invoicing tips

Effective Invoicing Tips to Save You Time and Money

Billing customers and clients can be frustrating and time-consuming. However, it’s an integral part of running a business and can mean the difference between getting paid or not, utilizing an online invoice maker can significantly cut down on the hassle of billing by offering an easy way to create and send professional quality invoices in minutes.

Implementing efficient invoicing habits may seem complicated at first. These simple steps will help you start invoicing easier and help you grow your business in the long run.

Choose an invoice maker.

An excellent online invoice maker gives you the option of creating professional-looking invoices without the need for a word processor or physical paper. Bills can be made and sent to customers by email, eliminating the time needed for invoices to be sent by mail.

Avoiding the mail will not only save you time, money, ink, and paper, it’s also a great way to help the environment. Sending bills by mail requires fuel and often leads to a great deal of paper waste. This can all be eliminated when utilizing an online invoice maker.

An invoice maker such as Invoice Home will allow you to create and send documents from your mobile or desktop devices. Customer information and the payment status of each invoice will automatically be synced across all your devices, allowing you to access your documents at any time from anywhere with an internet connection.

Enter invoice amounts and customer information.

The faster you organize your information after choosing an invoice maker, the faster you can start sending invoices. Be sure to add relevant details such as customer names, email addresses, itemized lists, and totals. Once your information is saved, you can begin creating and sending invoices.

A useful feature of invoice makers is that they can save your data for repeated use. Rather than having to enter the same information multiple times for the same customer, it will instead be auto-filled unless specified otherwise. This will significantly speed up the invoicing process if you need to bill the same customer more than once.

Determine terms and conditions.

Establishing when and how you would like to be paid is important for both you and your customers. This is especially important when working as a freelancer. Payment terms should be discussed in detail with your clients before beginning a job. That way, you can avoid any misunderstanding about when a payment is due and how it should be paid.

Sometimes unforeseen problems arise that can make it difficult for people to pay their bills on time. Finding a payment schedule that works best for your clients and being flexible when they can’t pay will help foster customer loyalty.

Setting a payment policy with a short term duration is one way to ensure you are paid quickly. The longer your policy, the more likely it is for customers to forget to send payment. A good range is about 15 to 30 days.

Track your invoices.

A great feature of invoice makers that often gets overlooked is their ability to keep track of your invoicing activity. This feature is especially important if you are working as a freelancer. You can bill clients for the hours you’ve worked and quickly fill in information for repeat customers.

Keeping a detailed record of the services you provide to clients is vital to get paid what you are owed. If disputes arise between you and your clients, you can easily refer to the electronic record of your services listed in the invoice maker.

Tracking the payment status of your invoices is important for the continued growth of your business. A good invoice generator will do this automatically. However, it’s always a good idea to double-check the payment status of an invoice just in case an error was made when adding information into the system. A simple phone call or email to a customer can also help clear up the status of a payment quickly when the need arises.

Create incentives.

No matter how good your invoices are, it’s still possible; some clients are reluctant to pay what they owe you. To avoid this, it’s best to have a plan in place to encourage clients to pay their invoices on time. Offering incentives is a great way to get customers to pay their invoices on time. Everyone loves to save money, so offering a discount off the total amount due can be a good reward for clients who pay their invoices on time.

For customers that don’t respond to discounts, late fees can be an excellent motivation to pay invoices on time. It may seem harsh, but it’s an effective way to ensure customers honor your specified due date. When a customer is simply unable to pay what they owe, offering the option of partial payments can also be a useful feature. You may only receive a small amount of the invoice total, but it is still better than receiving nothing at all.

Customer service is key.

Whether you run a business where you interact with customers face to face or work remotely as a freelancer, maintaining excellent customer service is always essential. Politeness and professionalism can increase the likelihood that a client will want to do business with you again.

Maintaining an air of professionalism can help you build a stronger relationship with your clients. Manners are always a useful tool when it comes to getting clients to pay on time. It’s still best to be polite, even when it comes to dealing with less than stellar customers.

Create professional-looking invoices.

Although it may seem unimportant, the appearance of your invoices can significantly affect the way customers perceive your business. An invoice with a sloppy layout can be difficult to understand, which can further delay the time it takes for you to get paid.

A well-crafted invoice will show your clients that you’re running a professional business and that your services can be trusted. It’s also a good way to stand out from the mundane invoices used by most companies. Putting together a good, eye-catching invoice may seem complicated. However, if you include the following items, you’re sure to have a winning invoice every time.

Logo

Branding is an essential part of any business, and invoicing is no exception. Logos are easily recognizable and often automatically associated with the specific companies they represent. Customers will return to the brands they know and trust. Your business logo will let customers know who issued the bill before they’ve even read the invoice. A company logo can also help foster brand awareness, which can lead to an increase in business. Adding your logo to a document is often as simple as dragging and dropping a file from your device to the invoice maker.

Invoice template

A proper invoice maker will have many different invoice templates to choose from, each with its own layout, color scheme, and graphics. It’s essential to find a template that matches the style and category of your business. With hundreds of templates available, choosing the right one can be easy and fun.

Payment terms

The payment terms of your invoice should be clear and concise. Be sure to include the forms of payment you accept, and where the payment can be sent. A poorly written terms and conditions section can lead to your clients being confused about when and how they’re supposed to pay you. It’s best to be polite and concise with clearly defined expectations.

Due date

It may seem obvious, but it’s imperative to include a due date on any invoices you send out. Not only does it inform your customers of how long they have to pay, but it will also help you receive your funds by a specified date. Leaving your invoices with an open due date may seem like an excellent idea. However, it will only cause customers to procrastinate and eventually forget to pay you.

Contact details

Customers should be able to contact you quickly if they have questions regarding the invoice. Perhaps they don’t understand the payment requirements, need an extension, or simply have general questions regarding the items on the invoice. Your contact details should be clearly visible on the invoice. This will minimize the chance of your customers getting frustrated when they need to contact you.

Thank you message

While not a requirement, including a simple thank you message to your customers, is a nice gesture that will show them you really care. Basic politeness can mean the difference between a one time job and a repeat customer.

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George Meszaros is the editor and co-founder of Success Harbor where entrepreneurs learn about building successful companies. Success Harbor is dedicated to document the entrepreneurial journey through interviews, original research, and unique content. George Meszaros is also co-founder of Webene, a web design and digital marketing agency.

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