Tons of businesses worldwide have gone online, especially since the pandemic. Online payments and customer experience are all those businesses are concerned with. That said, a significant number of businesses suffer from late payments. The same holds 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 on invoicing hacks is for you.
What should your invoice include?
For starters, what details should you mention in your invoice? Be sure to mention the following invoice essentials to draft a perfect professional invoice.
- 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
- Invoice attachment, if any.
- Business signature
- Write thank you at the invoice’s end
If required, you can also include your Tax ID in the invoice. Be sure also to add any discounts or negotiations you may have had with the client. Adding these details at the end of the terms and conditions can also help with payment terms and due dates.
Ways to send your invoices: Online invoicing software
Now that you know what details you ought to include in your invoice. Here are two ways to send an invoice to your clients at the right time.
- As an email or chat attachment.
- Using automatic invoicing software.
1. As an email or chat attachment
Google Docs is an excellent tool for invoices, with various templates at your disposal. You could also lookup 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 and 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’s name, invoice number, and other relevant variables.
After you save the PDF, upload it onto your email as an attachment and 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 type out an entire invoice, use a template manually.
2. Using an automatic invoicing software
As mentioned at the beginning of the article on invoicing hacks, businesses are increasingly opting for online billing software for their invoicing needs. As you can expect, everything is automated, and you have templates available at your fingertips.
You would need to 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, send invoices and 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.
Invoicing hacks: Tips for better invoicing
Now that you are familiar with the two ways of sending an invoice, here are a few tips and invoicing hacks you can use to be more efficient:
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 in advance and send the other after completing the work. You need to stick to a clear payment schedule to save time and minimize confusion, whatever the case may be.
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 cannot 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 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 handling multiple clients with different billing cycles. The last thing you want is your clients to think it is okay for them not to 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, you will have to streamline your invoicing process if you want to enhance your customer experience and get paid on time. If you are billing your client the same amount periodically, you can put your billing on autopilot to save ample time.
However, if sending a recurring invoice is not an option, consider using a template or several 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.
One of the important invoicing hacks is 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.