Invoicing is a fundamental part of every business. It is the reward for all of your hard work and your business wouldn’t last very long if you neglect to do it. This article will cover the basics of creating, sending, and following up on invoices.
Create a professional template
Start by creating a professional template that has the clients contact information, the invoice number, and your company’s contact information. If you use an online invoicing provider they will have pre-establish templates where you will only need to insert the information. Make sure to save the template with the contact information filled in, so it does not need to be re-entered each time.
Use clear details and break down charges
The next simple step is using details that clearly explain each charge. If you use a bookkeeping program or online service they will store the information, so if you need to invoice someone else for them same product or service, it won’t need to be re-entered. If you have already given the client a quote, you should use the same descriptions on the invoice, so each charge can be easily referenced. Break down the amount for each charge and make sure the final total is easy to find.
Include the date and due date
Make sure that you date every invoice with the current date and the date it is due, along with the terms that you have already negotiated and agreed upon. This should be somewhere close to the total of the invoice, so it is a quick reference when the client is ready to write the check.
Email it directly to the client
Your invoice should also be sent directly to the client as soon as the project is complete. Email is an efficient way and you can even request a read receipt, so you know the client has it in their hands. Somewhere half way between when the invoice is sent and when it is due, a professional reminder notice should be sent. This will ensure that your invoice has not been misplaced or forgotten.
Send a thank you note
The last courtesy step is to send a thank you email to the client once the invoice has been paid. You want them to know that you are thankful for their business and that you hope to work together again. This will make your company stand out in a positive way.
Invoicing may not be the most fun part of running your own business, but it is necessary and it is always worth it when you get paid. The faster the invoices are created, the sooner they can be sent, and the faster you will access to the money you need to run your business. If you don’t have the time to tackle it yourself, then invest in an online cash management system to make it easier.