1. NET 30

This is the most common payment term we use in the industry and it’s purpose is to establish that the client owes payment within 30 days. Other common iterations include NET 60, 90 and sometimes as low as 7. As with NET 30, the preceding numbers informs how many days the client has until payment will be due. 

2. PIA

Ever get booked for a really hefty job with a killer check but it’s a big risk to take on without a guarantee? That’s where PIA comes in. PIA or Payment In Advance means to provide either a deposit or the entire amount of the quote ahead of time. While this is less common in our line of work, this is most often used on jobs totaling in the thousands, requiring travel or major translation jobs. When you simply don’t have the cash to float yourself if something fell through, a PIA term can be incredible helpful offering you that added security. 

3. 5% 7 NET 30

It’s not a math equation, but it’s close. 5% 7 NET 30 means: the client will save 5% if they pay within the week, if they pay within 30 days following the NET 30, the total will remain unchanged. Complicated? Slightly. Helpful when things get a little skinny? ABSOLUTELY! 

4. Net Income

The payments you receive as a 1099 contractor or small business are not fully yours until you’ve paid out all of the expenses of your business. In everyday business you’ll find yourself paying a percentage (%) of your gross (the total you’ve received) sales to your taxes both federal and state, your overhead (the costs associated with running a business) and some into the business for capital. 

Having a smart and organized way to see these numbers is critical. The process of tracking your income and expenses can be complicated but if diligent, incredibly rewarding. For freelancers looking for a solution to track income, expenses and other business finance, we’ve developed a database template for purchase which you can find here

5. No. 

That’s right, No. Perhaps the most important term on this list, the least frequently conquered. Interpreters and translators are used to being “yes people” who work to please as our job is often a form of service to a larger community. Dedicating ones life to helping people understand each other doesn’t always come with a handbook for saying no, but when looking at the bigger picture that we ourselves are apart of one thing is clear; we must be able to delineate our business needs without believing it reduces our passion for people. 

That client who’s telling you they’re not willing to pay a late fee after six months of hounding them for payment? Yeah, no.

The client who flirts for a discount? no. Well, maybe. 

In the first Foundations in Freelance series we cover the basics of contracting in two modules designed to help you bill accurately and effectively every time. We also breakdown relationships with direct clients and agencies, empowering you to provide incredible services to incredible people. For more on the course or to register, click here

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