TechWhirl (TECHWR-L) is a resource for technical writing and technical communications professionals of all experience levels and in all industries to share their experiences and acquire information.
For two decades, technical communicators have turned to TechWhirl to ask and answer questions about the always-changing world of technical communications, such as tools, skills, career paths, methodologies, and emerging industries. The TechWhirl Archives and magazine, created for, by and about technical writers, offer a wealth of knowledge to everyone with an interest in any aspect of technical communications.
Subject:Re: Bad Employers/Clients List From:Peter Gold <pgold -at- NETCOM -dot- COM> Date:Tue, 6 May 1997 12:09:52 -0700
[snipped posting about long delays of payment]
When I was an independent "freelance" photographer, I'd sometimes have
long delays in payment from large companies. Years later I learned that
in business schools, it's common to be taught that smaller independent
contractors are the ideal source of free loans; the simple method is to
delay paying them as long as possible. Whey the contractors become
argumentative or threaten action, give them another job; they need the work.
I thought things *seemed* to work this way because I was paranoid, but it
looks like while I was learning to be a photographer, someone else was
learning to create better return on investment.
During that same period I learned about "factors," people who buy your
receivables for a discount, and they collect the payments. Example: You
bill $1,000. The factor gives you $920 (8% discount) right away if they
think it's a good account to collect. You get 1%, 2%, 3% more when they
collect in 90, 60, or 30 days. I may have the numbers slightly off, but
you get the idea. You have money in your pocket NOW. They had an ad of a
three-ring circus in full action; the copy was something like: "Everybody
in this ad got paid the next day. The trapeze artists, magicians, clowns,
copywriter, art director, etc., all down the line....We can do this for you,
too. Just give us a call. We're sitting here on our wallets."
Know your customers, have a contract, get some money up front.