One of the most challenging aspects of running a business, whether it’s big or small, is ensuring that you get paid and that your payments arrive on time. The last thing that any business owner wants is to see their bills piling up while the money they’ve worked for trickles in slowly.
Fortunately, it’s a lot easier than you think to get organized and stay on top of your invoicing. There are plenty of great tools available that when combined with a disciplined and organized invoicing process will help make sure you always get paid on time.
This week we’re going to help you develop an invoicing process for your business and share some of our favourite tips that will make it easy to stay on track. Check out our beginners guide to invoicing below.
How to Create Your Invoice
Even though your business is unique, the core ’must-haves’ of an invoice are almost always the same. So, as you start laying out you invoice make sure you have all the below points covered:
- Give every invoice a unique invoice number (this is important to help file and track your invoices).
- Include your full company name, address, and contact details.
- Include the full company name and address of your customer (the one you’re invoicing).
- Make sure you list the date the invoice was prepared and the due date.
Once you have all these components added you’ll have your base invoice template that you can use going forward. The next step is to provide all the details of the product or service you provided. Make sure you include the following and try to provide as much detail as possible:
- A detailed description of what you’re invoicing.
- When the goods or service was provided (this is sometimes called the supply date).
- The amount being charged per good or service and the total amount owed.
- If applicable, detail any VAT that is being charged on the deliverables.
Finally, you’ll want to consider adding some (or all) these optional extras. These add-ons are all designed to make your customer’s lives just a little bit easier and you’ll be amazed at how these tweaks can improve payment times:
- Display your payment information clearly and keep it simple. Your goal should be to make it as easy as possible for you customer to pay and including this information right on the invoice means fewer emails back and forth and faster payments.
- Provide detailed payment terms and make it clear when you expect to be paid. 30 days is the typical timeframe, but research shows that an odd number like 21 days, accompanied by a ‘please’, can get you paid quicker.
- Include late payment fees even if you don’t always enforce them. The threat of daily interest charges or a flat rate can help ward off slow payers and protect you from potential problem clients.
Invoicing strategies are often overlooked by small and large businesses alike, but the reality is that a small change to the way you bill your client can make a big difference in how you get paid. Imagine being able to get paid anytime, anywhere without even having an e-commerce platform? Checkout out our invoicing feature . If you’d like to know more tips be sure to let us know in the comments below.
What strategies do you use to improve your businesses invoicing process? Is there something we missed that you can’t live without? Reach out to us on Twitter and let us know, and if you’re looking for more great content why not check out our previous post on how to be more effective with your email.