As any small business owner knows, correctly invoicing clients can be a little trickier than it sounds. As well as quoting accurate figures, you need to make sure that effective lines of communication are established and strong professional relationships are maintained. If you’re wondering how this can be achieved, we’ve put together some helpful hints and tips:
1. Ensure that a contract is signed early
Writing up a straightforward contract that both parties are happy with is vital for building strong relationships with clients. Ensuring that it is signed at the earliest opportunity will also protect you from payment issues further down the line.
2. Be specific about charges
Instead of simply providing clients with an amalgamated quote, let your client know the individual goods and services you are charging for. This will mitigate the chances of disputes in the future.
3. Clearly establish you payment terms
Include details such as the date of your invoice and when you expect payment by. Late payments are essentially an inevitability for any business owner, so it is important that you keep track of who you are waiting to receive payment from.
You may wish to include late payment charges in your contract to incentivise clients to pay you on time. You may also consider charging clients a percentage of the total upfront to make sure that they are committed to a project. Or in the case of recurring payments, setup a direct debit system in advance.
4. Be communicative with your clients
Sometimes, you may start to work on a project and realise that it represents a far bigger task than you originally anticipated. If this is the case, you will likely need to push up the price estimate for your services. To ensure that you do not present the client with any unpleasant surprises, make sure you communicate this information as quickly as possible and explain the precise reasons for your decisions.
5. Obtain a secondary invoicing contact
Before you start a job, make sure you have at least two invoicing contacts. This way, you will get your payment on time if the first contact is on holiday or off sick.
6. Be prompt with your invoices
The quicker you submit an invoice, the quicker you are likely to get paid. Prompt action signals professionalism and will incentivise clients to respond in a similar manner.
For any further invoicing advice, and to let us do the hard work,get in touch with our team today.