Boss Responses

#36: How to Handle Clients with Cash Flow Problems, with Michelle Garrett

June 03, 2024 Treasa Edmond
#36: How to Handle Clients with Cash Flow Problems, with Michelle Garrett
Boss Responses
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Boss Responses
#36: How to Handle Clients with Cash Flow Problems, with Michelle Garrett
Jun 03, 2024
Treasa Edmond

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In this episode of the Boss Responses podcast, host Treasa Edmond and guest co-host Michelle Garrett discuss the challenges freelancers and business owners face when clients have cash flow problems. They explore how to handle delayed payments, the importance of sticking to your deposit policies, and strategies for managing expenses incurred on behalf of clients. This episode is packed with practical insights on securing payments and maintaining professional boundaries.

About our Guest

Michelle Garrett is a public relations consultant, writer, and speaker who helps B2B companies create content, earn media coverage, and position themselves as thought leaders in their industries. 

After working in various PR and marketing communications roles, including time spent in Silicon Valley with technology companies such as HP, Adobe, and numerous startups, she launched her consulting business to provide down-to-earth advice and a practical approach to public relations for her clients. 

Repeatedly ranked among the industry’s most influential PR professionals, Michelle has written a book, B2B PR That Gets Results. She also launched her own YouTube show, PR Explored, where she interviews trusted industry experts about public relations trends and topics. 

Michelle has written hundreds of articles that have been featured in business publications including Entrepreneur, Muck Rack, and Ragan’s PR Daily. She’s a frequent podcast guest, often quoted as an expert source on public relations, and regularly speaks at events like Content Marketing World, the largest gathering of content marketing professionals in the world. 

In 2018, she founded a weekly Twitter chat called #FreelanceChat to help support freelancers in what can be a lonely journey. Since then, it’s grown to attract dozens of new participants and has been featured in Entrepreneur, MSN Money, and the Houston Chronicle. In 2024, the chat moved to YouTube

Connect with Michelle on LinkedIn

Grab your copy of Michelle's Book: B2B PR That Gets Results 

Support the Show.

Thank you for taking time out of your busy day to listen to Boss Responses. Have a question you'd like answered? Send it to info@bossresponses.com

Show Notes Transcript

Send us a Text Message.

In this episode of the Boss Responses podcast, host Treasa Edmond and guest co-host Michelle Garrett discuss the challenges freelancers and business owners face when clients have cash flow problems. They explore how to handle delayed payments, the importance of sticking to your deposit policies, and strategies for managing expenses incurred on behalf of clients. This episode is packed with practical insights on securing payments and maintaining professional boundaries.

About our Guest

Michelle Garrett is a public relations consultant, writer, and speaker who helps B2B companies create content, earn media coverage, and position themselves as thought leaders in their industries. 

After working in various PR and marketing communications roles, including time spent in Silicon Valley with technology companies such as HP, Adobe, and numerous startups, she launched her consulting business to provide down-to-earth advice and a practical approach to public relations for her clients. 

Repeatedly ranked among the industry’s most influential PR professionals, Michelle has written a book, B2B PR That Gets Results. She also launched her own YouTube show, PR Explored, where she interviews trusted industry experts about public relations trends and topics. 

Michelle has written hundreds of articles that have been featured in business publications including Entrepreneur, Muck Rack, and Ragan’s PR Daily. She’s a frequent podcast guest, often quoted as an expert source on public relations, and regularly speaks at events like Content Marketing World, the largest gathering of content marketing professionals in the world. 

In 2018, she founded a weekly Twitter chat called #FreelanceChat to help support freelancers in what can be a lonely journey. Since then, it’s grown to attract dozens of new participants and has been featured in Entrepreneur, MSN Money, and the Houston Chronicle. In 2024, the chat moved to YouTube

Connect with Michelle on LinkedIn

Grab your copy of Michelle's Book: B2B PR That Gets Results 

Support the Show.

Thank you for taking time out of your busy day to listen to Boss Responses. Have a question you'd like answered? Send it to info@bossresponses.com

Treasa Edmond:

Welcome back for another week of the Boss Responses podcast. One of the things I love about this podcast is the opportunity to have conversations and share ideas with people I truly admire. This week's special guest is one of those people, and I loved every second of our call. Michelle Garrett already gives pretty selflessly of her knowledge to the freelance community, so I was thrilled when she said she was willing to come on the podcast. If you already know Michelle, you know how great this week is going to be. If you don't know Michelle, you're in for a treat. Make sure you're subscribed to the podcast so you don't miss a minute of the fantastic knowledge Michelle and all of our other guests share so freely.

