Getting Paid in Style... Tips to Improve Your Invoicing

bookkeeping Jul 11, 2019

Sloppy and handwritten invoices are receipts from small business are my pet peeve. This includes invoices type in Microsoft Word (sorry, I know you worked hard on it.) It reflects poorly on the business and makes accurate bookkeeping a challenge. 

I wanted to share a few tips to improve your invoicing and getting paid! 

  1. You are never too small to send invoices electronically.  There are so many easy tools from PayPal to Wave to QuickBooks Online that provide this feature at a low cost.  They also allow you to send estimates, proposals and invoices from your mobile device.  My lawn guy bills me by PayPal invoice and I never see him. He does my yard sends the bill and rolls to the next customer. When I get the notification in my PayPal app or email, I just click and pay.  
  2. You must create a detailed yet organized product/services list.  This will ensure that invoices are clear for the customer to understand.  If you sell apples, you should have each different offering you sell listed separately in your product or service list. This also helps you to determine which products/service are performing best and how much your have of each.  When your product list is organized properly, it makes invoicing and inventory management much easier.  In the apple example, your invoice shouldn't just say "Apple;" but should look something like this:
    • Apple - Red Delicious, $1 each
    • Apple - Red Delicious, $5 small bag
    • Apple - Red Delicious, $8 large bag
    • Apple - Granny Smith, $3 each
    • Apple - Granny Smith, $7 small bag
    • Apple - Granny Smith , $10 large bag
  3. Customer terms must be clear and communicated prior to the sale. This includes payment due dates, form of payments accepted and return policies.  Your website and other materials should not require a lawyer to understand.  This will save your drama down the road.
  4. Some customers just need to be fired!  Some people just don’t want to pay and complain no matter what you do. There is no invoicing tip to help with this problem.  So, it is okay to break up with wacky customers who to won’t adhere to your business rules. 
  5. Your invoice is a part of your marketing! Yes, you are marketing even after the sale is made.  Your invoice should match your brand colors and include your logo, website and contact information.   

The invoice or receipt is your final chance to let the customer know that you are an organized and professional business.   

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