You started your business with a passion, but you can't keep it running on good intentions alone. You need to be paid on time. Streamlining the way you invoice clients can help with this. So no matter what your business makes or does, we recommend taking time to consider this essential function. Doing so will help make this part of bookkeeping far more simple — and maybe even enjoyable.
Clarify expectations early
When you make an agreement with your new client, that's the moment to let them know their payment schedule, including required deposits. Writing payment terms into your contract will help your clients plan to pay you — and know the consequences of paying you late.
Your contract should also include a schedule of late fees. Introducing the concept of late fees is often enough to motivate a client to pay on time. Also, don't hesitate to require deposits, as they help you have the cash on hand that's necessary for purchasing materials. The commitment of a deposit also builds trust between your customers and your business. It's a win-win.
Stick with a script
Don't reinvent your invoice template every time you sit down to handle your invoicing. As a small business owner or manager, you know that automating as many routine tasks as possible will free up you and your staff to do the more creative work you need to be a success. So make this potentially cumbersome job easier for yourself:
- Make a template for one-off invoices.
- Create a second template for recurring invoices.
- Number each new invoice.
- Track the process of sending.
- Set alerts for when to assess for late fees.
Many cloud-based services exist to automate this process, and investing in such a solution will free up time for more pressing matters.
You cultivate your relationship with your clients each time you communicate. Just because invoices are about money doesn't mean the communication has to be in a more formal tone than your usual brand voice.
Particularly for initial invoices, one-off jobs and final invoices, it's useful to send the invoice alongside a note about the project, professional developments in your field or even a personal note.
Add more payment options
The more highways you build for money to travel to you, the quicker it'll wind up in your bank account. Accepting payments through various platforms makes life easier for your clients, too. The easier it is for your clients to pay their invoice on time, the better. From Bitcoin to PayPal, there are myriad ways to receive money today.
Get in touch
The experts at WMC understand the challenges of running a small business. We would take great pride in working with you to create better cash flow and making sure your business is running as smoothly as possible. Contact us to learn more.