Can’t get paid, should I give up, it’s a small amount

(8 Posts)
HolyCatsWhiskers Thu 15-Feb-18 20:24:31

I started a small business from home, my very first customer was someone I know, who unfortunately didn’t have their debit card to pay me. As I know them, I said it wasn’t a problem.
This would not be my normal way of being paid.

To be accommodating I said it could wait until the end of the month.
They are, from what I can gather quite well off.

Requests from me via text and message haven’t materialised the money, and now it’s nearly two months.

Shall I just give up on recovering this money.

It’s a small area, and they are well connected, so I am wary of bad publicity.

It’s not a mistake as will make again obviously.

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AjasLipstick Thu 15-Feb-18 20:52:54

You should send requests via email OP...then letter. Not text...that's not professional. What is the business? Have you not had any other clients?

HolyCatsWhiskers Thu 15-Feb-18 21:24:18

Yes I have other clients. They pay. I sent a professional invoice via email that could be paid online. It was ignored

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HolyCatsWhiskers Thu 15-Feb-18 21:24:43

I’ll send a letter next. Thank you

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AjasLipstick Thu 15-Feb-18 22:05:10

It's unfortunately very, very common OP...I work as a freelance copywriter and it happens to me about twice a year.

I invoice with clear payment terms...for me it's within 7 days of them receiving their invoice. If they don't pay then I send a friendly reminder...after two weeks I send a letter threatening legal action.

As far as worrying about how they will view me...I don't want them as a returning client if they don't pay so who cares?

GingerAndPrickles Thu 15-Feb-18 22:26:07

How small is the debt..? It’s going to be a balancing act - time taken to (possibly) recover it, versus the amount you’ll recover, versus possible impact on your reputation (might other customers hear that you’re a soft touch and try it on too?). But I agree with at least sending a letter (google “Dunning letter templates” to get some good ideas of what to say).
Then have a think about how you supply your service/goods and how you’ll stop this happening in future - are you offering credit (ie “I supply goods/services now, and you pay me in x days”)..? If so, make your payment terms explicit in written form before you agree to supply. And if you are not offering credit then make sure you get paid before/at the same time as you supply in future.
This area is an aspect of business you need to be very clear about and you need to get very comfortable asking for payment.

FeedtheTree Thu 15-Feb-18 22:31:51

You need to be paid. Tell them you are doing your quarterly accounts and need this bill to be settled immediately as it's now long overdue and getting embarrassing to you to have to chase them for it.
It's a good lesson though: never part with goods and services until you've been paid at least part of the money up front. I also work from home and do the work, tell clients the work is ready and will be sent to them on receipt of payment. That always works. Before I did that, I spent days every month chasing payment for stuff they'd already received.

HolyCatsWhiskers Thu 15-Feb-18 22:35:22

Thank you, all good advice.

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