Never Start Work without Payment
Don't work for free; doesn't it seem obvious? Yet I’ve allowed myself to violate this rule for what seemed at the time like the best of reasons. I could always rationalize why I started writing the book before the client wrote a check.
Stop. There is no better prediction of a successful engagement than the client’s willingness to make a substantial down payment and your willingness to wait for it. If paying you isn't a priority now, it never will be.
Architects don't began drawing and lawyers don't begin drafting without a retainer. You’re a professional, too. Decline to do any work until you have received the initial payment. Ideally that payment should be as large as possible. Try for at least one-third of the total paymentup front check—and it clears.