Example scenarios of what to do when an interior design client doesn’t pay
While a missed payment from a client can be frustrating, it’s important to maintain your professionalism, give clients the benefit of the doubt and recognize that human error or valid concerns may arise that could prevent a client from paying on time. Still, specific situations can arise with interior design clients that you can look out for to help prevent payment issues ahead of time:
When a client wants additional work during your project
In this scenario, you may have collected payment up front for the initial project, but your client requested change orders or decided to expand the project from what was initially agreed upon, yet has failed to pay for the extra work.
To help avoid delinquent payment, you can consider charging by the hour, which encourages your client to be mindful of changes and expansions to the project. You can also include language in your contract ahead of time about how many revisions are allowed if you’ve decided to quote for a flat fee. Being as explicit as possible in your contracts will save you time, money and a lot of trouble in the long run.
When a client changes their mind about the custom furniture/decor they requested you order from a vendor after the item arrives
If a client decides they dislike the custom furniture they ordered, and if you haven’t charged a significant percentage or the full amount up front and received payment, you could be on the hook for paying the vendor if the client decides not to pay. For custom furniture or decor, it’s best to collect 100% or as much as you can up front to help cover this potential risk.