Tuesday, October 09, 2007

2007-10-08 Rule No 1 for Freelancers -- Get the Purchase Order First

Here's a golden rule for freelancers...

If you're going to do work for a corporate client, simply do not put your butt in your car seat UNTIL you have a purchase order number. In the corporate world, a purchase order is as good as money in the bank.

In a recent gig I did, the client was a consultant who hired me to do work for his client. When I told him I need payment up front, he uhmmed and ahhed. Said that it was very short notice, and his client wouldn't be able to get me on the system quickly enough.

So I said, 'Okay, just this once. But I'll have my payment before month-end.'

'No problem whatsoever,' he lied.

I did the gig. And he simply stopped communicating with me. And it took some heavy action on my part to actually get payment out of him.

In the end, he's got a lot of egg on his face with his corporate client. And he might still find that he's going to have to do quite a lot of explaining to them about how shoddily he treated me.

But the lesson is this... get a purchase order number. Put it on your invoice. Invoice BEFORE the gig. And only then get your ass to the gig.

This pic started off in my Moleskine as pen on paper. It then got converted into digits via my HP Deskjet F380 scanner/printer/copier. And then my Toshiba Tecra M4 tablet pc and Photoshop CS2 took over in the colouring department, with me wielding the stylus.

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