tenpastmidnight blog

Making hay while the sun shines

Life as a freelancer part 254

I'm currently running around doing work for various clients, and meeting more people who are potential clients or doing proposals for them. This is becoming relatively normal.

What tends to throw things out is when payment doesn't arrive on time. It's a great tradition in England that you give people 30 days to pay, then you have to start chasing payment on the 31st day. It's not mandatory, people, it's an option - you have a grace period of 30 days to make payments, it's not that you have to make payment right at the end of the period.

So, currently I've got a client who's now over a week late making payment for work I did over a month ago, I've also got another invoice due with them next week. If that gets missed I'm in major trouble, rent-wise, at the end of the month. I've been advised recently by some other freelancers going through the same trouble that applying for a winding-up order on the company is a lot more effective than a solicitors letter, which tends to cost more and is pretty ineffective these days. However, it seems a bit drastic and I hope things don't come to that.

As I'm running around trying to get people for a paper prototyping usability study at the moment, I could do without having to chase invoices from a company that should know better. Considering they went through a bad patch at the end of last year, the least they could do is extend a bit of politeness to an even smaller company that is working for them.
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