Thursday, June 26, 2008


I am self employed and rely on people paying me in a timely manner. They never do and it's making me cranky.

The deal is that I have a discount program in place for my every month clients. I do dog walking between 11 and 2 every week day and have about six clients that I send monthly bills to. The discount is for paying before or on the first of the month. No one does but they still take the discount.

I have tried highlighting the passage on the invoice that explains the discount, sending an email explaining the discount and verbally telling them...they still do it. So what's a walker to do? When they take the discount, do I correct them? Tell them they owe me fifty more dollars? Feels a bit confrontational to me. Take the discount away? Would I lose clients? Hmmmm hard to know.

So today is the 26th, they all got their invoices this week, they have to pay by tuesday but I'm out of town tomorrow and four are out of town next week, so they pay today right? Well one paid and didn't sign the check. Another didn't leave it. Still another claims they didn't get the invoice and lastly my personal favorite claims the dog must have eaten the check, sigh.


Travis said...

Melissa - you've got to standup for yourself. You aren't a charity. I'd explain this discount in person to each of your clients.

Tell them you've let it slide over the past few months and you won't enforce it this month, but starting next month you will.

Then next month remind them before the invoice goes out.

When they hand you the check (or send it to you) and its still for the wrong amount send them a second invoice.

I dont think you'll lose any clients, instead I think they'll start paying on time..or you'll get more money.

Dan-Eric Slocum said...

I vote with Travis on this. They've got TOP QUALITY when it comes to a dog walker. You're a freakin' dog TRAINER. They're lucky to have you walking their "rich-ass" dogs.

I think a note WITH their next invoice explaining the policy as a kind of subtle WARNING. It can be nicely worded.. but because it's DIFFERENT than what they usually receive, maybe it will sink in.

Travis said...

yes, I love the idea of a note with the next invoice as well. Give them a number of renewed opportunities to pay attention, but in each one underline the newly set deadline..and then stick to it.

As Eric says they have a freakin rawk-star walking their're a trained professional...they are lucky they have you....they need to make it worth your while.

Melissa said...

Yeah! Will you two like record something for me?

I'm good enough, I'm smart enough, I'm pretty enough! My own personal Stuart Smalleys :)

Travis said...

HAHAHAHAh... 'and daw-gone-it people like me'