We’ve all been there. You put in plenty of hours in good faith to perform legal services for a client, you send the bill, and when it comes due…crickets.
Late payments have become so common, in fact, that most of us just think of it as a fact of life. Need proof? Consider the following:
Of course, these statistics account for all different types of late payments, but they still suggest a disturbing pattern: Roughly one-quarter to one-third of us are paying bills late, but nearly two-thirds of small businesses—the ones who probably need payment the most—are paying the greater price for these delinquencies.
However, despite what these numbers tell us, you shouldn’t live by the assumption that your clients will pay late. As a professional performing dutiful services for your clients, you have the right to expect your clients to pay you—in full and on time.
Why You Shouldn’t Enable Late Payment or Nonpayment
Cash flow is the life-blood of any business, but for small but growing firms, any disruption of cash flow can cause serious problems. Here’s why you need firm boundaries with your clients when it comes to payment.
All that said, there are ways to ensure timely payment while maintaining your professionalism and without being confrontational, and we’ll soon discuss some strategies for doing so. For now, know that by setting fair expectations early in the relationship, then taking steps to solidify your payment process, you can effectively avoid becoming one of the 64 percent of businesses who struggle with late payments.