Among the few businesses where the payment defaults and delays are common, the contractor business is on the top. Do you know that you can improve the payment speed and reliability by altering your invoice style? Are you willing to improve the business cash flow? Here is how your invoice can make the change.
Why Should You Create A Contractor Invoice?
The most common dispute between the parties during a construction project is miscommunication in the budget. It is best to create an itemized invoice with detailed information about labor and material cost. Why should you create such a professional contractor invoice?
The Trend Of Quote
The customers no longer look for an estimated number. They require a detailed quote, and customers believe that only a reputed and experienced contractor can create a detailed quote.
An electronic invoice makes it easier to manage multiple invoices with varying features, payment models, and other factors with ease. Any miscommunication in billing factors would lead to unreliability. It could cut any chance of a long term relationship.
It includes keeping track of paid invoices, half-paid bills, installments in progress, and so on. A contractor should also remind the customers about installments or payments. It could be a simple process for a single client, but it is best to rely on a software-based solution when it comes to multiple clients with varying payment styles and projects.
Today, invoices are not just a list of expenses and labor costs. The customers would request discounts, varying payment plans, upfront costs, monthly installments, and more. It is also important to instantly serve the invoice to seal the deal and get started with the project. According to a study by Deutsche Bank, using e-invoices over paper reduces processing costs by 30% and cycle-time by 65%.
How To Create A Contractor Invoice?
There are numerous invoice receipt maker apps for Android and iOS platforms. Thus, downloading an app is not a hard task. However, creating a professional invoice could be daunting. Here are a few tips and pointers for creating a reliable and professional invoice.
Customers no longer look for the total sum of the project. They need in-depth information about each task, material cost, labor cost, scrap, and so on. The invoice should be clear with subsections and in-detailed descriptions. Also, the invoice should hold details about the client and the project in hand. The client might have multiple construction projects in the same location. Thus, the invoice should have clear detail about the construction and your business.
Identify The Invoice
You might be sending an invoice once a month or even once a week. The invoice gets piled up in the inbox of the client. First, the email or message you send should clearly indicate that it is an invoice. Each invoice should have a unique number. Any reliable invoice receipt maker app would help to generate invoice numbers. The dates of the invoice and due date are also essential to identify the invoice.
A simple spelling error could be a great deal-breaker for many. Since software takes care of the calculation, there will be little to no manual errors in calculation. However, it is essential to track the work hours and other costs efficiently. Double-check the invoice before sending it to the client. According to a study by Sharespace.com, 61% of the delayed payments are due to mistakes in the invoices.
Keep Up Regularity
If the client gets billed every 15th, the invoice should reach the client on the said date. Delaying the invoice shows inconsistency and reduces the motivation to pay the bills on time. Moreover, it makes it harder to manage invoices if there is inconsistency in invoice submission.
Consistency In The Format
Do not change the font, color, or style of the invoice every month. Consistency is an important factor for the brand, and your invoice style should be a representative of your business. For instance, if you send invoices in a grey-orange theme, the client would remember this theme as a label of your business. Such a memory would generate business preferences, which is effective in the long run. Thus, the first step in creating a professional contractor invoice is creating a template.
The template should not be too funky or very plain. It should be easier to download, so do not add more graphic elements. It should have a clear font, which is readable. You don’t have to go with a conventional font and template, but choosing a brush script or cursive font could make the invoice unreadable for many.
It is common to use many abbreviations in the invoices to avoid long sentences. Even if it is a recurring client or the tenth invoice of the same project, it is important to add an index to explain every abbreviation used in the invoice. There should be no vagueness or confusion in the invoice.
Make sure to choose a reliable and secure application to generate the invoice. Remember that an invoice is an important financial document, and it is important to honor the privacy and security of your client’s business information and your data.
The invoice thus generated should be easier to view on any device. It is common to send invoices in Word, Excel, or JPEG format. The intention is to make the client open and view the invoice without downloading any new application. It is also best to communicate with the client about the best format of the invoice. A good invoice generator will give you basic format options. According to a study by Mobsted, the clients pay 2 to 3 times faster with mobile-based invoices.
Include the payment options in each invoice. This data includes bank transfer details, Paypal account information, and other options if any. This information is critical, even for recurring invoices. Please do not assume that the client will remember your business information by heart.
Last but not least, do not copy the invoice template from your benchmark. It is easier to create a template with the multiple applications available in the market. A contractor should create an error-free, professional, information-rich, and secure invoice for his clients. The invoice should reach the clients on time and with clear instructions. For such an invoice, you ought to pick the right invoicing app in the market, like Moon Invoice.