If You Are A Professional You Should Never Apologise For Asking For Money

05-08-2013 09:00 AM

A lesson your learn fast in business is that most customers (however nice they are) don’t want to pay you, either what the job costs, when you need paying, or in rare cases to pay you at all.
Most small business owners, especially one-man-bands find the money part of business hard to deal with and in particular the part about getting paid. So I want to get this skunk on the table and promise you that asking for money from clients is like learning to ride a bike, once you figure it out then you’ll never have to learn again.
Rule 1 - Never Apologise. You know the line “I’m sorry but I need paying” STOP NOW!
You run a business not a charity, if you don’t get paid then there will be no business and probably no home. When it comes to asking clients for money then you need to be matter-of-fact about it. At the end of the job, then simply send your invoice clearly stating that the job is complete and you need paying… in some cases when masters are involved then you need paying before they get the work, so again you simply ask them for payment before that happens. No apology, simply “the policy is that masters don’t leave until the bill is settled”.
Now at this point most reasonable people will pay you, some will come out with a whole host of excuses for not paying you, anything from not having a new cheque book to having the key to their safe eaten by a unicorn. This isn’t your problem and you’ll be surprised how many clients suddenly stumped up the money when they realise you ain’t going to budge.
Now I know that some of you are thinking, will they come back and use me again if I have strict payment policies - in my experience the answer is yes they will. However if they don’t, then how long do you think your business is going to survive working for clients who are bad when it comes to paying you?
I’m happy to say that most of my clients understand and appreciate the value of my work and that I need to eat and pay the rent, sometimes they don’t pay immediately, on those occassions I call and find out that they’ve really forgotten or there’s been a minor issue, a quick chat and it is sorted.
You’re a professional, if anyone who wants to work with you thinks you are expensive then they should try and amateur… they cost a lot more!