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Before you send invoices to your customers, it is crucial to make sure all information is accurate. Imagine sending an invoice with the wrong figures. That, without a doubt is a surprise your customers did not expect and has the potential to hurt your relationship. With that in mind, let’s see how you invoice your customers.
Before you send an invoice
Before sending an invoice, make sure every piece of information that appears on it is accurate. Counter check several times before sending it. Doing this eliminates the possibility of hitting your customers with invoices they did not expect. This further demonstrates your professionalism. Letting your customers know in advance how much they owe you can speed up the rate of payment once you send invoices.
When to send the invoice
The best idea is to send invoices as soon as a task is complete. You can also send interim invoices when working on a big project. That will make sure you are paid for every portion of the project completed. If you sell subscriptions, it is also ok to send recurring invoices until the agreed-upon termination date.
We recommend sending invoices every week so that you can have a guaranteed cash flow throughout the year. Otherwise, be prepared to brace moments when you have no money to run your business and moments when you have more in the bank.
How to invoice
It is simple! Just open your invoice template and add the following:
- Your details
- Customer details
- The good and services sold
- Invoice number
- Instruction on when and how to pay
If you don’t have a template, we recommend creating one, as this will make your invoicing work easier.
Tips for sending your invoice
Once done creating an invoice, the next step is sending it. Today most invoices are emailed; very few are sent by post. Whether sending by post or email, make sure you are sending it to the right contact. Here are some things you may want to do once you hit the submit button.
- Call after sending the first bill: This shows you are serious about invoicing. Additionally, this allows you to know if your customer got the invoice and whether everything is clear.
- Send un-editable invoices: With the rate of crimes ballooning each day and especially online, there is a need to send un-editable invoices. Doing so stops malicious people from making edits if they happen to come across your invoices. Consider a scenario where hackers alter your bank details, and you notice later after the customer has paid.
- Automate your billing: Automating makes it easier for your customers to make payment securely. For example, you can send them a link they can use to pay straight away via a debit card.
How to write an invoice email
If you decide to write an invoice email, which we highly recommend, make sure to include a clear subject line. That way, it will be easier for your customers to know what the email is all about even without opening it. You don’t need a detailed message in the body (the invoice will elaborate on everything else). Something simple like this example below will is more than enough:
Here is [invoice number], from [business name], which is due on [date]. Thanks so much for your business.
How to handle overdue invoices
It is not a guarantee that once you send invoices, your customers will pay one time. Some payments will be overdue, and it good to be prepared to prompt your customers. Here are a few things you can to prevent late payments:
- Double-check: Make sure every invoice goes to the right address. Your customers could delay paying because the mistake is on your side. If everything is ok in your end, then follow up the customer by either writing an email or making a call.
- Email your customer before the due date: Devise custom messages to send to your customers before the due date. For example, you can send the message seven days before the due date. Make sure the message has the invoice number and the amount to be paid.
- Send another message when the invoice goes past the due date: This time, remind the customer that you have not received payment. It is also ok to state the consequences of paying late.
- Make a call: If a customer is not responding after sending him multiple emails, give him a call, and don’t say much. Let him do the talking.
- Visit the office physically if did not manage to reach the customer via the phone or email.
- Take legal action or contact a collection agency.
- Forget and move on. Chasing some payment is not worth it. So know when to quit or write off as a loss.
Getting paid on time is very crucial to your business. So you may want to make sure you send your invoices as soon as possible. With a good invoicing software, you can be sure to manage your invoices well throughout the year.