Lets talk business! In my business I have learned the hard way that you can't always trust every word or promise coming from your client. While this may be hard to swallow or even read by many, it is the truth. Sadly like everything in life a few bad apples spoils it for everyone else.
When it comes to business I am now a big believer in having a small contract ready for all transactions big or small. The contract I use entails the contact information, the dimensions of the items, the species, the condition of the item, the work necessary, an estimate, an agreement and understanding that I am not responsible for fire, theft, damage, the payment schedule. Lastly in the proposal I roughly give them a possible date of completion. I always like to keep the client informed of my schedule just incase a job before theirs gets delayed, that way they understand their starting date may get pushed back. The reason for this is that I am a one man shoppe and I can only do so much.
For payments I now request 1/2 up front, a 1/4 of the payment three quaters of the way done, and 1/4 on delivery. I must get paid first before delivery even starts. If the payment is over a $1,000 dollars they can pay me in a check, with credit card, and/or cash. If I have a funny feeling I am going to going to get screwed or if this is the first time doing business with a client than a bank check and cash is the only option. As a business you must be aware that clients can cancel a check and a credit card payment. But the client can not cancel a bank check and this gives me the necessary control of a transaction.
This leads me to holding furniture as ransom. Please note this doesn't happen often but when it does I must be prepared. There have been times that I set up a delivery, unload the furniture, and than client tells me oh I forgot the check book at the office or I don't have my wallet. Often clients are being honest but you never really know. There has been times that I delivered a chest of drawers and I have taken back the drawers. There has been other times that I taken the leaves of the dining table, or even taken the seats of a set of chairs but left the chairs. This is how I control the situation. This is business and I often compare myself to a car mechanic. If you drop off your car for repairs, than when come to pick up your vehicle the bill must be paid.
In the same retrospect if something is wrong with the piece I repaired than I have the responsibility to take care of the piece at no cost to the client. That is of course if the issue was agreed upon in the contract.
I hope this post is helpful for you and may it give you a better understanding what this business is all about.