Last month I was treeeeeemendously busy. This wasn’t just work work. It was admin work. That is, when you work a lot, you have to keep track of it.
It took me about half a day to sort out the invoices alone, plus, given recent scares, chasing accounts departments for assurances that monies will be paid before the end of the month. As Yul Brinner would have said “Etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.”
So, imagine my surprise and delight when the end of the month comes and goes and no one pays me?
Thing is, it’s a tough old time for everyone but I have a strong feeling larger companies are more able to absorb non-payments than freelancers. For me, it’s fairly simple: I borrow money off a mortgage lender so that I can live in my house; I work for people who pay me; I pay the mortgage lender back so that I don’t get thrown out of said house.
You can probably spot the difficulty here. If the people I work for don’t pay me, I can’t pay the mortgage lender, and I get thrown out of my house. I think the same sort of thing happened to a lot of banks, albeit on a slightly larger scale and with less accountability.
So if you have a freelancer on your books, here’s some advice in nice, easily digested bullet points:
- If the freelancer asks for a commitment to a pay date, and you give that commitment, you need to keep it because the freelancer needs to as well. That’s why it’s called a commitment.
- If your accounts person ‘only comes in on a Tuesday’ or ‘just got back from holiday’ – or indeed, has ‘just gone on holiday’ – this is not an excuse, especially if you’ve been copied several times on correspondence.
- If you ‘forgot’ to forward invoices to the accounts department then you deserve to be the middle section of the Human Centipede. Talk about easily digested. Yuk.
Finally, if you think ‘it’s just us’, think again. I have just been let down by three clients and now I’m in a bit of a pickle. So I guess the fourth point should be:
- If you forget to pay a freelancer, it’s entirely possible other clients have too. OK so it’s not a conspiracy but the net effects are similar.
Part of me wants to get even and list the clients’ names publicly on this site, particularly the miscreant who has now let me down twice in a row. But that would be foolish in the extreme. Or would it? Comments and/or large sums of money here please.