One of the toughest aspects of freelancing is the uncertainty of your cash flow. Most freelancers simply cannot rely on a certain amount of income each month.

Sure, you can look ahead at what clients will owe you and figure that in to your budget, but what happens if they don’t pay on time or worse, disappear altogether?

If you can conquer any problems that you have with money going to or coming from your business, then you’ll set yourself up for success.

One great way to do that is to get paid faster.

GET PAID FASTER

Over the years, I’ve learned that arguable the most important question to ask my editors at the very beginning is: When will I be paid?

Some publishers pay as soon as the work is submitted, but if you’re unsure, ask your editor before you start writing. This often leads to discussions about payment on publication versus payment on acceptance. If it’s on acceptance, it’s a good idea to get some clarity on what exactly “acceptance” really means; definitions can vary from client to client. And if it’s on publication, always ask when the piece is expected to be published—you’d be surprised how long completed pieces can sit on the back-burner.

My freelancing motto, honed by growing up in India and haggling on the streets of Delhi, is this: Negotiate like an Indian. There is nothing I like better than being paid quickly, so I make it a point to bring that up when I receive an assignment or contract. If you don’t ask, you won’t get it. But if you ask—and I do, frequently—you have a better chance of being paid faster.”

Check out the entire article at The Freelancer.