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Send out your bills

A few years ago, I hired a very good electrician to install a complicated multi-switch, dimming lights system in our home. The whole renovation project was late so we moved in a few days before all of the systems were installed. One day he worked for so long that I said “it’s almost midnight and we have work in the morning, we should go rest now” to which he happily replied, “OK, good night then, you go, I’ll let myself out when I’m done”.

The kicker? I had the money ready and was happy to pay, but he never sent me the bill. After a while, I found out he moved to Ireland, changed his phone number, and had forgotten all about it.

Even after a job is sold and done, there are rules about sending out your invoice.

1) Establish clear payment terms upfront, before there’s any pressure
2) Send the invoice promptly, as soon as there are no clear, pre-established reasons not to
3) Unless the payment happens on the next day, call the client and ask if they got the invoice

I have heard the feedback “thanks for recommending them, the work was great, but I won’t work with them again because paying them was complicated and long”. I’ve also heard the exact thing said about me (to other people), so now I delegate that task, which was a great decision.

Sending the invoice is no less a part of your job than doing the job itself. Take it seriously, because the clients will.

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