What do you do if your invoices aren’t getting paid?
As much as you hope your clients stay up to date on their payments when you invoice them (and maybe your signed contracts even lay out the terms everyone agreed to), in reality you won’t always get paid when you should.
It doesn’t seem to matter if the client is a smaller mom-and-pop shop or a big company (who you’d think has plenty of resources to pay you). There will likely be times when a client either waits a really long time to pay you or flat out doesn’t pay you at all.
Here are some ways the Allies handled situations where their clients weren’t paying the invoices:
We joke that contracts [in the ski] industry mean nothing. No matter how many T’s I cross and I’s I dot, I’ve had so many brands, big and small, straight up default on contracts and just never pay. I’m probably way too lenient on payment terms. They’ll say, Hey, how about we pay you next year for what you’re doing right now, that’s the only way we can fit it into the budget? And I say, Sure, go for it.
In some ways, I’m probably a pushover when it comes to that stuff just because I don’t like to take some crazy aggressive business stance, that’s just not me. And yeah, it’s definitely resulted in us getting screwed. I’ve got a spreadsheet going back probably 15 years that has a very heavy six-figure sum of all the contracts and money that we’re owed that’s just red-lined as, We’re never going to see that. So yeah, that’s definitely been a challenge.
I just recently had a client not pay me and it was a billion-dollar company. They wanted me to start right away but then they didn’t send a deposit for 30 days, which is not typical. A billion-dollar company only paid me the deposit and then went silent on me when they were supposed to pay the rest of the bill, so that was fun. There were a bunch of red flags — I probably should have known better right off the bat.
They did net 30 on the deposit and they never paid the balance.
I ordered materials three different times and they expected me to eat the cost of the materials. It was just a nightmare. And then they went silent for six months.
Then the lady I was dealing with was a new person who came in and was like, We’re different now and everything is good. And I was like, Hey, just to confirm, you have every intent of paying the balance, right? No response. Finally I’m like, Okay, there’s my answer, they don’t have any intent of paying.