How to Handle Non-Paying Clients


Whoever said that being a virtual assistant is a piece of cake is definitely wrong. The number of skills, dedication, time, and effort that being one requires is just beyond demanding. Yes, they may not be as constricted as those working on an office-based job but there is stress nonetheless.

Virtual assistants need to face the pressure of constantly upgrading their skills, enlarging their network, and making end meets meet all on their own. To top all that, it’s also becoming quite the norm to encounter clients that either pays late, pays incredibly low, or worse, never pays.

If you’re just starting out as a home-based freelancer and is afraid of experiencing the same fate, here’s a few thing to keep in mind to learn how to avoid it and deal with it if necessary.

  • Do your own research. This is the best advice that there is. Before accepting a client, know their background, track record, and employee reviews. No one else would do this for you especially if you’re not working under an agency that’d verify each client for you; and even so, doing your own research is always a bonus.
  • Prepare a contract.  Don’t be afraid to be proactive in this area. This would not only save you from abusive clients, it would also give your client an assurance that you’re going to do your job. This kind of initiative may actually make your client know that you are professional and smart.
  • Set a schedule. Make sure to set a schedule with your client. This is to let your clients prepare for every invoice and to assure that everything is clear and understood . An added tip would be for you to make multiple invoices a month instead of sending one to avoid getting yourself ‘robbed’ a huge amount of money.
  • Contact your client. If you ever experience a lapse in your salary, just keep calm and clear your mind first. Before jumping into conclusions, the best thing you could do is contact your client and see if there is a problem. It might just be a minor delay or a technical issue. Remember, trust your client enough for your client to trust you.
  • Push harder and know your legal rights. Once you’ve already contacted your client but receive no response, don’t budge. Just be firm. You deserve every cent of that hard-earned money so don’t be afraid to demand it. This is where having a contract would save you; you can use it as a legal proof that your client owns you some.
  • Charge it to experience. Unfortunately, there are going to be those times wherein even if you do everything and follow the things listed above, you still won’t get paid for the service you’ve worked hard for. Don’t be too sad about it because things do happen for a reason and you know what they all say, experience is the best teacher. So charge it to experience and be extra careful the next time around.


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