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Happy 2013 from Solo in Chicago and here’s hoping the new year is full of “Accomplishments of Significance.”
But, what is the most important month? It’s the month after your client has worked through his initial retainer deposit. And it’s so critical because this can become a time when clients get behind on their payments and if you let that happen it’s hard to recover…it’s hard to get those clients paying again once they have gotten out of the payment habit.
And I don’t mean for this to be an extensive post about overall billing strategies or evergreen retainers but rather simply that you must be ON TOP of a client when he gets the first bill after the retainer is used up. Our contracts require that clients pay their balance-in-full each month for all work done the previous month…remind clients of that fact. Sometimes we’ll accept a payment plan where a client can pay less than the full balance as long as a significant, monthly payment is made. But you cannot let a client pay nothing! Because each month without payment makes it progressively more difficult to get the client paying again. You must get your clients into the monthly payment habit.
The client who pays that “next month” will likely be a profitable client for months to come; the client who pays nothing may never pay anything again.