Something that just hit me that I can use advice on.
Much of my work is longterm or ongoing, and one of my biggest problems is billing customers. I put it off so much that I have to take money from other projects to keep one going. This is really silly, I know, but I did it today. A customer has a bill around $200, and he asked if I needed any money as he left. Duh, I said "Not yet." and he pulled away. The truth is I used funds from another project to move along on his. Historically it's not good for me to get large down payemnts ahead of time, as I'd end up owing customers time--which can be far worse than owing them money. When I begin (or commit to) the job, I then get money. Sort of "good faith" for both parties. It's really nice to receive a big payment at the completion, or chunks of it during the job, but I often end up in a jam during it, and take on a small job or two to "get through". The big job gets put off. Arrgh! I hope someone'll share some thoughts.
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bill on a schedule
I think you should set up a regular billing schedule - for example, every week, every two weeks, or every month, whatever makes the most sense for you. Make it part of a work routine.
This is good for customers, as well as for you, because it makes it easier for them (and you) to plan.
An idea that worked for me once
How about planning a payment schedule and incorporting this into your contract. Thus you don't have to think about when to bill your client and your client is kept aware of how much s/he is spending. As a client I like clarity as to what I owe. It also helped me as I was once in debt. So, my dentist is paid on completion of each part of treatment at the end of the session, my lawyer at the end of each £XXX of work, my surveyor at the end of each £XXX of work and my builder when the @@@@@@@@ turns up and finshes the job.
Just an idea that worked for me.