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The Utah Gumshoe: 4 Tips for Getting Paid Faster

The Utah Gumshoe: 4 Tips for Getting Paid Faster

Listen: 4 Tips for Getting Paid Faster

Cash is king. Cash flow is your life blood. When it comes to payroll, supplies and gas (not to mention all the other normal bills associated with a private investigation agency) you must have access to plenty of cash on a reoccurring basis to stay in business. Some private eyes use credit cards or a line of credit from their bank. Still others depend upon a spouse’s income to fill in the gaps.

Money, so they say. Is the root of all evil today. But if you ask for a raise it’s no surprise that they’re giving none away.

Pink Floyd

There are plenty of ways to ensure that you’re paid in a speedy manner. Consider the following 4 tips for getting paid faster:

Tip #1: Make Your Payment Policies Clear Up Front

Before you do any work for the client make sure they understand exactly what your payment policies are and what they can expect. Tell them verbally and then put it in writing. And then tell them again.

Tip #2: Get a Retainer

When it comes to domestic cases, such as child custody and divorce, there’s only one thing to remember: Always (and I mean ALWAYS) get paid first. Get a retainer before you lift a finger. It’s something I learned from El Paso, Texas private investigator Jay J. Armes. With domestic investigations there are no guarantees. It’s important that clients understand up front they are paying you for your efforts – not for what they perceive as a specific outcome. And that’s why you get a retainer up front. If the outcome of the investigation is not resolved in the manner in which the client expected (and you did NOT get a retainer) you will find that the client’s willingness to pay you has decreased considerably and in inverse proportion to how excited they were to have hired you in the first place.

Tip #3: Positive Incentives

Rather than charge late fees or other negative actions – make your incentives positive. For example, offer clients 3% off their invoice when they pay you within 10 days (or choose some other rate and term that works best for you.)

Tip #4: Accept Credit Cards

Make it easy for your clients to pay you. The small business accounting software Quickbooks allows users to accept credit cards through Intuit GoPayment. Another option is Square which is great for small businesses that need to accept credit cards but not necessarily on a regular basis. Most of your major banks, such as Chase Bank, can set your business up to accept credit cards. All of these options offer the user the ability to swipe cards with a card reader that attaches to your cell phone or tablet. These types of card readers are versatile. They give you the ability to accept credit cards just about anywhere you meet your client which is really nice A word of caution about merchant accounts and credit card processing companies. It’s a cutthroat business. Picture Shark Week on the Discovery Channel. Get everything in writing. Benjamin Franklin said it best, “Believe none of what you hear and only half of what you see.”

Until next time

this is Scott Fulmer, the Utah Gumshoe, reminding you the game…is afoot!

About The Utah Gumshoe Podcast

Scott B. Fulmer The Utah Gumshoe

The Utah Gumshoe Podcast follows the real-life exploits, riveting case stories, investigative tips and insightful advice of Scott Fulmer, The Utah Gumshoe. Scott is a 20 year veteran Utah private investigator, surveillance expert and President/CEO of intellUTAH, a private investigation firm based in Salt Lake City.

He has written numerous articles on investigative and surveillance techniques that have appeared in PInow.com and other industry journals. He is a decorated combat veteran of the Persian Gulf War where he served with the famous 2nd Armored Division (Hell on Wheels). Whether you're a novice or an experienced investigator this is the podcast for you.

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