How do I ensure payment on a job that's already completed?

min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
Excuses, excuses. Your client is exhibiting all the classic signs of being a deadbeat: having no complaints about the job, but using all possible stalling tactics.

Unfortunately, it seems likely that you will have to sue in order to collect what's owed to you. This does not sound like a situation where giving the client "more time to research" will result in their pulling out their checkbook.

Your next step will be to get your documentation in order. Gather up copies of your contracts with this client, any change orders, invoices and statements. Show them to a local litigation attorney who can help you develop a strategy and estimate the fees and costs involved.

Even more important is to ask yourself how you might prevent this kind of situation from happening in the future. Do you need to include regular milestone payments or bigger deposits in your contract? Do you have a written contract? Is this particular client really such a dope or might it be helpful to create a little promotional brochure that lets customers know what to expect of your services?

Either way, if you can take away some valuable lessons learned, you will benefit from the experience regardless of whether you ultimately get paid.
More from Entrepreneur
Our Franchise Advisors will guide you through the entire franchising process, for FREE!
  1. Book a one-on-one session with a Franchise Advisor
  2. Take a survey about your needs & goals
  3. Find your ideal franchise
  4. Learn about that franchise
  5. Meet the franchisor
  6. Receive the best business resources

SAVE on an Entrepreneur Insider Membership

Use code SAVE20 through 9/6/21 to become an annual member for just $49/yr $39/yr. When you do, you’ll enjoy:
  • Full access to Entrepreneur.com, including premium content
  • An ad-free experience
  • A weekly newsletter
  • A 1-year Entrepreneur magazine subscription delivered directly to you
Whether you want to learn something new, be more productive, or make more money, the Entrepreneur Store has something for everyone:
  • Software
  • Gadgets
  • Online Courses
  • Travel Essentials
  • Housewares
  • Fitness & Health Devices
  • And More

Latest on Entrepreneur