Get Paid Up Front
Design Services and Rates Guide A FREE Resource for Your Interior Design Business
Oh my goodness, why am I still hearing so much chatter in my Facebook group and on social media about designers having to chase clients for payments?!!
It is my #1 piece of advice: ‘GET PAID UP FRONT.’
This means for all of your services: From your initial consultation and ongoing design services, to the purchasing of products.
Why? Why? Why?
I’m on a bit of a rant once again and in today’s video, asking this hard-hitting question; ‘Why are you not charging ahead of time for your services and for products?’
Before any services are performed or products are ordered, you should be getting paid.
We have built this important step into our streamlined processes and it’s something we inform potential clients of during the Discovery Call.
It’s about building trust and a professional relationship. We require our clients to pay for the initial consultation fee up front as this confirms their booking on our calendar.
Our clients can then see that we have organized processes and this demonstrates that both parties are committed to working together on their design project.
And this process continues, should a client wish to sign up for any one of our services past the initial consultation.
When we review any of our contract agreements, we detail our fee schedule so that everything is clear and easy to understand.
Help me understand
I am not trying to make anyone feel bad here, I am simply trying to understand why this is still a regular occurrence with interior design business owners.
Perhaps you are lacking the confidence to have those all-important money conversations with clients? Are you new to the industry? Perhaps you have never experienced chasing a client for outstanding payments and as a result, this hasn’t been an issue for you?
If you want to avoid that horrible feeling in the pit of your stomach as you chase overdue payments, see here how I can help you get more confidence and Claire-ity.
Always remember that you are running a business. You have your own bills and expenses to pay. You should never be out of pocket. Period.
Plus, the GOOD clients appreciate you more for it, I promise!
Jane Nares Designs| 20 April 2021
I have an issue right now where I did bill up front, got paid before the initial consultation, got 50% up front for the design work, billed for the balance, due before the presentation and it wasn’t paid. I still went for the presentation (should I have done this, or postponed until payment was received?) and still haven’t received payment, over 2 weeks later. I’ve sent 2 reminder e-mails with no response. Should I call? Very frustrating. I’m a new designer, this was my first job. Lesson learned. I should have at least asked for a cheque at presentation but didn’t think about it until afterwards
Claire Jefford| 20 April 2021
Hey Jane. Sorry to hear you are going through this right now. Hopefully I can help! Yes, I would have postponed the presentation meeting until payment was received and referred to my letter of agreement if there was any pushback. Have your emails had formal or friendly tones? There needs to be a balance, yet you can be courteous and professional at the same time. I suggest calling your clients. It’s likely you’ll get the answering machine, but practice what you will say either way.
Was it in your agreement that you normal process is to collect payment prior to presenting? You can refer to that and let them know you meant to do that ahead of time, but now you’ve presented and it’s time to collect the balance. Then you can say that you are looking forward to any feedback and can discuss next steps with them to arrange implementation of the plans.
They may genuinely be busy, so don’t go in guns blazing. But be confident and courteous, yet let them know that there is now a sense of urgency to clear up the outstanding money owed. Good luck and let me know how it goes. Then be sure to update your process/contract to always get payment ahead of time. 🙂