One of the crappiest things that can happen to you in your VA business is to have to wait for someone to pay you.
There really isn’t any good way to describe it. I hope you don’t mind!
It causes you stress, worry, anger, upset and a whole host of other emotions.
You might even be ashamed by it. How could you let it happen? Particularly if the client hasn’t paid you for a few months and you are still doing their work.
Let me tell you something – many of us have been there.
I know I have.
I have chased money, and continued to work as the balance owed increased. payment reminder Ugh. What an awful feeling.
So what do you do about it?
You have to stop it.
It’s as simple (and as very complicated) as that.
When you allow a client to delay your payment for work already done, you are teaching them that it’s okay to treat you like that.
When you continue to do tasks for them despite the fact that they haven’t paid you for the previous month, you are telling them that this is an okay thing to do.
Even though in your heart and your head you know it’s NOT.
So unfortunately you have to stop it. Like NOW.
If a client owes you money, cease working for them until their outstanding balance is paid up. Tell them no more work until you get paid.
If a client consistently pays you late every month, then you have to find a way to have a conversation with them so that they pay you on time, when you expect it (what are you payment terms? Mine are ‘upon receipt’, not 14 days later!)
Doing this requires a phone call with the client. A simple payment reminder can be sent via email but when it goes past that, it’s time to get on the phone.
Set up a time to call them (or just call them if that’s easier) and let them know your terms.
If they explain that they don’t have the money, cease work immediately. You are not in business to fund their business.
Consider also having your clients prepay for working with you (on retainer, or just a block of hours that they then use up as needed, whatever works for you).
Even McDonald’s makes you pay for your Big Mac before they give it to you. This is not a foreign business concept.
To run a successful business you have to act like the CEO, and that means holding your clients to the terms of their agreements. Payment for work. That’s the deal.
So… take a deep breath, and make a decision now to put your business first. Contact the client, and get your money.
And then HOLD those boundaries for every new client you bring on (as well as the existing ones)… and you will be a much happier (and wealthier!) business owner.