Self employed and not been paid
Self Employed and owed money?
When it comes to paying customers, most will pay on time but most self employed tradesman will encounter a customer who will put off paying on time or refuse to pay at all. If you are Self Employed and not been paid then you have challenging decisions to make.
As a self employed contractor or freelancer, getting paid is vital , therefore it is essential that you know how to react, what your options are and, perhaps most importantly, what not to do.
Stick to your guns
It can be difficult to deal with late or non-paying customers as many businesses are trying to maintain a good reputation. The fact of the matter is that no contractor or self employed person has ever lost a customer simply because they were required to pay for work done or services supplied.
There are numerous reasons for why customers can’t or won’t pay, however, it is important that you stick to your guns and follow the advice below to collect or prevent money owed to you.
It is a reality of any goods and service businesses that unpaid debts are a never ending problem all over the UK and will experience more than once in their career, however, when a debtor disappears without paying their debt this can cause added stress to the creditor.
Going to court and following up non-paying customers can be a solution, although solicitors can be expensive, not to mention time consuming. It’s simply not seen as an option for many.
Unfortunately, going to court is a last resort for some but below is advice on what you can do to prevent the situation reaching that conclusion;
Get it in writing
If somebody instructs you to do work, it is highly advisable to put everything down in writing to protect yourself.
For larger jobs, creating an agreement for every job could be vital. Although it may be time consuming but it could save you hours of stress, not to mention thousands of pounds.
A contract provides you with a legally binding document that has all the details that the customer has agreed on beforehand on what is to be done, for when and how much it will cost.
For example, if you work in the construction trade and are unsure on contracts and where to start, The Federation of Master Builders is a trade organisation that can offer advice and provide access to contract templates you can use for building work.
Do your homework
When providing a service in lieu of payment, you do so in good faith however it really will pay to know if the customer in question has a history of not paying people. You are also entitled to know if they are in a position to pay as you expect just as they are to know you will provide the service as per your agreement at outset.
There is various online credit check companies such as experian.co.uk that might let you check customer’s credit ratings, so you can be sure that you will get paid.
If you have a customer that is deliberately trying to avoid paying you, this article gives some great tips for dealing with a customer that doesn’t want to pay
Another vital part of retrieving money owed to you is to make sure that you’re consistent in everything you do and never give the customer an excuse not to pay, as this could prove to be extremely important further on in the process if things are not resolved.
It is critical that you invoice when you say you would, and that invoices are clear and payment breakdowns are thorough. But keep accurate records of when you send invoices and try to get confirmation of receipt at every opportunity.
You can also try contacting the National Mediation Helpline, which is an alternative dispute resolution service (ADR). This is the place you can sometimes resolve payment matters without having to go down the Legal Debt Recovery route.
Debt Collection Solution
Sometimes, customers will just try to avoid payment altogether and this is where Frontline Collections can assist. Everyday, we recover monies on behalf of Self Employed Tradesmen of all descripts. Whether you are a Self employed Builder that is owed money or a freelance contractor that has not been paid for a website design or copywriting work, using a Debt Collection Agency like Frontline is a extremely cost effective practice compared with expensive Legal action.
Take a big step today towards recovering your unpaid invoices and get a free pre-action assessment of your Small Business Debt Collection claim. We will provide a frank and honest assessment of your problem and can also run a free financial assessment of the debtors ability to pay.