You’re a small business owner, and you know that invoices are the lifeblood of your company. You send them out on time and with all the information your customers need to pay their bills. But perhaps you have questions about how to make sure invoices are as effective as possible—and how to avoid common mistakes when it comes time to send one off. If that’s the case, this article is for you! Here’s everything you need to know about getting the most from each invoice you send:
Choose Proper Invoice Format
- Choose the right invoice format.
Depending on the industry you work in, there are different invoice formats that can be used. For example, if you’re a freelance writer or designer, you might use an invoice template specifically designed for writers and designers. The important thing is that your invoice is easy to read and understand by both you and your client, so they have no trouble understanding what they owe you and when they need to pay it back.
- Make sure all relevant information is included.
When writing an invoice from a home-based business owner who wants to make sure their clients know exactly how much work has been done for them (and how much it costs), it’s important that all of the relevant information about each client is included on this document: contact information; payment terms; any additional charges associated with billing; etc., so there’s less confusion about what’s due when (and why).
Provide a Range of Payment Options
Providing a range of payment options is critical. If you only offer one way to pay and your customer struggles with that method, they may refuse to pay at all.
A great example is PayPal. There are so many different types of accounts and pricing models offered by PayPal that it can be overwhelming to a first-time user who isn’t sure if they have the right kind of account or if they should even use it in the first place.
This is why it’s important to explain how customers can pay their bills online (if applicable), via phone call, mail, or email—and let them know what their options are regarding paying by credit card or debit card (if applicable).
Automated Invoice Management System
- Create a template for a simple invoice.
- Automated invoice management system to send reminders, track payments and organize your business processes
- Get an online receipt generator to generate receipts as soon as someone pays.
Prevent Common Invoice Mistakes
- Double check your spelling. It’s easy to misspell a word or two, but doing so can lead to confusion with the recipient and create unnecessary work for both of you.
- Make sure you have the right contact details. This includes the full name and email address of your client, as well as any relevant phone numbers or addresses that might be helpful in case anything goes wrong later on down the road (e.g., if they need to return something).
- Check formatting—and make sure it matches previous invoices! This is more important than it sounds: not only does this help avoid confusion on their end, but it also shows professionalism on yours. If your invoice looks haphazardly thrown together at best and unprofessional at worst, don’t expect people looking at it later down the line—such as during tax season—to want anything more than an excuse not to pay up quickly.
By following the principles we’ve outlined above, you can be sure to get the most out of each invoice you send. Whether you’re dealing with a new client or an old one, it’s important that your invoices accurately reflect the services provided and provide all relevant information for payment.