Studio 42 Workspaces • July 13, 2020
You have secured the work, (even better the work was referred to you), and you have successfully completed the work, now for the most important part – you’re about to be paid!
Invoicing can feel equally daunting and exciting, with that in mind it is imperative to dive into the detail and follow these simple steps to ensure you’re covering all your bases.
As a Sole Trader, using excel to manually set up your invoice template is by far the most common and easiest method as this can act as a safeguard against inaccurate multiplication (read: human error).
As a Small Business, you may prefer to go down the software route for invoicing. Do your research and know how much you’re willing to spend, or not spend. Xero have a range of options for all business sizes with pricing structures to match. There are some quality free invoicing tools available also, such as Invoice Ninja.
Invoicing gives you yet another opportunity to further engage with your customer and keep improving their experience, so don’t waste it.
Keep reading for some useful Do’s and Don’ts:
SIMPLYFY! Be clear and concise, avoid the temptation to go overboard with unnecessary information. Any confusion at the customer end can result in awkward back and forth and even delayed payment. Here are a few critical things to remember:
- Keep it to 1 page, too many pages can result in confusion and make invoicing messy for both you and your customer.
- Include your company name and contact information including ABN (make sure these are clearly identifiable).
- Client name, address and their contact details.
- The date the invoice was create.
- A table clearly itemising the products or services provided and the cost per item.
- Customised rates or discounts specific to them and this piece of work, if any.
- Your payment terms and payment options.
- Check, double check and tripe check for any errors.
- Ask them to reference the invoice number when making payment for ease of tracking.
- Thank them. This is a perfect time to include a simple “Thank you for your business” in some cases this has been proven to fast-track payment.
- Promptly issue a receipt once payment has been received.
And finally, pick up the phone. Give them a courtesy call to let them know the invoice is on its way, this makes them feel valued and creates an opportunity for you to ask for their feedback on completed work.
- Be too rigid with your invoicing and payment methods. It’s a good idea to have a few options available so they can receive invoices and pay you in a way that is easiest for them.
- Send invoicing too quickly or too early. This is a sure-fire way to put you customer off. Invoicing for incomplete work or before the work has been approved is problematic for the relationship on many levels, for both parties.
- Create multiple invoices. More often than not, this will result in confusion and frustration, late payment and overall client dissatisfaction.
- Wait until the payment is overdue to start following it up. Contacting the client in the days leading up to the due date will provide you with another touch point to communicate with them in a positive way. Think about what could be relevant to them and weave it into the conversation, e.g. keeping them up to date with industry information, product or service innovations.
And finally, don’t be late! Being on time with your invoicing will speak volumes about your professionalism and business as a whole.
Happy Invoicing! You’ve earnt it.