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Posted by: Paul Weatherhead



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One of the most daunting aspects of freelancing, next to being scapegoated for poor project performance, is finding a way to ensure an AV company pays up. There’s no worse feeling than throwing yourself wholeheartedly into an AV solution only to be shortchanged.

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We know that managing paperwork as a busy freelancer can be a pain, but everyone in the business from executives on down must do it. If you become proficient at administration, late or non-payments will become rare.

To help you reach that level of proficiency, we’ve gathered five tips that will improveyour admin process and ensure an AV company will pay on time, every time.

1. Generate Legal Contracts for Every Project

For every AV company you work for, you should be able to trace a paper trail back to the start of your partnership. Make a habit of generating a legal contract for every job you take on, one that includes clauses for what services you are responsible for, firing your buyer (should the need arise), and a kill fee if your buyer decides to let you go early.

Freelancers need legal contracts to keep the scope of work reasonable, to outline expectations, and to add protectionif the buyer proves untrustworthy. In worst-case scenarios, your legal documentation will keep you from suffering from non-payments and help you defend your freelance rights.

2. Learn How to Quote Fairly and Competitively

Some buyers will give you the option of negotiating your price on their job postings. You must learn how to quote both fairly and competitively for your work; otherwise, you risk an AV company reconsidering whether or not they’re willing to pay up (or hire you for their project at all).

You should be capable of creating an estimated timetable, determine which tasks of yours are billable versus non-billable, and have a ballpark for the minimum rate that will balance your living wage with industry standard rates.

The goal of freelancing, after all, is to strike a balance between your expectations and your buyers’ expectations. If you can quote fairly and competitively, you leave room for your businesses to grow, which encourages buyers to not only pay you but pay you what you know you’re worth.

3. Keep Continuous Communication during a Project

Keeping the lines of communication open during a project will increase an AV project manager’s sense of accountability, especially if your communication includes requests for necessary tools and schematics, as well asphoto updates of milestone work completed.

Communication, between you and your buyers, as well as the organizations that they are hiring you to design and install solutions for, is key to the success of every project. When you prove to a company that your work ethic is undeniable, the chances that they pay up are much higher.

4. Invoice on Time

This tip is related to the previous one but is important enough to be highlighted on its own. You must invoice promptly or else you risk late payment or non-payment if a buyer is busy and has forgotten the project you worked on.

Invoicing on time not only ensures timely payments, however, it ensures your reputation for reliability remains strong. Many job opportunities in the AV industry come from networking, and your buyers are more likely to recommend a freelancer who stood by their word.

5. Join an AV Freelance Platform

Lastly, you should host your job profile on an AV freelance platform. Such platforms have tools to facilitate all the tips we’ve discussed above, like tools to generate legal contracts and invoices per project, quoting, and a communication centre. There’s even a mutual rating system to enforce accountability.

Follow these tips and get steady work without having to chase down payments.


Paul Weatherhead

Paul Weatherhead

Prior to founding AV Junction Inc., Paul worked for a tier one AV systems integrator in an operational management capacity for 10 years. His knowledge and experience have helped him oversee hundreds of system integration projects in a variety of industries. Paul’s leadership skills as matched by his sense of humour and easygoing nature. When he’s not at work, you can find him outdoors, exploring new places or spending time with family and friends.

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