Hi should i ask for a small deposit before I begin a project. I am a freelance graphic designer and I am concerned about getting my full payment ?
Since you have certain expenses in developing a project, you should not be shy about asking for a percentage of the fee up front. Take the magazine publishing industry for instance. Some writers are now asking for a kill fee in their contracts. This fee covers the writer's expenses to produce a work for a magazine if the magazine decides not to run the manuscript. You should do the same.
Big businesses can be just as hard to collect from as small companies because. Here is one example. A multi-million dollar company contracted for thousands of dollars worth of service work and equipment. The owners then refused to pay any of the invoices from the service and equipment providers. The owners stated that since their established primary contractor signed the work orders, not them (owners), the company had no obligation to honor any of the invoices.
As a freelancer, you're on your own. You have to look after yourself. If you do have worries getting full payment (I assume this is a small business you're dealing with?), it's absolutely reasonable to ask for a deposit.
There are indeed certain costs associated with doing projects that you would need to take care upfront, and it only makes sense if you use that as your basic reason to request for a deposit. Even if no fees required for you to start this project, you still have the rights to ask for a deposit..for your TIME that you would have to dedicate working on this project.
Of course the best thing is to have a contract (simple agreement will do) signed by both parties before any work being started.
If prospect customers seemed to mind (deposit & sign contract), but you do really need the job, do a little more research into this company.
This small business I work with have been handling over delinquent accounts to collections on regular basis in the past few months. All because everything looked fine when they delivered the material, but when it came time to collect the payment, bankruptcy notices were flying in.
So don't worry to ask for deposit. Otherwise your gut feeling might turned out to be true.
Yes, I think you should collect deposits. But let me add this, which is a mistake lots of merchants make. Deposits need to be made in CASH. If your business accepts credit cards, a credit card is NOT a means of accepting advance or partial deposits. The reason: If push comes to shove, the merchant will lose 100% of the disputes when customers complain and want their deposit back, which defeats the purpose of accepting a deposit in the first place. I hope this is useful info to you or anybody else contemplating accepting advance deposits for their goods or services.