Get Paid Before You Do Any WorkEver wonder if you could get paid before you do any work?

Chasing money is never fun. Monthly invoicing consumes too many hours. And, there’s a lag between billing and receiving payment.

A few select clients are habitually late with everything, including payment. Other clients may fall on hard times and ignore your requests for payment. As a result, you write off those hours. Ever wonder if you could get paid before you do any work?

Getting paid up front fixes those problems. Your cash flow improves. Plus, time originally spent collecting money is now freed up.

Once a potential client recognizes your value, she eagerly wants to get started. It’s the perfect time to explain your payment policy. Clarify what you expect from your clients and what your clients can expect from you.

Consider your work together as a plane ride. Your new client has a problem which you’re uniquely qualified to solve. It’s similar to someone who wants to travel from New York to Los Angeles. Think of your work as the vehicle; it’s not the destination.

An airline would never book you a seat, send you a bill and then wait to get paid after your trip. You can use that payment system, too. #getpaidwhatyoureworth Click To Tweet

And similar to the airlines, you get paid first. An airline would never book you a seat, send you a bill and then wait to get paid after your trip. You can implement a similar payment system.

The Value of Getting Paid First

What thoughts would you have to let go of so you can start to get paid before you do any work? If you’ve always billed for your services, then you may question this process.

Your job is to educate a potential client about your value. But, talking about how great you are can be uncomfortable. Often I hear, Loren, selling someone else’s service is so much easier. I don’t want to brag or have them think I’m pushy. I never realized this would be so difficult.

The best time to get paid for your work is when a potential client wants your service. That’s when she’s ready to invest. There’s an urgency to start immediately. Basically the sooner she pays, the sooner she benefits.

Think about the value of bottled water. That bottle has greater value when you’re thirsty than after you’ve quenched your thirst. Now if you’ve been in the hot jungle for a couple days with no fresh water, then it’s value is even greater than when you’re leisurely strolling down main street in your home town.

Your value fluctuates

This same concept applies to the value of your services. Your perceived value is fluid. It changes according to the circumstances.

Your service possesses its greatest value before any work is done. Learn to get paid before they start any work. #getpaidwhatyoureworth Click To Tweet

Your service possesses its greatest value before any work is done. Once the job is complete, you’ve quenched her thirst. So your perceived value, and her need, isn’t quite as great. That’s why my clients learn to get paid before they start any work.

Your mindset is the first step to get paid before you do any work, but there are other advantages.

  1. Money for your business. Your cash flow improves. Time spent chasing clients for money is practically eliminated. As a result, you freed up precious hours in your schedule.
  2. You set the boundary. Work begins once you are paid. It’s that simple. Your mind is free to concentrate on your work. No more worries about getting paid, or how much.
  3. Experience counts. Your value increases as you gain expertise.
  4. Better clients. Because you set up a win-win situation, the clients who do pay you up front appreciate your service. You eliminate the high maintenance clients who don’t appreciate what you offer. My clients love this unexpected benefit.
  5. Clients invest in your process. Clients who consider your service as an investment happily follow through on your recommendations and respond to your questions.
  6. Problem resolution. Your clients view you as a resource. She’s more likely to contact you if she perceives a problem rather than hide from you. As a result, you quickly resolve problems before they get out of hand.

Adjust Your MindsetYour greatest value

Your business mindset influences your decision to get paid before you do any work.

Your client expects you to ask for payment. However, discussing your fees may be uncomfortable. It’s a clue that your mindset is getting in the way.

Although discussing your fees and dealing with money may feel uncomfortable right now, it’s possible to change that.

The mindset to get paid before you do any work.

  • Awareness. Acknowledge to yourself that you are uncomfortable asking for payment. Several of your clients may have already reached that conclusion.

  • Create a policy. Create a payment policy that you’re willing to follow. Decide whether you require partial or full payment to begin work. Then clearly let your clients know the work begins once you’ve received payment. Most regrets occur when you make an exception. Especially when someone takes advantage of your generosity.
  • Own your value. Make a list of all your skills and experiences which bring value to your work. Brainstorm everything. Include the special course you took several years ago. It may be the exact thing which solves your clients problem. Keep your list handy as a personal reminder during consultations with potential clients.
  • Network with other entrepreneurs. Sharing information builds confidence. Join a professional networking organization to create a thriving business based on referrals. Attend meetings to practice talking about your business and the value you offer.
  • Practice saying your terms. Use a phrase like Ready to get started? We need to take care of the payment first. Practice saying it like it is part of your enrollment process rather than thinking of it as asking for money.

Practice asking for payment

Practice, practice, practice. Your comfort level increases each time you ask for payment. Remember, your new client wants your help. Eventually getting paid first will be a natural step in your enrollment process.

Discussing your fees may be uncomfortable. It’s a clue that your mindset is getting in the way. #getpaidwhatyoureworth Click To Tweet

Discussing your rates and then asking for payment brings up all kinds of money issues for accounting professionals. It’s a reflection of your self worth and your beliefs. When that’s true, discussing money becomes highly uncomfortable. Discover how you can develop a positive money mindset to confidently discuss your fees.

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