Unpaid freelancers urged to ‘check, chase, choose’

‘Check, Chase and Choose’ is the debut advice of the Small Business Commissioner (SBC) to freelancers left out-of-pocket by clients who aren’t paying.

‘Check’ because clients will not necessarily inform freelancers of “something wrong” with their invoices -- an age-old cause of payment being held up.

‘Chase’ because having determined that the invoice was sent to the correct person, freelancers can then start the third stage of chasing payment.

“Have you called or emailed to say payment is now overdue?” said the commissioner, beginning a checklist of questions to help freelancers pursue the outstanding invoice.

“Have you talked to the company about steps you can take, like charging interest or stopping supply? Have you reminded them that you can take further action?”

It is such further action -- which may include leveraging the late payment legislation -- that freelancers must then ‘Choose’ whether to take.

“Will you gain anything by negotiating a solution with your customer?,” asks the SBC, sounding aware that using the law isn’t ideal if freelancers wish to keep the debtor as a client.

“Are you ready to take action, or do you need more advice?” And finally, he asks, “Have you decided how much time and money you’d be willing to spend to get what you’re owed?”

Despite the importance of assessing the cost of ways to recover the debt, Safe Collections has told FreelanceUK that reputable agencies do not require a fee in advance of retrieving funds.

 

9th March 2018

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