Let's talk consultant-business cooperations. For all of you self-employed out there: there's a traditional view for relationships between consultants and businesses, similar of that like business-to-consumer relationships. Meaning: the client is always superior.
Let me clear one thing up: I do not believe this is a healthy view, and you as a self-employed consultant should not accept that.
So, what happens when your "client" - or as I prefer to refer them to: partner, doesn't pay you?
You should always get paid for your work. Period. Don't take shit like this. See, when a business hires me, we have a cooperation. We are equal. I provide them with a service, and they reimburse me for it. Qui pro quo. We build something together.
I recently had a client who was due approx. $8000 for work I've done for them.
I cannot afford to work for free, something I explained to them after three months of reminders, both through email and in chat. They also failed to sign the agreement we had, but I had no reason to not trust them, so I started working anyway.
I think it's very disrespectful to not pay your invoices. We all do it: we pay our rent, our phone bills, we all have them, expenses that is. I pay my suppliers, and I wouldn't think of doing anything else. For me, it's equal to not pay your employees. So, if you're employed: how would you react or handle a situation where your employer doesn't pay your salary? Would you stop going to work?
So, how did I handle it? I cut them off. I took in 3 new clients (who actually pay for my work and signed our deals.) The due invoices are currently being sold to third party so that I can move on, and not waste one more minute on free work, and focus on my current (paying) clients, and have my accountant focused on doing my finances - something I pay her to do. (Hint..🙃)
I'm not a nonprofit. (Although I do put aside 10% of my time to support nonprofits for free.) I'm my own business, and my fee is my salary. The salary I use to pay my dues.
Without it, I cannot continue to run a business.
I cannot help support other businesses with my competence.
I cannot survive.
So to all you self-employed: Stop doing business that's not profitable. You deserve to get paid.
My lesson: don't lift a finger until agreement is signed.
Have you ever had a client who didn't pay their invoice? Share your story and how you handled it in a comment here.