As a small business ourselves, we are looking to tighten up certain of our procedures – this information is so that everyone is aware of how we are going to do certain things from now on, and so that there is no confusion, or any chance that people have not been informed.
We try to always be as flexible as we can be regarding payments and if informed, always take account of individual circumstances, as we know that running a business can be financially challenging at times. However, this also means that sometimes we are chasing invoices, long after they have been issued.
Website Hosting/Domain Name Renewal
This seems to particularly apply to website hosting/domain name renewal. I have added a blog about this on our website and I do try and refer to it, especially if an invoice is long overdue, and it can be found here. In a nutshell, if we host your website/emails or manage your domain name(s), we ensure that payment is made, on your behalf, prior to the renewal date, so that there is no interruption with your website or emails and so that you do not lose your domain name. Sometimes, we are chasing invoices weeks after we have made these payments. Our only recourse is to take down a website, something we are very reluctant to do, and which we would only ever do if there is absolutely no communication whatsoever from the client.
From now on, we will invoice at least one week in advance of any hosting or domain name renewal. Should you wish to pay this when invoiced, we would obviously be delighted, as this would then mean that we were then not “out of pocket”. However, we appreciate that with cashflow etc, clients may prefer to pay on the actual day of renewal. Whilst we always, always try to be as flexible and as understanding as we can be, we need to make everyone aware that we can’t just keep on sending reminder emails and getting nothing back, if invoices aren’t paid. Reluctantly, in an instance like this, we will now go down the route of taking down a website if we’ve not been made aware of any issues re non-payment. A fee of £40 would then be additionally payable (see small print on our own website) for it to be reinstated.
Previously, we have sometimes sent final artwork or put live website updates, prior to an invoice being paid. Again, we have done this in good faith, knowing that if a client has requested this kind of design work, it it is important. However, there are again instances where we are chasing invoices for work which is being used and we can’t let this continue. From now on, any website updates which are invoiced for (ie anything other than small tweaks etc), or any artwork, will only be released upon payment of the invoice.
We don’t like posting blogs like this one, but we think that it is better that everyone is absolutely aware of how we are going to do things from now on. And, it obviously goes without saying, that communication is key – if you are a client, and there is a reason for you not being able to make a payment on time, just let us know. Apart from actually paying, this is the easiest way to avoid any kind of issues with websites, artwork etc.