Getting paid is a good thing! Here are some best practices to help you make sure you get paid for your work and services.
1. Read through your contract carefully, ensure there is a date of payment or payment time frame clearly written BEFORE you sign it. Date ranges can be: Within three months of publication, within 1 year of publication, by Jan 1 of xxxx. I don’t know that I would accept a payment term of within one year. The longest I would prefer to see, unless it was for a bucket load of cash, would be 90 days, but I might settle on six months.
2. Always send an invoice. You can find invoice templates in most of your desk top publishing software or in business software. I use my Microsoft Word Templates, you just fill in your own information (name/company/address etc) into the blanks and voila! Email is a good enough record, but you can also send invoices by snail mail, I would do that as a back up only.
3. If you haven’t been paid for over a year or they have breached contract it is NOT unprofessional to discuss this. How you choose to discuss this in public is another story. Screaming, using profane language, name calling and slanderous remarks is uncalled for, but as a professional you can state that your contract was not honored. If more professionals spoke up, less designers and service providers would be taken advantage of in the long run. It is neither slander or libel to state a fact if you can prove the fact.