One of the biggest pain points for many small businesses is billing. From the actual process of sending out invoices manually to trying to get paid on time – it’s often a tedious and frustrating process.
While this is true, it’s still an essential part of any business. That’s why it’s so important for your business to have an efficient invoicing system in place.
Do you own a business? Are you looking for processes and tools you can use to help ensure you are paid on time? If so, use the tips found here. After all, a little help and information can never hurt.
- Set Your Terms
Before you begin working with a new client, you both need to agree on a certain set of terms. This is a great foundation for quality customer relations, and can help you avoid surprises, while increasing the likelihood you will be paid on time.
In these terms, you should outline the following:
- If you bill hourly or per project
- Your fee and any extra or additional fees
- When the project is set to be completed
- The types of payments you can accept
- A timeframe that the client is expected to pay in
- The penalties that may be charged if the bill is past due
By setting these terms, everyone will know the expectations, which can make your entire billing process much more efficient.
- Use the Best Tools
What do you use for billing purposes? Do you manually create custom bills for each client and project? If so, this is not only inefficient, but it’s also extremely time consuming.
If you want to speed up your process and ensure a professional invoice is sent, then use freshbooks. This tool can create invoices for you, and then send them to clients via email or “snail mail.” With this tool you can cut down the invoices creation time significantly.
- Dispatch Your Invoices Promptly
While billing software is extremely beneficial, it’s not going to be effective if you wait to send out the invoice. Make sure you are sending your clients their bills as soon as the project is completed. Believe it or not, prompt invoicing will typically result in prompt payments.
This also reflects your professionalism. If your invoice arrives late, then it sends the message that you are casual when it comes to being paid, which can result in payments being delayed. Creating reminders in your billing software can help ensure you send your invoices in a timely manner.
- Offer Several Payment Options
When you do business, you have to be flexible. This includes taking multiple types of payments.
The good news is, today, digital invoices typically outline the type of payments you accept and how to complete each one. When your clients have options, they will be much more likely to pay in a timely manner.
- Add a Human Touch
Even if you use billing software and automate your invoices, you still need to add that “human touch.” This can be as simple as a “thank you” in the invoice notes, or something such as, “Thanks for doing business with us.”
By adding this small, human element, you will show your clients that you value them, and they will be more likely to do business with you again in the future.
The good news is, there are all types of tools and resources out there that will help you make your billing process more efficient. Be sure to use the tips here to get started with this process.