Although going into business for yourself can be a dream, it also brings with it a lot of stressful aspects. One of these surrounds having to take care of your own finances, which for many new or even experienced business owners can seem overwhelming.
This can be especially frustrating for organizers whose very business is about finding ways to sort through things logically and efficiently. This includes creating all kinds of invoices, whether they’re standard, proforma, commercial or electronic, in a professional way.
In order to help out, we’ll look at some of the best invoicing tips we’ve come across to help organizing business owners get a grip on their finances.
Create a strategic policy
One of the most important ways you can avoid getting disorganized in your invoices (and thereby being paid late) is by preparing a policy in advance. In your policy, you should be clear and general enough to cover what you and your client’s expectations should be.
You should go over the following:
- whether you will accept payment upfront
- how much time will be allowed for payment
- whether applicable late fees will be a specific amount or a percentage
- what types of payments you’ll accept (such as cash, bank transfer, debit, etc.)
When you have these conditions set out clearly, you’ll be able to have a point of reference and hold yourself and your clients accountable.
Create a quote beforehand
While your policy covers general matters, you’ll still need to be clear about the specific expectations that your client has. You should know how much time you have to deliver a specific task and what the extent of the service is in detail.
The answers to these questions will help you to avoid not only possible confusion or surprises for your client. It will also help protect you against what’s known as scope creep—when the scope of a project gradually expands due to improperly defined expectations.
Get your invoices out quickly
One of the most important things for your organizing business is to get your invoices out as soon as possible.
This can be quite difficult, especially when many business owners have so many other responsibilities. Once they finish with their main tasks, they may be too tired to immediately work on the next task. Although that’s understandable, it still is not recommended.
Right after the service has been completed, you should work on creating your invoice to be sent out as soon as possible.
This will help you to get into the accounts payable cycle. However, if you procrastinate on sending out your invoices, you’ll potentially miss out and end up getting paid much later.
Be clear in your invoices
When you create your actual invoices, be very direct, clear and uncomplicated in your descriptions. This means that you should limit the job description to what, where and when.
Additionally, you should be sure to include all the necessary details in your invoice. This includes your bank account or payment information, any ID or specific numbers, and all details that will avoid having your invoice delayed due to confusion.
Make sure to follow up on late-payers
Perhaps the most important invoice tip is to be strict in following up on your clients who are late to pay. This may be uncomfortable to many organizing business owners, especially since you wouldn’t want to anger or alienate your long-term customers.
However, there should be no fear or shame in getting payment for work already completed. The simple possibility is that your client may have been busy and forgotten about your invoice. In that case, it is crucial to send a polite email reminder to your client in order to ask for updates about your invoice.
This will help you not only get paid faster, but also present yourself as more professional (and less of a pushover). In the long run, this is good for your customer relationship and your business in general.
With these invoicing tips, you should see marked improvements in not only your invoicing processes, but also in the speed that your invoices will get paid.
Image © ribkhan / depositphotos
Related articles across the web