Would any other designers care to share procedures for payment on projects. A month ago a client did not pay ? Should i put up a small inititial fee ?
Freelance graphic designer
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One of the best phrases to remember: "Good fences make good neighbors." Have a contract, even if the job is between friends.
Best practice is to include a down payment as part of the work order/contract. Depending on the size of the project, it might be 1/2 down, 1/2 on delivery, or 1/3 down, 1/3 on proof approval and 1/3 on delivery. That way you don't get stuck, and the client is more likely to decide to finish the job. I'd recommend that a certain percentage of the initial deposit be non-refundable -- used as a "kill" fee so that whatever time you have already put in is covered, and if they decide not to continue, they can't decide you need to refund all of their money. (As if they could refund all of your time!). But all of this needs to be in writing, agreed upon and signed off on, before any work is started. If you have a customer that balks at the idea of a down payment, they may be the type that didn't want to obligate themselves anyhow, and you really don't need that kind of client.
Here's a related forum discussion on charging for graphic design projects
Hope it helps!
Discussion closed due to similar discussion already available - Charging for your graphic design projects