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Dina Eisenberg

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About Dina Eisenberg

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  1. I agree with Ruth's fine suggestions. Clients love retainer agreements because they are so darned predictable! You want to lay everything out. Your retainer agreement should talk about: your client is buying access not time, essentially. So it's 5 hours/per month of access to you. The language you use makes a difference as to whether the funds are refundable or not. By using access, once the client agrees the contract is complete. If you're selling time, then your client might say they haven't used the time and want the money back. It's a good idea to look at the laws in your state to see what the rule is. what's up with the rollover minutes? Are you going to allow clients to carry over hours from one month to the next. When is the expiration date? You want to strike a balance that doesn't leave you with more paperwork what happens when they run over time It's so easy to do and easier still to just let those minutes go unpaid. But minutes turn into hours...that's lost money. What's the consequence for going over? A warning, then action ( a fee, firing if too severe) works. what happens when they don't pay? Too many VAs let the meter run then discover the client isn't paying, thinking you'll get paid up later. Bad move. Be very clear about non-payment issues. Typically I'd stop work until paid, even if it meant delaying a project. All this is about setting kind yet firm expectations for your clients. It's part of your onboarding conversation that helps them be a great client. Helps you be happy and profitable. Warmly, Dina Dina Eisenberg SpeakupPowerfully.com
  2. Such great advice you've gotten. I'll add a thought or two about the tech side. Then share what should happen first. I agree- absolutely use a retainer or pre-paid stance to avoid invoicing. Paypal is very easy to set up when you have a business account. It's cheaper than having a full on merchant account, although I have both to offer convenience. Thanks to the person who shared her experiences with an out-of-state client and small claims court. You do not want to be involved with that. In almost every case you'll spend more money and not be guaranteed to get payment, even if you win. (I'm an attorney but this is not legal advice; it's the sad truth) What I've always done in my 20 years as a biz owner is to set healthy expectations. I tell clients my expectations during our first conversations. My materials also set my expectations that work can't start until certain conditions are met, namely the investment is paid and the pre-work is done. This is a difficult conversation because it feel icky like you're presuming the person will stiff you. But you're not, and clients don't hear it that way. They hear a confident professional who understands her value and wants clients who appreciate that. So I'd say, add a clause to your contract that explains your payment policies add a mediation clause so you can find a solution without going to small claims. Be sure those policies (and I use that word loosely) are visible on your website. Make the explaining your payment policy part of your conversation when you onboard clients.
  3. Having your own clients is different than being an employee. You're the boss of you but it can feel like your clients are. What situations or clients make you want to run for the hills and how do you handle it?
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