A common challenge among freelancers is how and when to take payments upfront.
Most people in business will agree that taking payments upfront is a surefire way to safeguard your cash flow. And safeguarding your cash flow is an absolute must if you’re freelancing. After all, the chances are it’s just you in charge of the money coming in – you don’t have a back office accounts team at your beck and call!
The problem might be, however, that you feel you can’t ask for payment upfront in case you ‘offend’, or in case you put off potential clients. It feels like the done thing to do the work first and then ask for payment afterwards.
That might be the way every other freelancer does it in your particular niche, but it doesn’t have to be a given.
And if you don’t like the idea of actually asking for upfront payments, you don’t have to, yet still get the payment anyway.
How so? By putting systems in place which make the process of collecting payments much easier.
The first step is to create service packages – see my previous post here on the blog “The non-salesy guide to selling a service”. This creates easily identifiable packages that potential clients can easily choose from.
The second step is to obviously monetise the package. Don’t be tempted to under sell yourself here. People will always pay for value, so rather than sell cheaply, bundle something extra.
The third step is to put your packages into PayPal, and then follow the instructions to install payment buttons on your website. (There are similar providers such as Worldpay. Some have set up fees, so check them out to see whether they are suitable for you. The benefit of PayPal is that it’s free to set up and you simply pay fees based on usage).
I can’t think of a single freelance business that this process won’t work for – at least for some aspects of the service that you provide. If you can think of one, or have tried and it hasn’t worked, let me know.
Otherwise, why not try it and see. I’d love to know how you get on.