One Simple Way To Get Paid Faster

I’ve written about this before, my father gave me a simple piece of advice when we started our first business nearly twenty years ago. 

“Make sure that you get paid,” was his direct advice. 

It sounded too simple. But as time has gone on, that statement has aged particularly well. Recently, I learned about a company that was so fed up with not receiving payment for work rendered, that they figured out a creative way to finally get their money. 

A scaffolding company had repeatedly requested payments from a customer after completion of their work. For three weeks, the company continually tried to collect payment, to no avail. 

One day, they had enough. 

The customer walked out of his place of work only to realize that he wouldn’t be able to drive his car. The company placed a boundary of well constructed scaffolding around the perimeter of the car. There was no chance of the car going anywhere without the company taking it down. 

The customer, now angry, insisted that he had already paid. The workers from the company calmly stated that he hadn’t paid. They then explained that they had tried for weeks to contact him, but their emails were ignored. 

The customer, realizing that he was boxed in (pun intended), then tried all different verbal ways of getting the business owners to take the scaffolding down, including telling them that they were trespassing. They responded by telling him to call the police. 

Defeated, the customer asked how much was owed, and then reluctantly paid the remainder of the balance. 

“I don’t know how you have time to do this,” the irritated customer groaned. 

“We haven’t,” the business owner responded. “That’s the sad thing about it. I’m tired of dealing with people like you. I’m sick to death of people not paying. If you would have taken care of this three weeks ago like we asked, we wouldn’t have to do this.”

This was exactly what my father warned me about. Throughout his long history in the construction business, the one complaint that I have heard over and over involved how long and difficult of a process it is to get paid.

Our job is to not just learn from our struggles, but from others’ struggles as well. 

After seeing what my father went through, and hearing the same thing from so many others, I knew this was an area of business I needed to study and improve upon. 

And I learned a simple fact along the way. A service and a product are viewed very differently in the business world. 

If what you sell is a service, there is a much higher likelihood that you will get paid after the work is completed. There is an expectation by some customers that payment comes after the service is rendered. Yet, if what you sell is a product, the customer generally pays before they receive the product. 

Many of us start businesses with a service. We did as well. But you can learn the hard way that receiving payments for the work you do can be a major headache. As we learn, grow and evolve as business owners, it’s common to figure out how to create a product as opposed to a service for many reasons- including the reduced hassle that comes with not chasing down customers for payments. 

That’s why we focused on the world of memberships. I thought about all of the memberships that I was a part of and paid for. And I could not avoid the reality that I paid for the membership before any access was given. And more importantly, I never expected them to give me anything before I paid. Why would they? The only exception would be a trial, but I knew the parameters around that. 

Once we realized that this membership model led to the smoothest, easiest and most collaborative form of payment, we knew before the business even began that we would eliminate one of its biggest struggles. That’s why we’re such advocates for creating memberships (products) as opposed to services as our baselines in business. Some of the things we do are services, but they are not the cornerstones of anything we do. 

That change alone gave us a big leg up on creating the freedom that we long desired. 


Have an AMAZING week!

Vincent

 *************

Here’s a question for you. If you could create a membership on any topic, what would it be about? Allow yourself to dream a bit. Would it be from a hobby that you have? A skill that you possess? A niche community that you would like to bring together? I would LOVE to hear your ideas! Please share them with me at vincent@totallifefreedom.com

Archives

Nobody Goes There Anymore, It’s Too Crowded

Yogi Berra was the catcher for the New York Yankees for nineteen seasons, making it to fourteen World Series and winning a remarkable ten world championships.  Yet Berra is remembered for his “Yogi-isms” as much as he is remembered for his incredible success on the baseball field. Many of those Yogi-ism’s are still used today. 

Read More »

Avoid The Trap of The Service Based Business Owner

Often, the very thing that gets you out of a painful spot will be the very thing holding you back from achieving the next level- and causing the next major pain point.  The idea of running your own business, controlling your time and living life on your own terms is most likely appealing to you. 

Read More »

If You Ever Feel Stuck- This Is The Place To Start

All it takes is one great connection to change the course of your life or your business.  Often, when I talk with someone at the very beginning of their entrepreneurial journey- or someone making a pivot- and they ask where they should start, my first questions to them are about their connections, network and friendships. 

Read More »

The Magic of The Unique Blend

How excited would the average candy lover feel if you handed them a regular piece of milk chocolate? I think the level of excitement would be relatively low. What about if you gave them a glob of peanut butter? Not excited for that either, you say?  Yet, by some estimates, the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup is the

Read More »

Why It’s Good For The Soul To Turn Down The Wrong Clients

It is good for the soul to turn down the wrong potential clients. I have said that line for years, but I was reminded of it strongly this past week. In the past twenty-four hours, I turned down two potential clients for our Membership Freedom community who were interested in joining.  What’s interesting is that,

Read More »

Three Years To Greatness

It takes three years to build it right.   The short-term thinkers hate to hear it. The impatient don’t buy it. But time and time again, it’s proven true. It takes three years to build something from the ground up and make it great.  I say this to every new member of Membership Freedom. I don’t

Read More »