How to Invoice Professionally and Get Paid on Time
For businesses of all shapes, sizes and niches invoicing clients and customers ensures you get paid for your products or services, and make the money you need to see your company succeed. However, as you may have experienced, the process does have its difficulties and incorrect or inefficient invoicing could mean you don’t get paid on time.
The experts at Hurren & Co share their top tips to help you streamline your invoicing infrastructure…
1. Always Invoice on Time
Prompt invoicing will ensure your customers or clients can rely on a professional and efficient service, which will in turn make them more inclined to pay on time. Keeping on top of invoicing can be a real challenge for business owners that are short on time, so schedule around two to three hours per week and invoice for recurring and one-off payments.
2. Broaden Your Payment Solutions
Giving your clients and customers more than one way to pay can work wonders, so broaden your horizons by exploring multiple payment solutions to curb slow transactions. Provide your business address for cheque payment, your bank details for BACS purposes and your email address for customers who prefer to settle their invoice via Paypal. If you are working with international clients or customers, invoice in their currency to make the payment process simpler for them.
3. Look into Contracting
For recurring services, defining your payment terms clearly via a contract is a viable solution for businesses looking to streamline their invoicing process. This agreement will make your working relationship official and encourage payment. Contracts can also be used to communicate your payment policy, providing the customer with the information they need regarding penalties and late fees for unpaid invoices.
Using contracts ensures you adopt a consistent policy for all customers when collecting payment, which ultimately gives you less of a headache when balancing your books.
4. Don’t Panic
Whilst it is important to be as strict as you can to reduce non or late payments, try not to panic if your payment date has been and gone. Always follow-up with your customer, after all they will not expect you to work for nothing! In the majority of cases, non-payments are simply a result of forgetfulness so follow-up by email or phone and simply reiterate your payment terms and ask for feedback on how you could make your invoicing system work better for them.
Automated reminders by email or post are a great way to avoid late payments and provides a complete service for customers whilst minimising the amount time you spend chasing outstanding invoices.