terms and conditions

  • Three things to include in your Terms & Conditions: Podcast

    If Terms & Conditions are on your Boring Admin List, I’ve got a podcast (and a free template) for you! Terms and Conditions are a vital part of the freelance relationship with a client – they set the standard, and back you up if you have to refer to something in the future (e.g. late payers). In this five minute episode of The Freelancer’s Teabreak, I discuss what you need to include and why.

    Want the free template? It’s over here! 

    How to listen to The Freelancer’s Teabreak podcast

    I now have four ways you can catch the podcast!

    Right here on the blog:

    Through iTunes

    Through Spotify

    Through my YouTube channel

  • Brilliant apps and tools to try in February: Podcast

    Regular readers will know I’m a huge fan of tech, tools and apps for having a more efficient, productive and fun freelance life. This week, I’ve recorded a podcast sharing three of my current favourites, from one that makes the most of your Facebook Lives and podcasts, to one to plan out your Instagram feed. In fact, the first tool I mention is the one I use to create a video of my podcast, which you can see below, with just one click!

    How to listen to The Freelancer’s Teabreak podcast

    I now have three ways you can catch the podcast! Through iTunes Through Spotify Through my YouTube channel

    TL:DR?

    Grab your phone, it’s time to up your app game!

    (Some of these links are affiliate links, but I only recommend tools I use, and I pay for all of these)

    Which apps are rocking your freelance life at the moment?

  • Three ways to speed up invoice payments: Podcast

    invoice

    The podcast is back for 2018! I’ve missed recording these little snippets you can listen to while you’re waiting for the kettle to boil, and this episode is one that’s particularly important for freelancers – invoice payments. How can we speed them up, deal with the late payers and reduce the stress of waiting to be paid? I’ve got three tips up my sleeve for you!

    How to listen to The Freelancer’s Teabreak podcast

    I now have three ways you can catch the podcast!

    Through iTunes

    Through Spotify

    Through my YouTube channel

    Can’t listen to the audio right now? Here’s the TL;DR (or should it be TL;DL?) version:

    • Late Payment Fees – the stick approach of charging clients who have gone past the payment deadline without making a payment
    • Early payment discount – the carrot approach of offering a small incentive (say, 4% discount off their next invoice) if they pay within a certain timeframe. This works best for me with big clients who tend to have very long payment terms, unless you offer some form of incentive to pay earlier
    • Go Cardless Direct Debit – You can now set up direct debits for clients through Go Cardless. This is particularly beneficial if they have the same amount to pay each month. Setting up the direct debit means you know your fee will be paid on a predictable date, and if they’re unhappy about setting one up it could highlight a potential bad payer.

    If you’re looking for a template for the late payment fees and early payment discounts, I have one in the Freelance Lifestash!

    Crunch Chorus also have some handy templates if you do have to chase payments.

    Do you have any methods for speeding up payments?

  • How To Create Freelance Terms And Conditions

    One of the easiest ways to get yourself in a tricky situation with a client, is to skip the freelance Terms and Conditions stage. Charging into a client relationship without setting boundaries means you don’t have anything to fall back on if they’re a late/non-payer, if they like to conduct meetings at ridic-o’clock or if they expect many, many revisions at no extra cost. T&Cs set the standards of your working relationship, and also highlight any issues that may crop up later on. Plus, it just looks more professional!

    When you’re new to freelancing, Terms and Conditions can seem like an intimidating concept, but when you’re starting out, a basic email T&C (which they can reply to, to confirm), will suffice. Below is an example of a very basic one I use.

    Freelance Terms And Conditions Template

    1. Notice Period: My notice period, for both myself and the client, is 30 days.

    2. Payment Terms: The below payment terms are based on my current 21 day payment period.
    An early payment discount – Invoices paid within 7 days of receipt will benefit from a 4% discount on the total. This can either be applied as a credit to your account against future invoices, or I can apply it to the current invoice. Please note, this only applies to bank transfer and Paypal payments (my preferred payment methods).

    A late payment fee – Invoices unpaid after 30 days will incur a fixed charge of £40, £70 or £100 depending on the size of the invoice (under £1,000, under £10,000, and higher). This is in accordance with the Late Payment of Commercial Debts Regulations 2002, and will be applied automatically by my invoicing software. The software will automatically send a reminder 22 days after sending an invoice, if it is unpaid, with a reminder about the late fee.

    I currently submit my invoices around the 24th of each month in order to fit in with the monthly payroll run of most businesses. However, if you’d like me to amend this date to a more suitable time, please do let me know and I’d be happy to discuss.

    3. Availability My general work hours are 8-5 Monday-Friday. If a task is requested to be done over the weekend, overtime pay may apply.

    Late Payment Fees & Early Payment Discounts

    Late payment fees and early payment discounts are processes I use to encourage prompt payment of invoices. The latter works better, especially with larger clients, but the late payment fees cover me if someone does pay late.

    This is a very basic idea, and I tend to add to it and tweak it depending on the client and work. For example, for copywriting gigs I’ll add something about the number of revisions included. If it’s a client you’ve never worked with before, it may also be worth adding something in about the process if the original contract needs to be changed.

    What else could I include?

    Other things you may want to include:

    • Details of your charges
    • Expenses
    • Part payment if you’re taking a deposit
    • Intellectual Property Ownership (including usage and resale)

    My recommendation would be that you don’t start the work until they confirm they’re happy with your terms in writing.

    Want an extra check?

    As you progress, you may want to use a contract instead. Companies like Lawbite offer contracts, with a lawyer who can check it over for you, and Practical Law has a free one you can create by answering some questions.