As a blogger, one of the things we always hear is, “don’t work for free!” I get it. It takes a lot to get to the point where you’re making a full-time income out of the blog. But what about when you accidentally work for free? Well, that’s just bad business skills. So today I’m sharing a few tips on how to avoid accidentally working for free, and instead add to your bank account to keep on growing your business.
How to avoid accidentally working for free
Make it clear that you’re not working for free
When you’re contact by a potential client, make sure you’re responding to them with a proposed budget. There’s no need to go into the “why” of it all, just a few sentences letting them know what a great partnership it could be, followed by your fee.
Get it in writing
Now that you have the gig, draft a contract that is legally binding to protect yourself and your pay. Intuit QuickBooks has a great article on setting up contracts. You’ll have all the basic info based on your prior communication with your client, so it won’t take too long to put it together. Also, the article I referenced has Q&A’s that will make it easy to compile.
Now that you have a contract and agreement put in place, you’ll need to invoice. A lot of times, this is where entrepreneurs drop the ball. We get so caught up on the work and getting it done on time that we forgot asking to get paid. Also, remember that unpaid invoices can have major negative impacts for a small business. And so getting your invoices paid on time can be what makes or breaks your business.
So first you’ll start off by sending an invoice. If you don’t have a personalized invoice, you can customize this Invoice Template by Intuit QuickBooks. It even allows you to add a logo. Gotta keep that brand on point!
If you have a personalized template already, you can usually title it with the date, my company name, and then the job. It makes it easy to track.
Once invoices are sent out, you’re going to need to track payments. I use QuickBooks Online to keep track of payments because it’s a software that I’ve been using since way back when I used to sell gift baskets (and back when QuickBooks came in a CD-ROM). It’s been very helpful to use the service. You can email about 15 days after you sent the invoice, and this article will also break down the timeline to get the reminders spaced out between the follow-ups. Learn more about how you can get paid 2x faster with QuickBooks: http://intuit.me/2kQFAwS.
We all need to know to take care of ourselves and our business. That’s why I trust Intuit QuickBooks Customers, to become efficient and productive. Visit the Intuit QuickBooks Resource Center page to get a free invoice template tool, and guides/articles on strategies to get your invoices and bills paid faster, so you can keep your cash flow steady.