Invoicing Basics for Small Business Owners
Congratulations! You have fulfilled your lifelong dream of opening your own small business. You’re an expert at what you do, and that is why your customers love you. They have purchased your products and used your services…now what? Well, it’s time to send that invoice and get yourself paid for a job well done!
When you’re not well equipped with the right tools invoicing can be a stressful accounting process to approach, especially when you’re not well versed in accounts receivable, but as you know – cash flow is crucial to the success of small businesses.
While it may seem daunting at first, implementing strategies for successful accounting practices can make invoicing and payments hassle- and stress-free for entrepreneurs. With that in mind, we have put together seven tips that you can use today to become a master at invoicing and make it easy for your clients to pay you:
1. Include All Relevant Information: We can all agree that it is horrible to receive a bill that you don’t know what it is for. The number seems daunting and it can be frustrating not to know where your hard-earned cash is being sent. While your business is top of mind for you and the job you’ve just completed for your clients is fresh, there is the chance that they cannot make a connection to what they are paying for and to who. For this reason, it is important to make sure each invoice includes all relevant information pertaining to your business and the job you’ve just completed.
Make sure each invoice lays out:
- All contact information including your business name, your name, address, and phone number.
- An itemized list of the product or service that you have provided.
- The due date and subsequent payment options you accept.
By including a breakdown of who you are and what you’ve done, paying the invoice is easy and convenient for the client.
2. List a Due Date: Create an emphasis in your invoice on your expected due date. Whether your terms are listed as being paid immediately, in 30 days, or in 60 days, the easiest way to actually get paid by that time – is to ask for it.
3. Brand your invoices: Allow your invoice to stand apart and impress clients with a professionally branded invoice. Creating a template that is personalized and carries your company logo and details ensures that customers know who you are and elevates the professionalism of your service or product.
4. Send Invoices Promptly: You have completed the work on time and you’re ready to get paid! Making sure that you send out invoices promptly will ensure that you, as a vendor, are top of mind to receiving compensation for a job well done. The rule of thumb with invoicing is to send the invoice within 48 hours of delivery so that your work is fresh and relevant.
5. Use an Online Invoice Software Platform: Using an online invoicing software platform allows you as a small business to easily create a professional invoice, track the status of the invoice and be paid promptly for the work you have done. For example, Hiveage helps to take the stress out of invoicing by making the process of getting paid quick, easy, and optimized for you by offering you the ability to simplify the process for not only you but your clients as well.
6. Track Invoice Status: You have sent out your invoice to the client, now it is time to manage the status of that invoice. Another great tool with online invoice software is the ability to easily track which of your invoices are saved as drafts, sent to the client, viewed by a client, or have received full or partial payments. Staying on top of your client after it has been sent and your payment terms have been laid out will ensure that you are paid.
7. Send Payment Receipts: Sending payment receipts is a fantastic way to ensure you are showing you are grateful for the client’s business while promoting the opportunity for them to be a repeat customer. Invoice receipts should include anything from thanking them for settling a bill on time to creating a suggestion for their next purchase!
Invoicing can be a stressful thing to broach when you’ve just opened shop, especially as a small business. Following these tips and enlisting a little bit of support from an online invoicing tool like Hiveage, you can easily create, brand, and send invoices using custom, elegant layouts while keeping track of accounts receivables and ultimately getting paid for your product or service by happy clients.
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