Money is often one of the hardest things to deal with when you’re working for yourself or running a business. Whether it’s trying to get paid by clients, or its dealing with paying your subcontractors; I’ve been on both sides of this and it sucks, from whatever position you are in.
Being a freelancer or subcontractor and trying to get paid from a client is one of the least fun things to deal with, especially when invoices are overdue and you are constantly trying to get a hold of them. You did the work and all you want is for them to pay you. Its frustrating. You think, Why’d they hire me if they couldn’t pay, and don’t give me that crap about waiting for your client to pay you first. Really are you running your business on the edge like that? Is that extra couple thousand dollars really going to sink your business?
Yes, all valid points and all too true…
I said to myself from day one that I didn’t want LooseKeys to be the business that says I can’t pay you till I get paid. I’d say I’ve done my best to live up to that… don’t think I’ve used that line on any freelancers yet. But holy crap does it take a long time to get paid especially from some larger companies. After working with some of these larger places you realize that sometimes checks are only written once a month and if your invoice wasn’t in at the right time you’re going to wait another 30 days. And sometimes projects linger on way longer than initially budgeted, with small changes happening for months before they are finished which means you don’t get paid on that project fully until a lot later than you had planned. Sometimes projects get killed or delayed part way though the process and you get left on the hook paying out of pocket for subcontractors.
When those sort of hiccups happen it can put a strain on paying your sub-contractors, no matter how well you planned. And you find yourself, using the I’ll pay you when I get paid line because the bank account is low, you have to make payroll and those subcontractors get pushed to the side, even though they were critical in getting the job done. When this happens you’ll have the freelancer asking you where their money is while you’re trying to get the money from the company you were hired by so you can pay yourself and them. I’m sure your client is trying to get money from their clients too. It’s this big stress issue and when you’re stuck in the middle, it’s awful.
As a result of being on both sides of this now I’ve learned to be a little more polite and forgiving when I’m waiting on payment. I hate getting those emails so I’m sure the client hates them too. I now understand that every company struggles every once in a while to get paid by clients. There are times when something goes wrong or they just forgot, so it’s good to check-in on an invoice but don’t hound people, it makes them not want to work with you down the line.