Do you do freebies?

Do you do freebies?

Do you find you are working for nothing when you should be charging?

Do you end up doing freebies that really ought to be invoiced?

Do your friends ask you for something for which they really should be paying?

Do clients keep asking for advice and never pay, then keep asking further questions, with the result that you feel you can’t bill them until they are satisfied, and that point never seems to arrive!

You are not alone; it happens to all of us. We are not happy but are too nice to mention it. In fact, if we are really honest, we don’t know how to raise it.

Well, there are ways around it, though all of them mean that you have to say that you need to be paid.

You must say to these freeloaders right at the start that your advice is tainted. It is tainted because your advice has not been paid for.

If your advice is paid for, you have a professional duty of care to get it right.  But, if you have just given the advice for free, you don’t have the same duty of care, even though naturally you will always want to get it right.

Much more importantly, if you are being paid, you can afford to put aside the time required to ask all the questions and to make certain you give the correct advice.  Again, the real beneficiary is the recipient.

With these clients, in fact with most of them, the obvious solution is to agree a monthly retainer. A fee you charge each month for normal advice. You agree at the start what is normal advice and explain that anything outside this is billed separately.  It makes life easier for both of you.  You know you have a regular income from this client and are therefore happier to help them, while they know that there won’t be a nasty bill coming in at some future date.

It sounds simple doesn’t it?  It is, but only as long as you set this up at the beginning of your relationship.  Other professions do it, people do recognise and accept it. For example, go to a solicitor on a legal matter, they will ask for an advance along with your signature on a letter covering just about everything.

You don’t need to be this serious, however, you just explain at the beginning that you are going to set up a monthly payment plan. I do it through PayPal, it is simple for both of us.

That’s Think Cash!

© Tony Dalton