Pricing architectural project work is a complex issue that is not usually addressed during one's formative school years, and it usually takes time for professionals to develop a good system that works for them and their clients. Issues such as scope of work, hours worked, project area and project complexity will influence the final cost of a job. In addition, another thing that can keep project professionals awake at night is how to charge clients in a way that is sustainable for the business and comfortable for future users of the designed space.
When it comes to architecture, engineering and design professionals, billing and payments are vital for cash flow and therefore vital to the business. Receiving an income consistently and predictably is absolutely essential. Furthermore, issues such as customers' failure to pay or even simple delays can hinder the progress of work and create uncomfortable situations.
Historically, architects have operated much like other professionals – accepting traditional forms of payment for their services, including cash, check, and bank or wire transfers. In the case of projects, payments are usually made in multiple installments, defined by specific time periods, such as the delivery of stages or on dates that are pre-established in the contract. Today, newer, faster and more convenient payment methods are gaining traction, putting the ability to pay directly into the hands of customers. Online payments are simpler and faster, allowing customers to plan financially. By combining this with a schedule that is exclusively designed for the project in question, one can start to see the advantages pile up.
For example, when each project milestone is reached and the next payment is due at specific moments, designers can use an online payment solution to quickly send an invoice to the customer's inbox that can be paid immediately (as opposed to the time-consuming process of sending and cashing checks). The more you can promote a frictionless experience with your customers, the more likely they will be to go into business with you again and recommend your company to others.
According to this article by John Lehman, “One of the biggest draws for customers to pay their bills online is the ability to set their bills on an automated recurring schedule. Often, all they have to do is provide their payment details to the service provider. The provider will automatically bill the customer whenever their bill is due. This 'set it and forget it' method of paying bills has become increasingly popular in recent years, both with personal accounts and professional services. For example, a recent study of clients of legal professionals showed that 73% of clients wanted to take advantage of a payment plan.”
ClientPay is a payment solution for architecture, engineering and design professionals that understands the specific demands of these activities. While using it, you can accept payments directly through the technology solutions you are already using, with options such as timing, billing, or comprehensive practice management software. And by accepting these payment methods, even more payment options can be accessed, such as setting up one-time or future recurring payments. It affords greater control to architecture professional over finances, pending payments and future installments, providing greater comfort in an activity that we are not usually trained (and generally do not like very much) to do.
Learn more about ClientPay's payment solution for architects.