Client owes me 2 months' money, wants me to do more work

(14 Posts)
extinctspecies Fri 02-Mar-18 16:24:24

I was on a retainer with a client for about 6 months, they were having cashflow problems & asked to put the retainer on hold from december.

They owe me 2 months' money, which they have promised they will pay me when a deal goes through. But they have just asked for more work for me now.

Gut feeling says I should not do any more work for them until I have been paid, even though i do think their intentions are good & they are not deliberately trying to rip me off. But it may damage the relationship.

Advice anyone?

OP’s posts: |
bonjovigirl Fri 02-Mar-18 16:29:32

The fact they’ve mentioned cashflow problems would make me wary.

When you say 2 months work owed - are you earning from other clients in that time or are currently focused on them alone? If I had other work ticking over that I was being paid for and trusted the company directors to pay then I might continue working for them.

As it stands I probably wouldn’t unless they made a payment towards the 2 months work they already owe you for. Presumably they are paying staff, PAYE, other suppliers so it’s not unreasonable to ask that they pay you too.

FeedtheTree Fri 02-Mar-18 16:33:37

Tell them you can't until you're paid as you need to book in clients who are able to pay you promptly for now, to keep your own cash flow healthy. It's (just about) possible to say that and sound professional not snippy. But they do need to know you're not a soft touch.

In my twenties I worked for a client almost a year without pay. Fobbed off with a different excuse every single month. I adored the job and they were a massive organisation, so I knew they'd pay eventually. But by the time they paid I was so in debt half of it got eaten up. Never again.

NoSquirrels Fri 02-Mar-18 16:37:33

I’d need a goodwill payment of at least 50% of money owing before I did any more work. Cash flow issues mean the squeaky wheel gets the grease - if you agree to he st the bottom of the heap, you will continue to be paid last or not at all.

It’s reasonable to point out your own cash flow needs, as PP says. Good intentions do not pay the food bill.

extinctspecies Fri 02-Mar-18 16:38:42

Thanks both of you for the advice.

Yes, I have a couple of other clients on the go who always pay me on time.

I actually have a very healthy balance in the company so don't need the money right now - but they don't know that! It's more the principle of the thing. They haven't really apologised for the lack of payment and just seem to assume I'll be able to pick things up right away, travel 1.5 hours to a meeting next week, etc ...

The deal they need help on is an acquisition, so should solve the cashflow problems - but once they've been acquired I'm wondering if the new owner (an overseas company) will pay my bills & want to continue to work with me.

OP’s posts: |
extinctspecies Fri 02-Mar-18 16:40:01

Asking for a part-payment is a great idea

OP’s posts: |
snewsname Fri 02-Mar-18 16:41:02

You have your own cash follow problems don't you?
Apologise and make it seem as if you would if you could - but don't until you get some money. It's too great a risk.

YouCantGetHereFromThere Tue 13-Mar-18 01:12:09

I'm in a similar situation and while I'm not harassing the client for the money, and I sympathise with her cashflow problems, I'm also not doing any more work for her until I'm paid.

Kazzyhoward Tue 13-Mar-18 09:59:21

I'd ask for pro-forma up front payment for any further work they want you to do until the arrears are cleared.

babynelly2010 Fri 16-Mar-18 21:15:13

Stop! They will go under sooner or later and then you will get nothing! Tell them to pay up to date now or no more work to be done. Stay on top of invoices after. Do not let them fall behind.

BreakfastAtSquiffanys Fri 16-Mar-18 21:19:01

Their method of dealing with their cash flow problem is to make it YOUR cash flow problem

TalkinBoutWhat Sun 18-Mar-18 17:42:02

If you do work for them are you out of pocket for anything other than time and effort? Do you have equipment costs? Is there other work that you could be doing that you can't if you're doing their work or do you have more time than work?

If i wasn't risking a loss of anything other than time i would consider doing more work as long as they made some attempt to pay some of what they owed. If i were out of pocket for equipment then at the very least they would need to cover all out of pocket expenses before i even considered doing the work for them.

BIWI Sun 18-Mar-18 17:43:53

No way should you do any work for them without any kind of payment.

They don't have to pay it all upfront, but should definitely be paying you a percentage of the job that's enough for you to cover any costs you will incur in taking on their work.

Otherwise, say no!

TomRavenscroft Mon 19-Mar-18 16:48:54

Their method of dealing with their cash flow problem is to make it YOUR cash flow problem


Either say no and watch them suddenly 'find' the money to pay you, or say yes as long as they pay you, say. 50% up front.

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