I am going to preface this entire blog by stating that I always encourage my 1:1 clients to get payment before they do any services.
But, if you are a new virtual assistant I understand that you may be just excited to get your first client, I’ve been there too!
So, let’s talk about if you are a new virtual assistant and you just landed a new client.
You love their mission and feel like the two of you really clicked! You completed all their requests in a timely manner and even over delivered on the services you promised. At the end of the month, you send your invoice then:
A few days pass...then a week. You resend your email, just in case your invoice got lost in an internet black hole but you still hear nothing back.
What is a business owner to do?
First thing, STOP WORKING ON THEIR PROJECTS!
Even if that would put them past a deadline you know they have set. If they have stopped honoring their contract by not paying you, then you are not expected to keep working for free.
While it should be stated in your contract about a lack of payment, it should also be included in your welcome packet so you can refer them back to it.
To try and prevent problems from arising as well, you can always use a system like Freshbooks to send their invoice in advance and use that as a reminder for the clients.
I love using this system for scheduling invoices, automating late fees, and reminders.
What to do after sending multiple reminders
But let's say you send them multiple reminders and you hear nothing. Then what?
My suggestion is to send them an email stating that you are ending their working relationship.
If there is no communication on their end of why they are late or trying to work out payment, then you should drop the client and make space for a new client who WILL pay you and communicate professionally.
Feel free to use this template below (I’ve actually used this for one of my first clients!):
Subject line – Termination of Services
Hi CLIENT NAME,
I just wanted to let you know that as of INSERT DATE, I will no longer be able to offer you Virtual Assistant services. Due to the recent invoice delay and lack of communication, I have decided it is better to go in a different direction and pursue work with my other clients. I will share access to your google drive folder so you can have all of the work we have completed.
Thank you for the opportunity and good luck in your future endeavors.
While you may not ever get paid, you should have stopped working immediately so you didn’t lose too much time and resources.
Have you ever worked with a client who was late to pay or didn’t pay at all?
Let me know how you handled it!
Rooting for you,
How to Handle Clients that Pay Late
August 5, 2020