Holding back…or not

Singapore, 12th April 2011

The subject of today is about whether to submit work under the promise of getting paid rather than waiting to get paid before issuing your work. This is specifically an issue when somehow the client is difficult and finds any possible excuse in the book to hold back payments…I was discussing this topic earlier today with a colleague in the design industry as we all seem to face the same payment (or should I say collection) challenges.

Our work is basically intellectual property. Our commodity is time. For that we get paid a fee. I blogged about fees just a few blogs ago, but once you get on board a project, the next stage is to get paid! Most of the time getting your appointment fees or down payment is not too much of an issue as clients are eager for you to get started. But even getting the first payment sometimes is a hassle, specifically with big companies. Their so called legal department still needs to go through the small letters, but don’t worry, we will pay you as soon as possible, meanwhile please start…we have learned the hard way…don’t start until you get paid if that is the agreement!

But the same happens at later stages of work…you have finished your details but are still waiting to get paid for concept…do you issue or do you hold back…there is a fine line to thread…and somehow in this part of the world they are masters in this game (of not paying). Always excuses, delays…but meanwhile the site progresses and without your information they can’t proceed, so they blame you for the delays…It wouldn’t be the first time I have refused to issue a package because of non-payment. But at the same time it wouldn’t be the first time the client says, ok, no worries we’ll take it from here…leaving you out in the cold. To avoid the client accusing us of not having done the work (clever tactic), we issue them very low res pdf’s, just enough to see, but not enough to use…

Like with the fees it is a strategic decision on whether to hold back or move in good faith…

In Light Watch some comic relief as we need to keep the spirits up in our business…it is a picture that I have had for years. Originally used by an insurance company, I like to use it as an example of exaggeration when it comes to energy saving or even dramatic effects… applying a theatre lighting approach to a soccer match?

Light Watch 71: What do you mean… “energy efficient lighting”?

12. April 2011 by Martin Klaasen
Categories: light watch, lighting and the economy, lighting design practice | Leave a comment

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