7 Tips To Improve The Way You Invoice Your Clients
Invoicing is a very necessary part of business, but with invoicing also comes a few problems. In a proper business setting, when you do not invoice a client for the service you offer, you do not get paid. But then with invoicing comes a whole lot of hassles in order to do it right, you have to know how to create an invoice and accept payments, how to keep track of these invoices and be sure it is received and acknowledged as well as how to send reminders in respect of the invoice and a whole lot more that comes with invoicing clients. Below are tips on how to improve the way you invoice your client.
Clear Cut terms:
From the get-go on your being contracted for a service, clearly outline your billing terms in its fullest details. These details include service(s) to be rendered, the cost of the service(s), how the payment is to be made, the due date of the said payment and the implications of missing deadline (if any). This puts your client fully in the know of the cost implications of the service(s) and when it is expected to be fulfilled or met.
The need to come off professional most times push people into formulating very complicated ways of sending invoice thus making it quite a hassle to understand for the client. It is necessary to be professional but while at it, one must do well to keep the invoice as simple and understandable as possible. The essentials of the invoice should be spelt out properly in the simplest way possible. Those essentials include; Company name, Account details, the name of client offered the service(s), addresses (physical and email), phone number, the breakdown of service(s) rendered, total/full amount, and due date.
At an agreement of terms, it is very important to invoice as promptly as possible so to make the client well aware of the terms in time enough to meet up with the payment. Where the invoice is delayed, it makes room for delay in payment as well and gives leverage for flaunting of terms and agreement. This is advisable to avoid such invoice being overlooked or unpaid.
It is very helpful to offer clients a certain variety of plans to make payments for service(s) rendered. Where there are enticing payment plans, it motivates clients to pay promptly. Such plans may include offering part payments or allowing payment in installments, discounts (no matter how small), offering incentives, the promise of less stringent agreements in subsequent dealings among others.
Proof of receipt:
In sending an invoice it is very beneficial to have a proof of the receipt of the invoice. Whether sent electronically or physically it is necessary to have proof that the invoice was received by the client so to avoid delay in payment on claims of not receiving the invoice. With paper invoice delivered in person you can make two copies and have them acknowledge one of them for keeps, while with electronic invoices, very many apps are now available that indicates if it has been received, when it has been received and even who received it. It will be very advantageous to explore those options and such acknowledged copies should be kept well for accountability sake.
With clients, it is necessary to remind them when the deadlines are approaching or due. Note not to be a pest while at it but to rather do such reminders as subtle as possible. These reminders could be done via mail and can be done from a week to due date especially if you charge late fees or there are cost implications for when the client(s) the deadline is not met. It is advisable to use a cloud-based method of invoicing software which makes for automated reminders.
Demand payment with decency:
Many times, there might arise the possibility of clients not meeting up with due dates and deadlines. It is advisable not to take to a coercive method of recovering payment. A reminder of the failure to meet with the agreement could be very helpful as well as an inquiry into what may have caused such failure to meet up may help clear up what may have happened rather than a radical jump into acting in a way that may spoil such working agreement or business relationship. Except where this is a reoccurring act from the same client or there is a certain suspicion of foul play then it will be necessary to consider legal actions rather than radical ones.
The above-stated tips could be quite helpful as well as advantageous for you so to keep a formal and professional look as much as maintaining a friendly and cordial relationship with your clients. Such professionalism and understanding makes for client respect and trust and can open doors to a plethora of good things for your business and make room for referrals from satisfied clients.