Get Paid Before You Do Any Work

get paid before you do any work

Ever wonder if you could get paid before you do any work?

Chasing money is never fun. Sending out monthly bills is time consuming. Then there’s a lag between billing and receiving payment. Stragglers take even more time. Plus some of your work gets written off when a client falls on hard times and stops paying. Ever wonder if you could get paid before you do any work?

Getting paid up front fixes those problems. Your cash flow improves. Plus, time originally spent collecting money is now freed up.

Once a potential client recognizes your value, they eagerly want to get started. It’s the perfect time to explain your payment policy. Clarify what you expect from them and what they can expect from you.

Consider your work together as a plane ride. Your new client has a problem that you’re uniquely qualified to solve. It’s similar to someone that wants to travel from New York to Los Angeles. Think of your work as the vehicle; it’s not the destination.

An airline would never book you a seat, send you a bill and then wait to get paid after your trip. You can use that payment system, too. #getpaidwhatyoureworth Click To Tweet

And similar to the airlines, you get paid first. An airline would never book you a seat, send you a bill and then wait to get paid after your trip. You can use that payment system, too.

The Value of Getting Paid First

What thoughts would you have to let go of so you can start to get paid before you do any work? If you’ve always billed for your services, then you may question this process.

Your job is to educate a potential client about your value. But talking about how great you are can be uncomfortable. Often I hear, “Loren, selling someone else’s service is so much easier. I don’t want to brag or have them think I’m pushy. I never realized this would be so difficult.”

The best time to get paid for your work is when a potential client wants your service. That’s when they’re ready to buy. There’s an urgency to start immediately. Basically the sooner they pay, the sooner they benefit.

Think about the value of bottled water. That bottle has greater value when you’re thirsty, than after you’ve quenched your thirst. Now if you’ve been in the hot jungle for a couple days with no fresh water, than it’s value is even greater than when you’re leisurely strolling down main street in your home town.

Your value fluctuates

This same concept applies to the value of your services. Your perceived value is fluid. It changes according to the circumstances.

Your service possesses its greatest value before any work is done. Learn to get paid before they start any work. #getpaidwhatyoureworth Click To Tweet

Your service possesses its greatest value before any work is done. Once the job is complete, you’ve quenched their thirst. So your perceived value, and their need, isn’t quite as great. That’s why my clients learn to get paid before they start any work.

Your mindset is the first step to get paid before you do any work, but there are other advantages.

  1. Money for your business. Your cash flow improves. Time spent chasing clients for money is practically eliminated. As a result, you freed up precious hours in your schedule.
  2. You set the boundary. Work begins once you are paid. It’s that simple. Your mind is free to concentrate on your work. No more worries about getting paid, or how much.
  3. Experience counts. Your value increases as you gain expertise.
  4. Better clients. Because you set up a win-win situation, the clients who do pay you up front appreciate your service. You eliminate the high maintenance clients who don’t appreciate what you offer. My clients love this unexpected benefit.
  5. Clients invest in your process. Clients who consider your service as an investment are more willing to follow through on your recommendations and respond to your questions.
  6. Problem resolution. Your clients view you as a resource. They’re more likely to contact you if they perceive a problem rather than hiding from you. Then you can quickly resolve problems before they get out of hand.

Adjust Your Mindset

Your greatest value

Your business mindset influences your decision to get paid before you do any work.

Your client expects you to ask for payment. However, discussing your fees may be uncomfortable. It’s a clue that your mindset is getting in the way.

Although discussing your fees and dealing with money may feel uncomfortable right now, it’s possible to change that.

The mindset to get paid before you do any work.

  • Awareness. Acknowledge to yourself that you are uncomfortable asking for payment. Several of your clients may have already reached that conclusion.

  • Create a policy. Create a payment policy that you’re willing to follow. Decide whether you require partial or full payment to begin work. Then clearly let your clients know that work begins once they’ve paid you. Most regrets occur when you make an exception. Especially when someone takes advantage of your generosity.
  • Own your value. Make a list of all your skills and experiences that bring value to your work. Brainstorm everything. That special course you took several years ago may be the exact thing that solves your clients problem. Keep your list handy as a personal reminder during consultations with potential clients.
  • Network with other entrepreneurs. Sharing information builds confidence. Join an organization like BNI to create a thriving business based on referrals. Attend meetings to practice talking about your business and the value you bring.
  • Practice saying your terms. Use a phrase like Ready to get started? We need to take care of the payment first. Practice saying it like it is part of your enrollment process rather than thinking of it as asking for money.

Practice asking for payment

Practice, practice, practice. Your comfort level increases each time you ask for payment. Remember, your new client wants your help. Eventually getting paid first will be a natural step in your enrollment process.

Discussing your fees may be uncomfortable. It’s a clue that your mindset is getting in the way. #getpaidwhatyoureworth Click To Tweet

Discussing your rates and then asking for payment brings up all kinds of money issues for entrepreneurs. It’s a reflection of your self worth and your beliefs. If you find that you are uncomfortable discussing money, I encourage you to set up a complementary private strategy session. Discover how you can develop a positive money mindset and get paid before you do any work.