camcorders, and GPS systems; and 25 percent for any special-ordered item. Amazon.com, Sears, and Newegg all charge a 15 percent restocking fee for computers and electronics, though each vendor’s specific rules vary–for example, Sears charges only if the returned item doesn’t include the original packaging, whereas Newegg dings you for anything you return after opening it.

Take the restocking fees into consideration before you buy. It’s illegal in some states to charge a restocking fee without notifying you in advance, but the notification could be buried in the return policy on the back of your receipt, so ask a salesperson before you swipe your credit card. You might discover that the $5 you save by buying a product from a particular vendor could be negated by the $50 it charges as a restocking fee. Buying a gift? Get a gift card if there’s any chance that the recipient might want to return the item you’re tempted to choose. Leer más “12 Ways the Tech Industry Is Screwing You (and How to Fight Back)”

Freelance Contracting with International Clients

It used to be that freelancers were limited to the cities we live in for clients. On occasion, some freelancers could land clients and handle projects through mail, but most companies preferred to work with someone based nearby. Technology has improved since then, letting most freelancers take on clients no matter whether they’re around the corner or on the other side of the globe. It’s a good thing: we get access to more work and, quite often, higher pay rates than we could get locally.

But there are a few considerations to look at before freelance contracting for international clients. These considerations don’t mean that you shouldn’t take on clients outside of your own country, of course — it’s a matter of making sure that working with those overseas clients (and getting paid) is as easy as when you can just walk down the block and knock on the client’s door.
Keep Communications In Order


It used to be that freelancers were limited to the cities we live in for clients. On occasion, some freelancers could land clients and handle projects through mail, but most companies preferred to work with someone based nearby. Technology has improved since then, letting most freelancers take on clients no matter whether they’re around the corner or on the other side of the globe. It’s a good thing: we get access to more work and, quite often, higher pay rates than we could get locally.

But there are a few considerations to look at before freelance contracting for international clients. These considerations don’t mean that you shouldn’t take on clients outside of your own country, of course — it’s a matter of making sure that working with those overseas clients (and getting paid) is as easy as when you can just walk down the block and knock on the client’s door.

Keep Communications In Order Leer más “Freelance Contracting with International Clients”

8 Essential Steps of Handling Web Design Projects

So, you have a shiny new client. Time to start a new project with them. What to do? What are the first steps? Do you jump right into the job after an OK email – does that have the legal weight as a contract? There are many things you must do to get the project rolling until you get paid: From a services contract to the final payment.

In this article, I take you through the steps to do so. One friendly reminder, you can add your own steps here, these are the steps I usually follow and have been doing so for the last few years as a freelancer.


So, you have a shiny new client. Time to start a new project with them. What to do? What are the first steps? Do you jump right into the job after an OK email – does that have the legal weight as a contract? There are many things you must do to get the project rolling until you get paid: From a services contract to the final payment.

In this article, I take you through the steps to do so. One friendly reminder, you can add your own steps here, these are the steps I usually follow and have been doing so for the last few years as a freelancer.

8 Essential Steps of Handling Web Design Projects Leer más “8 Essential Steps of Handling Web Design Projects”