Running small businesses can be challenging. There is so much work for you to do that includes working on accounts receivables. Firing your excel, typing what is owed, hitting print, and then emailing your handmade invoicing to customers consumes more time than you might think.
Besides, your beloved invoicing method would be working against your business on many levels. For example, you might not receive timely payments, you won’t achieve optimum cashflow, and your professional image will be dented.
Here are some of the best tips and tricks for better SMB invoicing:
1 Abandon paper invoicing and adopt online invoicing
Today, there are lots of billing software out there. Thanks to the software, it becomes extremely easy for you to ditch paper invoicing which takes up much of your time. Paper invoicing also leads to decreased branding opportunities and lengthens the time it takes to receive a payment from your clients.
On the other hand, online billing or accounting software solutions offers SMB templates. That way, you can easily create your invoice besides having a custom look that stands out to the recipient. As a result, you end up saving more time and monetary resources. Besides, it is more convenient both to you and to your clients – and thus it becomes easier for them to make the payment as soon they get the invoice.
2 Don’t complicate it – simple and easy to read layouts work better
Working with templates saves you time you would expend creating fresh ones from scratch. Even if you don’t have graphic designs bones in your body, templates give you a basic, professional designs – simple, easy to read and uncluttered – you can always work with.
The truth is, the faster your client gets the invoice particulars – what the invoice is all about, how much they need to pay, when they need to make the payment – the quick you will get paid.
3 Integrate various modes of payment
Always provide more ways for your clients to pay you. That way, it will increase the speed of payment because it gives your clients the options that easily work with their own cash flow. For example, if your business only accepts paper checks for payments, it can really slow down invoice turnaround times. For one, your client might want to hang on to their money. Secondly, you will have to content with the snail mail to get your payment in your hands.
Give your clients much control over the mode of payment they need to use. For example, you can offer online payment platforms – Square, Paypal, e-check etc. You can also allow them to pay using debit or credit cards, you client is likely to make the payment faster.
4 Set up formal invoicing policies
Clients tend to do whatever that suits them if they don’t have a set of rules they need to follow. For example, if you can train them to follow a certain framework that work for both of you. To make the policies clear and binding, you need to ensure that they are written down in form of a contract or agreement between you and them. That way, it ensures that you are both on the same page. For example, when can the payment be requested – upfront or when the project is completed? Do you need to split the payment into even payments throughout the project duration?
5 Number your invoices
Numbering system helps you with your record keeping. Besides, using a numbering system creates a point of reference. That way, you can always refer to a specific number of invoices when communicating with your clients. Your invoice processing document management software will automatically number the invoices for you.
6 Send your invoices immediately
You might get busy or forget to email your client the invoice. You’re your cash flow won’t wait. The longer you procrastinate, the longer the client keeps your money.
7 Use your invoice as a data collection vehicle
Your client might not give you much opportunity to market yourself. When you add brief marketing messages related to your new services, chances are you might win more business from them. Besides, your invoice processing document management software should include link to a survey. That way, you can easily gather feedback or any other information that you might need to improve your customers’ experience.
Summing it up
Invoice is the tool your business uses to deliver the cash your business uses to thrive. As a small business owner, you need to consider invoicing as an extension of your business strategy. That way, you can use it to market your new services rather than a mindless, time-consuming task.