Tons of businesses all over the world have gone online especially since the pandemic. Online payments and customer experience are all that businesses are concerned with. That said, a significant number of businesses suffer from late payments. The same holds true for freelancers who have a difficult time completing their tasks because they aren’t sure if they will get paid or not.
Gone are the days of manual invoicing. In the digital age, companies are now using online billing software to handle their invoicing needs, as should you. If you are new to the world of invoicing and want a gist of the fundamentals to enhance your customer experience, this article is for you.
What Should Your Invoice Include?
For starters, what details should you mention in your invoice? Be sure to mention the following:
- Client details, i.e., the company’s name and address
- Your details – name, address, and contact information
- Provide a reference number, invoice date, and due date for payment
- Give instructions to pay the invoice
- Pen down details about your service – unit price, quantity, rate, tax, and a breakdown of the total
- Write thank you at the invoice’s end
If required, you can also include your Tax ID in the invoice. Be sure to also add any discounts or negotiations you may have had with the client.
Ways To Send Your Invoices
Now that you know what details you ought to include in your invoice. Here are two ways to send an invoice to your clients:
- As an attachment
- Using an automatic invoicing software
1. As An Attachment
Google Docs is an excellent tool for invoices, with a variety of templates at your disposal. You could also look up tons of other free templates for invoicing and choose the one that works for you. Once you decide which template you are going with, include all the details mentioned above along with a logo to give your invoice a professional look.
Once you do this, save the invoice as a PDF. You may reuse this template every time you wish to send an invoice. All you have to do is make edits every time you draft an invoice, like changing the client name, invoice number, and other relevant variables.
After you save the PDF, upload it onto your email as an attachment and clearly inform your client that you are sending them an attachment that they can find in the email. Use Gmail or any other mailing platform you see fit, draft an email and send it to your client. If you do not want to manually type out an entire invoice, use a template.
2. Using An Automatic Invoicing Software
As mentioned at the beginning of the article, businesses are increasingly opting for online billing software for their invoicing needs. As you can expect, pretty much everything is automated and you have templates available at your fingertips.
All you would need to do is upload your company logo and add the particulars. The invoice numbers will be generated by the automatic invoicing software.
You can send your invoices via email. Your automatic invoicing software can also help you track your expenses, your sent invoices, pending invoices, and manage your cash flow. The added advantage of using online billing software is the provision to set a recurring invoice that gets mailed to your client on a particular date every month.
Tips For Better Invoicing
Now that you are familiar with the two ways of sending an invoice, here are a few tips and hacks you can use to be more efficient with your invoicing:
1. Be Clear With Your Payment Schedule
It does not matter how frequently you send an invoice. The frequency is up to you. Some businesses send an invoice every month, while others send an invoice every two weeks. You could also send an invoice for an advance and send the other after completing the work. Whatever the case may be, you need to stick to a clear payment schedule to save time and minimize confusion.
2. Ensure The Invoice Is Being Delivered
You may be sending your invoice on time, but that will do you any good if your client does not receive the invoice or is unable to view it. Sometimes invoices do not reach the primary inbox. Chances are your invoices will end up in the promotion or spam folder, in which case you may receive your payments late.
Make sure you let your clients know that you have sent the invoice and ask them whether or not they have received it.
3. Get Used To Multiple Billing Cycles
Maybe you offer multiple services, in which case you have to follow different billing cycles and manage them. If this is the case, you need to keep a track of each client and the respective payment cycles. You can create a spreadsheet with the particulars to help stay on track. Also, create a checklist.
More importantly, you need to be strict with your billing cycles, especially when you are handling multiple clients with different billing cycles. The last thing you want is your clients to think it is okay for them to not pay you on time. If you want to get paid on time, you need to be attentive to your billing.
4. Streamline Your Invoicing Process
Ultimately, if you want to enhance your customer experience and get paid on time, you will have to streamline your invoicing process. If you are billing your client the same amount periodically, you can put your billing on autopilot to save ample amounts of time.
However, if sending a recurring invoice is not an option, consider using a template or a number of templates for each type of billing cycle. You will have to send the invoice yourself. However, you will not have to create each invoice from scratch. All you would have to do is change the payment details.
Ensure to avoid the most common invoicing mistakes with the best billing and invoicing software like Moon Invoice. It will help automate your complete billing process while saving you time to enhance your business.