Originally Posted by Skip Burrows
The way we do it is 1/2 down and the other 1/2 when we Finnish. Those who don't like that policy, can gladly go elsewhere. I have learned through hard experience that the clients who complain about deposits never pay in the firs place. Good luck.
+1. Deposit secures the gig, and cancellation fees can be taken out of deposit $$. No one wants to get stuck turning down work for a job that gets cancelled on short notice.
Last 50% guarantees that you do the work, and are not screwing your clients taking deposits and not finishing the work.
If it's a bigger budget, and you'd prefer not to be left floating the last 50%, create milestones along the way and split the expenses up...say 25% to start, 25% at milestone 1, 25% at milestone 2, and 25% on completion.
Goes without saying...finals / masters / materials / hard drives / tapes don't head out the door until the bill has been paid in full.