Deposits are not just about the money.

Requiring a deposit communicates a client’s mental and fiscal commitment. It also showcases your professionalism and confidence in your work.

You hold the operational controls of the client relationship. Deposits set a tone of professionalism and confidence and help to ensure a mutually respectful and beneficial business partnership. If the client reacts adversely in response to your deposit requirement, then it's up to your insight to recognize this behavior as a red flag and an indication to proceed with caution.

To start a deposit invoice, navigate to "Accounting" and choose "Create new invoice" from the top right. Choose your client or create a new client and choose "Deposit" from the modal.

After you enter the deposit amount, you will be taken to the newly created deposit invoice. View and edit the deposit description, payment instructions, and payment terms. You can add notes or attachments as needed.

Send your deposit via Hectic email or download a PDF to send it your own way. The Hectic email is fully editable.

If you have not integrated electronic payments, you can record a payment when you receive it in the top right corner by clicking the three dots and choosing "Record a payment."

After a deposit has been paid, you will be able to credit the amount back to your client (if you choose) on a future invoice. The next time you create an invoice, you will see an option to "Apply deposit credit."

You can opt to apply the full deposit or whatever amount you have previous agreed to with your client.

A note on deposits:

Contrary to the popular opinion of most freelancers, it is industry best practice -- and thus expected -- for a freelancer to require a deposit before starting work. Hectic™ allows you to configure whether or not a deposit is required, and whether that deposit will be a fixed amount or a percentage.

  • ⭐ PRO TIP: For most freelance projects, it is acceptable to require 30%–50% of your estimated fee.

  • ⭐ PRO TIP: Inform the client in writing in advance (e.g., in the proposal) that a deposit is required, including:

    • Deposit percentage

    • Deposit due date

    • Whether it will be deducted from their next invoice or if it will have a dedicated invoice

    You can include this in your proposal payment terms on proposals created in Hectic and it will automatically create the deposit invoice (per your terms) and update your payment terms in the client file. You can also add it to payment terms outside of proposals by clicking "Clients" in the left navigation, choosing the correct client, and scrolling down to "Payment terms" on the "Overview" tab.

Q: What percentage do I require if I'm working within an estimated range that will be determined as the project progresses?

  • A: If you've given the client a range, then industry best practice is to calculate the deposit according to the amount at the low end of the range (for example, if you give an estimate of between $3,000 to $3,300, then calculate your percentage according to $3,000 (the low end of the range).

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