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We have own small Company, Sometimes we are paid on time and other times whenever people feel like it. There are advantages as well as disadvantages. So By nature I am shy and do not like to push people. How do you tactfully remind people that they owe you money. We have been stung major time. I know if you owe the utilities companies, they send you out an over due date, pay up or else basically. I want to keep the clients..I want to avoid the senario that happened some years ago where, We were cleaning rentals. I was working but 8mths preg. My last job the property manager rang me up and was real sweet, Said she couldn't find any other cleaners, So my hubby and I we did clean this place. Had drugs and all sorts of horrible things. Begrudginly we got paid. But this realestate has no gone out of action. We were owed $thousand. for other jobs. Were people had done runners, We did the job and was told the checks in next week, We recently found out that this property manager was stealing from the til and trying to cover her tracks she has now left the state. But a few people were stung from her actions. I feel we have another client that is maybe similar. My hubby does the stairwells and mows the lawns and we bill monthly but she pays whenever she feels like it. 3months go by and then she will call to fix up the account. OK so what do you do in this sort of situation?

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My husband ran a chimney cleaning and repair business for several years and heres how I handled that sometimes sticky situation....

Be very straighforeward and say...

" Hi Mr.Smith....this is .....I am making a courtesy call to you today in reguard to your past due account with us,when do you think you can put that payment in the mail?"

We never had an unpaid account.My husband returned yearly to all of his clients and cleaned their chimneys ...he would give them a magnet with the next years cleaning date on it

then he'd call a couple weeks in advance the following year. I don't know what sort of business you have but if they are repeat customers this worked well for us.

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Chimney cleaning sounds interesting. I like the magnet idea.

My hubby works for Strata companies, contracted basically, Goes in vaccums the stairs, cleans bannisters, windows, mops floors if no carpet, mows lawns, Is a handy man for Womens housing & some landscapping. We started of cleaning houses, & Rental properties once the tenants move out. Go in clean ovens etc. I will go back to it when all kids are at school.I have found it to be very eye opening as to how people lived in the houses, trashed some. One we cleaned was so mouldy we found out that grew marijuana, The room was almost forenzic looking. I have also found it to be eye opening peoples honesty. When they say they pay they don't always.

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Gabe, the first thing is to get everything in writing. If your local laws permit, put a lean on the property. I had a concrete business in the 70's and 80's and never got stung once because the contractor new that if he got more than 30 days over due, a lean on his property was automaticly put in place. Many time I put leans on property and as a result I was always paid. It is true however that that bridge is sometimes burnt but it teaches them a leason and it usually cost them several time what it would have cost them in the first place if they had just paid their bills.

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Sadly, I feel that any self-employed person will get burned sooner or later. It's just too time consuming to chase after every deadbeat client until justice is served.

I had one guy hire my company to install new outdoor carpet on his boat dock. Unknown to me, he was in the process of selling the home, and apparently the new carpet was part of the sale agreement. Well, just as soon as the escrow closed AND THE CUSTOMER WAS NO LONGER THE LEGAL OWNER OF THE PROPERTY, he called his credit card provider to have them reverse the charge on his card.

Due to the sale, a lien was not possible, as the new owner wasn't responsible for the bill. Obviously, this guy knew how to play the system with regard to credit card disputes. It took a great deal of effort but I managed to convince the credit card provider of the fraudulent nature of the charge back. I settled for $100 less than what was owed.

Trying to be 'cautious as a serpent yet innocent as a dove' is very challenging to any Christian business owner. You just don't see it coming and by the time you realize what's happening it's almost too late for any recourse.

This is why merchandise costs more than it might otherwise - the merchant FACTORS BAD DEBT INTO THEIR PRICING, whether it's a service or a product that is being purchased, We all pay for theft, dishonesty, corruption and other forms of loss.

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