Getting paid is important, crucial to any enterprise’s success.
How long do you think mighty IBM would last if they somehow forgot to invoice and collect from clients? Maybe 90 days before lenders, investors, shareholders, analysts, regulators and others would pull the plug…
So here are a few tips on how to make sure you get paid:
1. make sure you invoice your clients on a timely basis
2. don’t just leave this up to the accounting department, get a copy of the invoice and follow up yourself
3. take some responsibility for collecting
4. sometimes just asking for a check/transfer is enough
5. if you have to, go collect it in person yourself
6. it’s always good practice to really know your clients and know their law firms too
7. if it’s taking too long, keep asking, often
8. if necessary go camp out in their office
9. ask their attorney to intervene
10. contact their suppliers and ask if they have had trouble getting paid and how they got paid
11. ask some of their clients if they’d speak on your behalf
12. if you have to, offer to take payment over time—every month instead of in a lump sum
13. keep calling their accounting department (a lot).
14. maybe offer to help them find new financing/new clients/new revenues so they can pay you (more)
15. offer to take a discount
16. crater their credit rating
17. report them to the Better Business Bureau
18. rate them/review them negatively on industry websites
19. blog about them negatively
20. create a one-person picket line complete with a sign, then call the media, and spread the word via social media too
21. if you can, you register your supply agreement against any property they own in their own name (simple/effective)
22. if you are a realtor, make sure you ask for a large enough deposit to cover your brokerage’s commission, and put in the agreement of purchase and sale or lease or sublease that the deposit is payable to the brokerage in trust pending completion, occupancy or final agreement (whichever comes soonest)
23. finally, if all else fails, you sue them in small claims court (up to $25k in Ontario) where you can represent yourself.
Bruce M Firestone, PhD
Century 21 Explorer Realty Inc broker
Ottawa Senators founder
Real Estate Investment and Business coach
making impossible possible
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