Treasa Edmond:

Today, Michelle and I are going to take a look at an issue most of us have faced from time to time. What do we do when our clients tell us they're having cash flow issues? If you're a freelancer, business owner or anyone who deals with clients, you're in the right place. I'm your host, Treasa Edmond. I've been dealing with clients and running my business for nearly two decades and in that time I've dealt with my clients and running my business for nearly two decades and in that time I've dealt with my share of doubt, imposter syndrome and not knowing what to say when a client asked a question I wasn't ready for. I created this podcast to empower you with the boss responses you need to grow your business.

Treasa Edmond:

Each week, my guest co-host and I will bring you five episodes packed with practical insights. Monday through Thursday, we answer your questions, and Fridays we dive deep to explore how our co-hosts embrace their role as the boss of their business. Welcome to Boss Responses. We are here on day one with Michelle Garrett. Michelle, thank you again for being with us this week. I'm glad you're here, michelle. What is the question we're answering today?

Michelle Garrett:

Here it is. I just got an email from a client in response to an invoice I sent. They said they were having a bit of a cash flow problem and that they'd send payment next month. And I'm not happy, as the client was demanding and a bit difficult to work with and this was our first project together. They came to me as a referral through a client I've worked with for a while, so I let them talk me into starting right away. And I didn't ask for a deposit first. I always ask for a deposit for new clients, so I'm beating myself up about this one. How should I respond?

Treasa Edmond:

I would say do what you would normally do in the future. Always ask for that deposit from new clients. I'm like you. If it's a referral, I tend to have a higher level of trust there because they come in with a higher level of trust for me. So we don't have to iron out a lot of the things that you do with a new client. But if you have a deposit policy, always get a deposit. I know a lot of freelancers who for their first project with a new client, they get payment up front. If it's a smaller project, if it's below $1,000, it's payment up front instead of a deposit. I do a deposit for anything above $1,000. For anything less than $1,000 I want payment in full and then we just move on with that. I've seldom had a client try to rush me into a project and if I did, it was almost always a scam. So to me that's a red flag. Have you dealt with this at all? And now Michelle's in the PR world? So it's a little bit different.

Michelle Garrett:

Well, I also do some writing projects, npr projects. But yes, I've found it to be an issue kind of like up and down in my career, because for years I never got a deposit up front and I never had a problem, but then all of a sudden I did, and then once you've had the problem, like you'll never let that happen again. That's like the mindset that I move forward after that with. But I've had clients, even like clients that were my longer term clients. I had one of those ghost me one time. We worked together for three or four years and then I sent an invoice and I just never paid it and I never heard from him again. So it's a hard situation but it is better if you can get it up front.

Michelle Garrett:

Recently I've had a couple of clients that kind of pushed back a little bit on that, and so that's something that I'm still trying to figure out how to handle, because I don't believe that most clients are going to do that. But you don't really want to take a chance, and so I just try to explain to them like, well, I'm a one first business. I'm sorry, but I have to impose this policy on you, but I've had this happen to me numerous times now and I can't take that risk. So I need you to pay. And then in the PR realm sometimes I had somebody once not pay me back for that as an expense that I incurred on their behalf. So that's just another thing that happened.

Treasa Edmond:

That is a really good point. If I have to buy software or pay any kind of fee as part of my client work, then that needs to be paid before I pay it. That should never come out of your pocket and then you float the expense for the client. That's giving them a loan and you're not a bank. You also mentioned clients pushing back. I have had clients push back as well because they were defrauded by freelancers. So this goes both ways. There are freelancers out there who take people's money and then they don't give them the deliverable. We have to be aware of that. We have to overcome that.

Treasa Edmond:

When we're working with that type of client, that's when you make the decision of either you don't work with the client which I've made that decision or, like Michelle said, you explain to them. This is my policy. I don't even say my policy. I never bring myself into it when I'm negotiating with a client. This is my policy. I don't even say my policy. I never bring myself into it when I'm negotiating with a client. This is my business's policy, and they can't argue with the business policy. They'll argue with you, but they will not argue with the business policy. So anything like that, I totally blame it on my business, yeah.

Michelle Garrett:

Yeah Well, sometimes I'll say oh, my accountant, you know, insists that.

Treasa Edmond:

Oh, a good one. Blame it on the accountants, that's even better. That works All right. So this is one of those Sand your ground. Make sure that if you have a policy, you are enforcing that policy for every client that comes in, even if you like them. Michelle, I'll see you back here for day two tomorrow.

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