Let's talk just a minute about, well, you know
1. Respect us and our ideas. (Note that I didn't say like all our ideas. Just show some respect for the effort.)
2. Pay our bills on time.
So, on #$ 2 - Nobody likes to have to call and ask for money. It's especially hard on a smaller agency where they don't have a separate A/R department. It often puts the AE - the person charged with maintaining a relationship - in the awkward position of having to inquire about a past-due invoice.
If the price is too high, bring it up before you agree to the project. If there is a question about the invoice, ask it as soon as you get the invoice and you'll get an answer. If the work is no good, fire them.
And if you just installed a new accounting system, the CFO is on vacation or any one of a dozen other things we've all heard several times, make it clear to your agency early on.
Agencies can't repossess anything. Or cut off your credit. All we have to sell is time and expertise, and once you've got it, we can't take it back. All an agency - or design studio - can really do is stop work until you catch up. And nobody wants to do that because, well, because we're here to help you succeed, not slow things down.
Think about it, as much as we all want to believe that every client is important, we're also all human. And the guy who is always late and never pays we bug him for it is going to look different to us than the guy who pays promptly and on time. That's just reality.
People sometimes seem to think that because we're in a creative business, money is secondary to an agency or design firm. Not so.
Really. No kidding. Not so.