For many entrepreneurs, invoicing is an essential part of running a business. Without good invoicing it is impossible for them to receive payment in a timely fashion. Here are some valuable tips for any small business that wants to improve its invoicing:
Itemisation: An itemised invoice will make it much clearer about what you are actually charging your customers for. Delays in payment are often caused by unclear invoices, because customers are unlikely to pay for anything unless they are absolutely certain about what it is.
Addressed correctly: Many businesses have dedicated P.O. Box addresses that they use for their business activities. It is important for you to keep accurate records of all your customer and supplier details as one small mistake could cost you money.
Clear terms: Without definitive and clear payment terms, it is easy for a customer to wriggle out of paying an invoice for a very long time. You need to have a consistent and reasonable policy when it comes to payment demands. Be open and clear about how much you will charge, whether you will charge upfront, how long they have to pay and any late fees that they will be charged.
Continuous invoicing: Don’t wait until the end of a project to invoice for your services. It makes much more sense to invoice throughout the project at regular intervals. Try to split projects into stages so that customers know you expect payment before resuming work.
Online invoicing: Switching to an online method of invoicing (or using it as a supplement to your regular paper invoicing) is a great way of speeding up the process. Customers can instantly pay their bill using a credit card as soon as they receive your email.