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Chase payments constantly from the START. Make it the norm that you must get paid on time. People will often defer payment if you don't push them. If you can help it, try and get paid in advance - at my firm, clients must pay for the next 2 weeks of consulting, or their work stops. I know it sounds brutal, but my people need to get paid, and if clients can't handle that, then they're not worth having as clients!

Edit: clients who REALLY understand their business are better than those that don't. You want to work with people who know what they're doing, so that they can explain their requirements clearly to you. You'll be surprised at how many people can't do that, often resulting in them expecting one thing and getting another (and they'll blame you for it).

In other words, don't have a client from hell. I've been reading stories about those kinds of people for years now.


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