Re: Getting a client to pay?

Subject: Re: Getting a client to pay?
From: "S Ryan" <sryan -at- sryan -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 25 Oct 2001 16:39:57 -0700

I fear that the Client From Hell (CFH) is a rite of passage for all
contractors. Folks here have put forth a variety of good suggestions for
dealing with this particular form of low-life. There are a few things I
would add:

In the future, add a bit in your contracts that states that copyright is
transferred only upon payment. If said work is published prior to copyright
transfer, there is an additional copyright transfer fee. This not only gives
them a financial incentive to pay you early and often, but if the business
goes under, you are a lot farther ahead in line than you would be as a
random creditor. You own part of the assets they will be trying to sell.

When you speak to your lawyer, be clear about the amount in question and
also be clear with the lawyer about how much things will cost in fees, time
and grief. Decide for yourself exactly how far you will go. Once you set the
litigation process going, it's easy to get caught up in it and spend far too
much of your own personal resources (time, $, and trouble) than it's worth.
Believe me. I come from a family of lawyers. I've seen it happen many times.

Lastly, I would suggest that you get someone to do some part-time work for
you as a bookkeeper. I have a wonderful person. She is a fabulous lady from
Texas who used to run a collections agency. Deadbeat clients call and say
how much they like her, and believe me, she gets them to pay. In full. I
have no idea how she does it, but I'm happy to pay her for the few hours a
week it takes. Having someone else do this for you, a "business manager" or
whatever, really impresses some clients into paying. And, it's a
tax-deductible expense.

Best of luck with your CFHs.

S Ryan
Writer & Editor

"Niente senza gioia"

sryan -at- sryan -dot- com

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