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From boom to bust

There are lots of benefits to being your own boss – such as the joys of sitting around in your dressing gown with sticky-up hair and too many days’ beard growth – but as I’ve written before, there are negatives too. Not just the lack of holiday pay, sick pay or job security, but also late payment which, in many cases, results in a flurry of bank charges that wipe out most of your wages long before they turn up.

While late payment is bad, non-payment is worse – and when a firm goes bust owing you money, you’re stuffed. If you’re self-employed and a big client goes to the wall, your chances of getting even a fraction of what you’re owed are effectively zero (careers advice: if you want to make money, go into the liquidation business. When one of my former employers went bust last year, the firm had around £30K in assets – which went to the bank and to the liquidators. The firm’s army of freelances didn’t get a penny).

Aaaaaaanyway… on a journalist forum I frequent, various writers are comparing notes on late payment and non-payment. The winner? A writer whose biggest client has gone down the tubes.

She’s owed nearly £7,000 :-o