Discussion in 'The Aspiring Professionals Forum' started by DFaltPhoto, Sep 9, 2016.
Thanks for that idea. I use PPA and will look into that now!
As of just recently I've been putting a due date of 30 days on their. But It wouldn't hurt to have a T&C giving them an incentive to pay on time. Like a small percentage everyday after 30 days.
Well then how do you get your contracts written?
The work I'm invoicing for isn't something that needs a contract. Like yesterday I invoiced a mag for an image being printed one time. It wasn't an image I'm afraid will be used again or anywhere else so I don't feel a need for a contract. Other things I have been invoicing for are photo assisting work, production assisting work and stuff that doesn't need a contract.
That's the kind of thing that might dissuade clients from working with you. Everyday?! If it were me who's been going so long without due dates, I would keep doing the net30 and see if that makes things steady out a bit.
In addition, terms and conditions are usually for things that outline how the product service will be used/rendered, what is and is not allowed by either party, etc. Just wanted to toss that in there since we've all become a little fixated on the due date dilemma.
I'm not in the photo business but did run a contracting firm for 20 years. I usually had net 30 days on my invoices but that was really something to fill the page. No one pays interest on a $750 invoice or $750,000 invoice unless you sue them which you're not going to do. It's not going to force them to hurry up the payment.
It's really the people you're dealing with. If it was a larger company with an accounting department who regularly only do payments, the invoice would have to be approved by the originator who requested the work that I sent it too first before it went to accounting. So the key is to call that person you sent the invoice too and ask him if he processed it and if not would he do so. If he doesn;t have it handy, ask him if you could email one right now so he can process? In the old days, I would fax or mail, but the trick is to get it done while he's hot to help you (if he is.) If you suspect he's got a problem with your work, be upfront about and clear up the problem. If he actually approved it and it went to accounting, then its how fast that company processes checks and gets them signed.
If my work was for a small company were the buyer just handed it to his secretary to issue the check, I would follow the same procedure. The key is personal relations and persistence, but with a smile. And call. No one pays attention to the terms. So you have to push, but politely.
It is virtually impossible to overstate the magnitude of the folly of this statement. You NEED the services of an attorney if you are in business. It sucks; they're soul-less leeches but if and when you need them, they're the "muscle" that will get your fat out of the fire.
You can put Net 30, or Net 1000,000,000 and payment penalties of 1,000,000,000,000,000% per minute if you want, but the simple fact is that as a small supplier, a big company will pay you when they pay you. It sucks, but it's a fact of life. Some companies respect deadlines and pay on, or ahead of time, but others will take 60 or 90 days. Most aren't trying to gyp you, it's just a matter of them getting to it.
But does at least require a use license, which is a contract.
Do you register your copyrights?
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Good to know Alan! Thanks for that input. Thats pretty much how I have been handling invoices so i feel like I've been doing something right.
Under certain circumstances I have software that produces a license use agreement. These situations are rare with me and the work I have been doing lately. If I shoot a wedding I have a contract and if I sell an image to be used by a large company or printed on a billboard I use FotoQuote Pro to produce licenses. I actually don't register my copyrights. I haven't seen a need to. If someone steals my work which happens all the time it's a use thats so small Its not worth going after.
The problem with being an independent contractor, especially if you have a small consistent group of customers is that you don't have many options if they pay late. If they pay late you could simply not do any more work for them, which means you reduce your income potential unless you find new customers.
If you follow up a late paying customer with a letter from a lawyer, then you risk losing them as a customer. They'll probably pay you and find someone else to do business with.
The only real option is to expand your customer base, and then you can "pick and choose" your customers. But I'm sure being in Hawaii you also have a limited customer pool.
Could always stamp on your invoices "Due Upon Receipt" or"Net 15 days" or "Net 30 days".
I think the first step is just stamping your invoices with something, Before you really need it, might be your best bet. ie, if you really want payment in 30 days, then stamp payment in 15 days.
Just also be prepared to send a reminder of payment at the Net day to the customer, if you want. If you continue to have late paying customers then either get new customers or just deal with it.
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