You’ve finally started your dream job. Whatever it is, you’re probably dealing with clients and customers on regular basis. When you’re dealing with clients and customers and you’re selling them products or services – you need to get paid for that product or service. How do you get paid? You send your clients an invoice.
What’s An Invoice?
To put it simply – an invoice is a bill that you send to your customer or a client upon or before providing them with a service or a product. There are some additional details and information that end up on the receipt, but we’ll get to that in just a minute.
Now, that is far easier said than done if you’ve never done it. Why you might ask – isn’t an invoice simple to make? Well, while it is true that is not hard to create an invoice if you haven’t done it before – you might end up struggling. Now, when you’re doing something like this it’s not recommended that you struggle, because if you create an invoice the wrong way – you won’t get paid.
So, how do you know if you’re not doing a good job? Well, here a few signs that you’re not doing it correctly and a few tips on how to bring the invoice home.
1. You’re Not Selecting A Due Date
If you’re not getting paid, it could be because you haven’t specified the due date for the payment. If you don’t put a due date on your bill, the client won’t feel the pressure to pay you for your services right away. So, never forget to set the due date for the payment – it’s one of the most important factors some people get wrong. You can avoid this simple mistake by finding a receipt maker and comparing yours to the invoice example you find on there. It’s easiest to learn that way.
2. You’re Not Filling In Contact Information
Although you might feel like the client knows what they’re paying for and who they’re paying it to, you still have to fill in the contact information on the receipt you’re sending. Even if the client knows that the bill they’ve received is from you – they need your contact information to wire you the funds. So, don’t just fill in the “For” section on the receipt – fill in the “From”, as well. Make sure you include your name, email, address, phone, etc.
3. You’re Not Putting Enough Effort Into Making It Look Professional
It’s really important to have your invoices looking professional. If you send a receipt that’s all jumbled and confusing – you’re making yourself and your business look amateurish and you don’t want to do that. Always keep them nice and tidy. You can customize yours to be unique to your business, you can add your logo, your colours, use a custom font, and so on. It’s best to find a professional-looking invoice sample or a few of them, and see more on what it takes to make your invoices look professional.
4. You’re Not Using Templates
If your designer skills are solid, you can take your time and design your custom receipt. However, since most of us aren’t, if we try to make our own receipts from scratch, they end up looking like a mess. That’s why it’s paramount to use an invoice template to create your first draft. You shouldn’t risk looking like an amateur just because you couldn’t draw up a good-looking one. Luckily, it’s rather easy to find an invoice generator online and find the perfect free invoice template for your business.
5. You’re Not Polite
A few kind words can go a long way if you don’t want to wait until the due date to get paid. What we mean is, you can add some common phrases like “Please pay for the services provided within two weeks”, “Thank you for choosing us”, “Pleasure doing business with you” and so on. It might not seem like a lot, however, it’s a personal touch that can help you get paid quicker. People like to feel appreciated and if you make them feel like that – they’ll come back again.
6. You’re Giving Your Customers Too Much Time
You have to understand that some customers won’t pay on time – even when there’s a specified due date on the invoice. It’s just the way it is. For that reason, you may be tempted to push your due date further and give your customers and clients up to 60 days to pay for the services provided. You see, that’s a bad idea. First of all, you’ll wait for way too long for your money. Secondly, you’ve done your part of the deal on time. And finally, some are still going to be late on their payment and you’re going to wait even longer to get your money.
7. You’re Not Using Them As Marketing Tools
Believe it or not, a well-crafted invoice can be a powerful marketing tool and if you’re not capitalizing on that – you’re missing out big time. It all comes back to what we were saying earlier about having them look professional. A good-looking, personalized invoice can do a lot for your brand recognition and awareness. Put your logo on there, add some color and make it look good. Don’t know how to do that? Start with an invoice template and work your way from there.
8. You’re Not Numbering Your Receipts
Sometimes, you’ll have some recurring customers or you’ll work on a major project that won’t be paid in a single payment, but over a course of monthly payments. Also, you might be providing services on a monthly basis, so you might be sending out a bill each month for the services rendered. Either way, you need to make sure you number the invoices so you can keep track of your payments easily. It’s a small detail that will make your life a lot easier in the long run.
As you can see, there are a few things to pay attention to when you’re drafting up an invoice. Hopefully, you don’t make any of the mistakes we’ve highlighted above, but if you do, you now know that you shouldn’t.