It can be a challenge, but here are steps to make it easier to get your money.
Paul Morgan, of The RainHarvest Company in Metro Atlanta, admits that getting paid is always a challenge that comes with the industry. As the owner of a business that does a lot of work with general contractors, he says he knows it’s part of the job. But over the years he has found that the following three tips have made getting paid a little bit easier.
Get it Signed. No matter how small the job, word of mouth is never good enough on its own. Make sure you create a thorough contract that gets signed. “Always have a contract that is signed by all stakeholders with very clear terms prior to beginning any work or making purchases,” Morgan says. “In your contract you should make notes that if the final payment is going to be delayed beyond 30 days from completion that you will automatically file a mechanics lien to protect your investment.”
Create a Schedule. The payment schedule is a critical component of your agreement, Morgan says. “Have an explicit payment schedule defined, agreed to, and signed by all stakeholders,” he says. “Our schedule is based on our performance. Make sure that upon substantial completion of the project, only 10 percent of the total price remains on the table.”
Invoice in Advance. Invoice for each phase prior to beginning that phase, Morgan advises. “This eliminates delays that will result waiting for the client to process the request after you have already completed the work.”