Clients That Don’t Pay Their Bills

    January 26, 2007

I’ve always heard horror stories of small business owners and clients who don’t pay their bills.

Stories of owners laying out thousands or tens of thousands of dollars in products or services and then being unable to get a client to pay for it.

Sometimes the client’s business takes a nosedive or goes bankrupt. But what happens when the client just refuses to pay? They stall, asking for additional copies of the contract, or invoices, or they need to talk to accounts payable. Then they just stop returning your calls.

Obviously, I’m not writing this in a vacuum. I should count myself lucky that no one in the nearly 10 years we’ve been in business has ever stiffed me for more than pocket change, but it still stings when it happens.

I’m wondering if anyone out there wants to share some similar horror stories (no client names please!), or if you have some clever ways of guilting delinquent clients into paying I’m all ears.


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Rich Brooks is president of flyte new media, a Web site design and Internet marketing company in Portland, Maine. Flyte works with small businesses to build professional Web sites that often include e-commerce, Flash and content management systems. They promote their clients’ sites through search engine optimization, e-mail marketing, business blogs and podcasts, and viral marketing.