How to Deal With a Late Payment from a Client

Because of the ever-changing nature of the current job market, gainful fulltime employment has become difficult to come by. In order to cut costs, many companies have elected to take on contractors and put a freeze on fulltime hires. As a result, a growing number of professionals have become contractors. Some of these individuals receive most of their work from one or two clients, while others work with a large number of enterprises. Due to the nature of the “gig economy”, most contractors are unable to rely on regular paychecks. Instead, they’re paid per assignment, and the task of putting together and sending out invoices generally falls squarely on them. Unfortunately, not all clients can be depended on to process payments in a timely manner. While contacting a client in response to a late payment may make you uncomfortable, there’s no reason to approach the situation with a sense of dread. Armed with the following tips, you’ll know exactly what to do the next time a payment isn’t processed on the agreed-upon date.

How to Deal With a Late Payment from a Client

Send a Friendly Email to Your Contact at the Company

Although late payments can be frustrating, you’d do well to remember that more often than not, there’s a perfectly reasonable explanation behind them. As such, before flying into panic mode, take care to send a friendly email to your contact at the company. Odds are your invoice was detected as spam or your initial email simply escaped your contact’s gaze. In most cases, one quick reminder is all it takes to get a late payment processed posthaste. Additionally, make sure your invoice gives off an air of professionalism. Contractors in the market for a winning invoice template are encouraged to download this professional estimate for free.

Call Your Contact

In the unlikely event that your contact doesn’t respond to your email, give him or her a call. In all likelihood, their lack of a response is due to an overactive spam filter on their end. If you’ve never spoken to this person on the phone, the prospect of doing so may make you nervous, but if email communication has become impossible, a quick call is your best option.

Hold off on Future Work

If multiple emails and phone calls fail to elicit any sort of response, considering holding off on future work until such time as the payment is processed. Even if the lack of response is due to a technical error on the client’s end, doing business with a company that can’t be troubled to pay you for your work is a no-win situation. If one week passes without a response from the client or receipt of your payment, put a hold on any jobs you’re currently working on for them.

No contractor relishes contacting a client in regards to a late payment. However, if a payment isn’t processed on a date that you both agreed upon, you have little recourse but to get in touch with the client. Although many contractors are understandably hesitant to do so, it’s important to realize that you have every right to make inquiries about a late payment. The next time you find yourself troubled by an unprocessed payment, take care to utilize the pointers discussed above.

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