Pro video blog…Produced by Philip Johnston DoP/Editor


Talking to a friend of mine tonight I got really angry as he told me his plight…He has been producing fantastic work for various “big name” companies and as a designer his work speaks for itself. The “big name” companies are now dragging their heals to pay him…the work is done, their fancy new designs are making them money and he is too proud and professional to “pull his work” till he gets paid…to the extent he has reached the end of his cashflow so he can’t pay his outstanding bills which sets up a vicious circle.

Why am I tell you this because we are all in the same boat, we all talk about workflows with our Canon 5Dmk2, Sony EX-3s but forget that a more important workflow, we should all be paying more attention to is “CASHFLOW”.

I like most of you are running small 1-2 people businesses and we are all held to task with our banks as we dare not cross the line between credit and debt…yet if “they” get into trouble they get 64 billion pounds to help them out. THEY have the Bank of England … WE have one measly £800 over draft and God help us if we use it up.

Banks today are no longer here to help small businesses even though we may have say for talking sake £5K to come in from various sources that are owed to us so my advice to small businesses are as follows…

1. Don’t be taken in by the “promise of more work”. Take my advice the 2nd job is a pipe dream.

2. Do not lower your price on the possibility of future work.

3. Tell the client you will invoice them in two parts, that helps your cashflow and keeps the bank happy.

4. If you are coming to the edge of your over draft phone the bank and put a case to them, tell them about payments owing to you, 99% of the time they don’t care but hang on to the 1% as that may be your bank manager.

5. Make a nuisance of yourself, phone the accounts dept. tell them your plight, you have done the work you are entitled to be payed…the 30 days are up. Write to the MD ask him if he/she can intervene, you have nothing to loose… by this time you no longer need or want further business from this company.

I get really pissed off when I hear good small companies being kicked around by big bullies when it comes to payment, there is no need to treat anyone like this in todays society…if only we had the power to stop their wages then the tables would turn.


Having been working in the video business since 1988 I have amassed a great amount of knowledge of both the kit and production values over the last 30 years.

2 thoughts on “Forget WorkFlow you need CashFlow to exist !

  1. Here here! Good advice.

    I’ve had to be really firm with my clients and ask for 50% upfront and reinforce the fact that I can’t offer any credit terms whatsoever. They have to pay as soon as they receive the invoice. In practical terms this is still in about 2-3 weeks, but at least they know the score for next time.

  2. Yes, sadly it has been this way since the dawn of commercial video production. The only way to survive is to ensure prompt payment. Nothing concentrates the mind of a client like a professionally drafted contract with two or three staged payments. Handing over your finished work without a contractual ability to take legal action leaves you totally exposed and very vulnerable to clients without a conscience.

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