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Old 08-13-2012
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Default Invoicing multiple retainer clients - How often do you invoice?
If you have more than one client on retainer and they each started different times of the month, when do you send out invoices? Every Friday? Do you pro-rate the first month then invoice everyone at the same time?

Also, if you received half of the retainer upfront and invoice the other half at the end of the month, when do you invoice 1/2 of the following month?
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Old 08-13-2012
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Default Re: Invoicing multiple retainer clients - How often do you invoice?
Great questions! Fatima, I invoice on the first of the month every month.

For retainer clients there retainers are due on the first of each month.

For hourly clients they have net 15 days to pay.

For per project I usually collect a percentage up front (most of the time it's 50%) and then the remainder when it's the project is complete. Also, for the project clients it depends on the size and duration of project as to how the payments break down. If it is a longer drawn out project with many different steps then I will collect a certain percentage upfront and a certain amount at each milestone we set for the project and I don't move to the step of the project until payment is made.

Also, just a side note here: I watermark and lock documents so that they cannot be used by the client until they've made final payment at which I will remove watermarks and passwords

If I have a situation where there is mid month I do prorate it. I feel it's only fair. Also, if I have a situation where as you described about collecting the other half it would just depend on the arrangement with the client, but the idea is to avoid that situation. You want to try to collect it all at once if it's a retainer situation.
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Old 08-13-2012
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Default Re: Invoicing multiple retainer clients - How often do you invoice?
My process is almost exactly the same as Rhonda's.

It's so much easier to invoice everyone at the same time every month - even though I'm sure the accounting software and calendars would keep you on top of everything.
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Old 08-14-2012
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Default Re: Invoicing multiple retainer clients - How often do you invoice?
Ditto. Although I only do pre-paid work. All Retainers are due on the 1st and the invoices are sent on the 25th of the month. Anyone that starts on any day other than the first is prorated that month and started fresh the next month.

So if they started on the 15th they get invoiced from the 15th to the last day of the month, then invoiced again on the 25th for the next month.

I have been in 'weird' situations where, even though I only work on a pre-paid basis I am working before payment...I've found it just best to stick to my business model with all clients at all time.
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Old 08-14-2012
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Default Re: Invoicing multiple retainer clients - How often do you invoice?
Let me add that because I only do pre-paid work, I sell "Blocks" of hours (with a specific expiration date) to Non-Retainer clients called "Packages" and then I work on whatever they need until those hours are used or the time has passed. Although I am not so good at saying their time has ran out before their hours Getting better though!

Also working on putting together 'Project' based packages now though where they come to me for 1 specific Project (like Set-up WordPress).
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Old 08-14-2012
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Default Re: Invoicing multiple retainer clients - How often do you invoice?
This is very helpful. Thank you so much for your responses ladies!
Tina, I like the idea of the packages. Do you find you client opt for the packages versus the retainers?
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Old 08-14-2012
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Default Re: Invoicing multiple retainer clients - How often do you invoice?
Hi Fatima,

I haven't started offering Packages yet; just now thinking about what they would (and should) include. I'll keep you posted though!

I have had clients that I know have bought Packages from other Service Providers. Ones that don't call themselves VA's, but rather ones that "specialize" in that one (1) thing...like WordPress Customizations.
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Old 08-14-2012
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Default Re: Invoicing multiple retainer clients - How often do you invoice?
Oh wait...I miss-read your reply/question Fatima

People are hesitant to do Retainers for the most part. That is not just with me...I am talking across the board. Packages do well. The thing to remember is to give them a deadline for using the Hours they purchase and being able to tell them all the things you can help them with. The more, the better.

I find that people that do become Retainer clients are usually more serious (and realistic...which may be the better word) about their businesses by investing both money & time.

I also find that 'seemingly" successful people (by their online clout) that won't become Retainer clients are not doing as well as it may seem....just my observations.

HTH!
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Old 08-15-2012
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Default Re: Invoicing multiple retainer clients - How often do you invoice?
Thanks Tina. I appreciate your feedback on the packages. I can see how packages would be appealing to a potential client.
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Old 01-26-2013
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Default Re: Invoicing multiple retainer clients - How often do you invoice?
Most of my clients buy my time in blocks of 80 hour clips, so I just send a statement reminder when their time is running out and they go to my website to buy more hours. Keeps it simple!
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