In a previous post, a developer talked about getting stiffed on a lot of money. This specific scenario is one we put in our crosshairs when creating Brilliant Chemistry. How can we prevent this problem?
We have some ideas on what you can do to avoid these situations. These are less about winning a legal battle and more about avoiding it. Here we go:
Work hard. Do your best work. Keep what you do above reproach. When you are unimpeachable, justification of payment is crystal clear.
Be smart. Not every business owner is as honest as you. Not every business owner is as financially savvy as you. Learn to recognize these factors as warning signs:
- Incompetent contract houses between you and the business
- Inconsistent payment methods (Cash, manual check, automatic check)
- Inconsistent payment schedules
- Unclear startup funding
- Conflicting stories from business principals
- If you start to see any of these, be concerned. You have the right to stop working if things aren’t right.
Over-communicate. Send weekly invoices and include a summary of what was done each week in the email. State that you will expect payment on this date.
Find an intermediary that facilitates payments and dispute resolution. Make sure that intermediary offers frequent pay cycles (weekly, if possible).
Stop the blood loss. In the event you aren’t working with an intermediary, you’ll likely be forced to accept the businesses’ payment terms (net30, net60, etc). Stop working when the invoice is past due. Hold on to any deliverables. You have that right. It may be your most effective way to ensure the payment is made.
With luck, you’ll never have to worry about non-payment.