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Friday, May 8, 2009

Overdue Payment Rant

< .rant >

Thankfully I was finally able to get in touch with a second client of mine who has an overdue invoice. I called them last week, emailed them two or three weeks prior and they seemed to be avoiding my calls. That's nice, and so very professional too.

Hey ______, how are you doing? I haven't heard from you in quite a while, and I wanted to check on the status of invoice #___ that I sent back in the beginning of March.

Um, yeah. I'll give it to accounting on Friday and have them send you a check.

Thanks, that would be great. I really appreciate it.

My sarcastic mind:
Really? Since it's already 45 days late I thought you'd like to wait a full 60 days and force me to get a creditor involved. No? Well okay. I could always add interest to the late payment too. Still no? I have an idea: Let's get that payment in and I won't "bother" you about it any more.

I really do hope and pray both my clients send the payments they said they would. Funny. I'm still failing to see how it's so difficult to pay what you owe someone.

ETA - One of the clients sent a late payment and I received it yesterday. So now I'm just missing one overdue payment.

- Let's imagine a situation –

You go to the dentist or doctor for a procedure or check up. A plumber comes to fix a leak, an electrician fixes your wiring... Typically you don't question their bills. You might not like the charges but you're still required to pay them. They all provided services and that's how it works.

Service rendered = payment due.
Easy as pie.

I'm really no different. I own and run a business. Being a graphic designer is still a profession. It's how I make (or try to make) a living.

Some people may not think that "art" is a real job. [Ha!] They should be ashamed for devaluing any line of work.

I have a BFA – a four year degree in Graphic Design, yet people still fail to see what I do as anything more than fluff. They seem to think the computer does all the work. Like it's just a 'Point and click.'

That still makes me laugh, albeit in a very unamused sort of way.

- Here's another situation -

Let's take a look at the IBM, Apple, Coke, Pepsi, Mc Donald's, Shell, FedEx and HP logos and brands. They were all created by Graphic Designers. Some really amazing ones at that!

Still think design and art is trivial? Without these designs where would these companies be? Do you think they would be as recognizable to the public today if they lacked the marks they are so well known for?

I doubt it.

Graphic Design is much more than using a computer or design tools. Long before I ever designed something on a computer, I learned the skills of hand lettering, layout, mocking things up and doing it all by hand.

Even when I create designs digitally, I still come up with ideas on paper. I brainstorm, sketch, draw complex images, sketch some more, and don't typically flesh things out on the computer until the end.

Computers and design software are tools. People can learn how to use them, but without a good understanding of design history, color theory, a knowledge of design processes, printing processes, inks, CMYK vs. PMS vs. RGB, along with continuing to learn new things every day, they're not really getting it.

I'm very thankful that I can choose my clients. Sometimes there will be a bad fit. That happens. It's life and business, and not every client works well with every business. I try to do what I can to make the customer happy. Next time they come to me I'll refer a designer for them to try, hoping it will be a better fit. I have networks, friends, and old coworkers who might work with them and who just might "click".

Owning my own design business, I have the freedom to be creative, be my own boss, work my own hours... Sure it's tough, but I'm doing what I love and that's what really matters. When you enjoy what you do, you do it better.

The people who do not appreciate me or my work don't change how I feel about what I do one bit.

If you need design work done and think it's silly or of no value, I have some advice: You might want to change your perspective before working with a designer who's work, career and life you view as insignificant.

< / rant over >

4 thoughtful comments:

Burcham Family said...

Ugh - I hate dealing with money!

Charlton said...

go Holly! :)

glee said...

Sorry you are having such problems! I guess it goes with the job, though.

I know the work you did for our group last year was just amazing. I felt it was well worth the money and more!

Ann(ie) said...

um, I'll be your "collection agency". hehe. I think I'd have fun. :) I'm weird.

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