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When you're just starting out as an independent contractor, it can be tough to figure out what to charge your clients. You'll want to come up with a figure that pays your expenses, adequately compensates you for your time, and allows you to earn at least some profit. And, of course, you'll have to make sure not to charge more than the market will bear -- if freelancers in your area are willing to perform the same work for a much lower fee, you probably won't drum up much business. For tips on coming up with the right price, see How Much Should You Charge for Your Service?
Just as important as doing the work is making sure you get paid. Many contractors and consultants spend too much time acting as collection agencies, going after deadbeat clients who refuse to pay their bills. If a client won't pay after being properly invoiced, you'll need to turn up the heat by persistently demanding payment and pursuing your legal options, if necessary. For tips on collecting what you're owed, see Get Clients to Pay Up.