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The life of a business, even one you love, depends on receiving prompt payment from clients. As a former business coach and small business owner, I can tell you that the business coach is no different. Even though our stock and trade is often intangible, it is still worthy of payment. You don’t become a coach as a hobby, it’s a career. Like any other coaching profession, you must start at the beginning of your client relationships establishing the parameters of your payment system. Try these tips for getting paid as a small business coach and receive prompt payments.
In the beginning, certification and training may not seem important to a needy client, but over time the lack of any of these may hinder you. People won’t be willing to invest in your business if you don’t invest in yourself. Earn a legitimate certification and continue to stay on top of the latest in your field.
Money talk shouldn’t be a constant topic of conversation with you and your client, however it is one you must have, at least in the beginning. Be upfront about what your business coach services cost. Provide the small business with a monthly invoice and a written description of the services you offer.
Keep in Touch
In any economy, the small business may run a little short on cash. If your client falls behind, don’t obsess over it. Make the customer aware of the problem then tactfully change the subject to something else. There is no need to embarrass or harass someone who is a few days late with a check. Keep the lines of communication and don’t “cut off” the client because of a delinquent payment. However, consistent late payments or a failure to pay may be an indication that your client can no longer afford you. It may be tempting, but don’t go into “enemy mode.”
The reason many people become a coach is because they want to help small businesses to grow. In the event that a client needs a break, don’t dismiss a good barter. You can’t earn a living off of trading products for your service, but occasionally it may be the only way you will get paid. Think of it as a positive way to support the business and get to know more about your client’s company.
The best way to avoid late payments is by being receiving payment upfront. A monthly invoice is better than a weekly one. Showing up for a weekly paycheck puts you on employee status, at least in the mind of the client. Billing upfront allows the client to bow out gracefully and you never miss a payment.
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