Well, thanks to a new study by experts, we now know exactly which cities are the worst for late payment, and the list has certainly gave us some surprises.
Coming in at number 1 is Sheffield, a fairly quiet and friendly city in South Yorkshire, but when it comes to getting paid by a client there for your freelance work, don't expect it to be easy.
The study shows that only 24% of invoices in Sheffield are paid within 3 days, and that freelancers regularly have to chase up clients in order to get paid for work that has been completed.
The city of Leeds takes up number 2 on the list, with statistics showing that 39% of clients pay within 3 days, and although this is better than Sheffield for freelancers, it's still really quite low when you think about it.
I've talked about this before, but in my opinion the only solution is to offer more convenient ways for clients to pay (or get payment upfront if you can).
Many times, the reason why clients take so long to pay is because the freelancer is still allowing old forms of payment, such as cheques, postal orders and cash. Instead, you should really push methods like PayPal and instant bank transfer, and only allow things like cheques if they really want it.
What other cities were named you might be wondering? Coming in a bit further down the list were places like Stevenage, Slough and Twickenham. Not places you would expect.
How about the most punctual payers? Manchester comes out on top for freelancers who want to get paid quickly, with Aberdeen, York, Leicester and Norwich making up the rest of the top cities.
For example, in both Leicester and Norwich freelance professionals are paid, on average, within 3 days 58% of the time. While not perfect, it is definitely better than a city like Sheffield.
It's a sad fact that many freelancers are sometimes having to chase up payment from clients for months after they have completed the work, and sometimes they don't even get paid at all.
The good news is the government are planning to introduce a Small Business Commissioner in the future, which should make it easier for freelancers to get payments they are owed from clients who just won't pay.
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