Any small business enterprise faces a few ups and downs while maintaining the cash flow of the business. Moreover, business owner, just like any other deserves to get paid on time. But starting, running and managing a business is tough – easier said than done. In such a scenario, mistakes are bound to happen such as missing an item line while sending an invoice to customers.
To keep your cash flow in absolute balance, here are the 8 expenses that business owners should pass on to the customers. After all, if you have provided the best customer service and have done the best job possible for the client or customers than you are entitled to get paid for every minute and effort that you have put in.
1) Consulting fees
If you are meeting a client to discuss the scope of the project work and spending a considerable amount of time to reach an outcome to give an accurate cost estimate, then make sure to include this time as billable in your invoices. Of course, let know about this consulting fees to the client beforehand to avoid any confusion. Many businesses also offer the first consultation free.
2) Travel cost
If your work requires you to travel for a particular project or work of a client than you should ensure to charge the traveling cost in an invoice. As again, specify upfront to the client that you would be expecting this amount to be reimbursed when the invoice is issued.
3) Miscellaneous expense
This means that you should bill the client for expense such as meal, transportation or any incidental expense while you are on the work for a customer. Receipts for a taxi, meal, hotels, etc will suffice for you to claim back your money from the customer.
Any work you do for the client is accounted to be billable. This includes any research work and time you needed to allow to finish the item. Mostly when you spend hours and hours in front of a computer to take details and make reports of it, etc. You can opt for a free invoice maker that has a time-tracking feature to help you capture every minute.
As a part of your own business operation, you probably would have everything needed to get a job/project done such as your hardware and software infrastructure, etc in place. However, if your work requires you to specifically spend on supplies like printing, copying, etc then make sure to include that in the invoice.
6) Mailing Cost
If certain of the work done specifically needs to be shipped rather than to be sent electronically, in such cases all the shipping cost, postage and any other mailing fees associated should be charged to the customer upon finishing the work. This also includes if any boxes, mailers and packing materials used for the project.
7) Credit card fees
It is of course in your interest to offer multiple payment methods to get paid early and to maintain the business cash flow. Online payments are convenient and act in the interest of both parties. However, online credit card payment incurs additional 2-percent-plus transaction charge which amounts to much when you start adding a few transactions over a period of time. It is up to you to charge this fee to the customer or not.
8) Pain & suffering
Well, every business has few of those clients who would just eat up your head for any and everything until the task or project is finished. And obviously, this consumes your time. In such scenario, make sure to clear with such customers that only a limited number of consultations are free and if you’ll use them up then, you’ll bill for each phone call or email at a stipulated rate.
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