Consistency in invoicing is critical to keep your business afloat. A professional invoice template facilitates a seamless and painless way to manage your cash flow, especially when you’re still learning the ropes. Invoicing and other administrative tasks like bookkeeping can be complicated when you’re just starting out and eat up a huge chunk of your time.
The good news is that now you can automate your invoicing system, save time, and focus on the work at hand. While there really is no one type of blueprint to creating an invoice template that suits all business types, you can always customize your invoicing strategy to what works for your brand.
Why is a Professional Invoice System Important for Your Business?
The challenge to every startup is how to make that mark and be relevant in the industry you are in. Tapping onto your target market is the key to brand visibility and awareness. Another is managing the invoice and accounting part of your business. It’s time consuming yet part of making sure you have a well-oiled income-generating machine. It’s not a walk in the park for sure but a lot of giant CEOs has proven that it can be done and replicated.
There is no point of running a business with a blind spot or recklessly maneuvering your way around it. A good invoicing system helps create a professional image for your company and also ensures that you have a steady cash flow. This translates to ensuring that you get paid on time and that clients are also able to pay conveniently and hassle-free.
Not only does invoices ensure you get paid but it also provides a substantial layer of legal protection for you and your customers. You can use invoices, receipts, and contracts in court as proof of non-payment of customers or a proof of settling your payables with suppliers or partners. Invoices also serve as a strong proof of reported income just in case your business gets audited by the IRS.
Having a good invoice system ensures you are able to collect payments quickly or on a specified schedule. Including payment terms and also a late payment penalty helps speed up the payment process.
Top Invoicing Hacks to Keep You on Top and on Track of Your Finances.
A good invoicing system is either done in paper or electronically. Either way, this helps provide an informative and detailed outline of what products or services have been provided to customers, the costs, and mode of payment. A smart invoice template does not just get your business rolling with the dough in but also cements your credibility with clients and partners. Here are the top invoicing hacks that helps give you that professional image and also allows you to keep track of your finances:
Switch to E-invoice!
Even if you have the option to do it manually, the electronic or paperless route helps seal the deal. It creates a professional image instantly because it shows you are organized and also technologically savvy in managing company invoices.
Generating and sending out invoices electronically also ensures you are able to send and receive payments quickly and efficiently. Most electronic invoicing systems are also available for mobile users which mean you can easily create and manage your invoices even if you are always on the go.
This helps you create an automated invoicing system which has features like payments reminders and also allow you to set up recurring payments. There are different free and paid invoicing apps online that you can use for your invoicing needs which also has built-in additional features such as project management and time tracking that helps you manage day-to-day business operations.
Send Invoices Right Away.
Sending your invoices right after completion of production or delivery of products and services helps you get paid faster too. Consistency and promptness pays off when you get your invoices paid on time or even ahead of schedule. Having ready e-invoices with a professional tone helps you get paid faster.
Dangle the Carrot and Stick Maneuver.
Psychology experts would tell you that rewards and punishment actually work as reinforcements. Dangling the Carrot means you can offer discounts for early payments and also include a tipping option or prompt in your invoices to suggest that customers can reward you with a tip if they think you deserve a bonus for an excellent product or service delivered.
On the flipside, the Stick serves as the late penalty fee imposed on clients or customers who miss their due dates or payment schedules. This can be a flat fee or a percentage set out of their total amount due.
Personalize and Be Courteous in Your Invoices.
We always hate receiving generic emails and either mark it as spam or it goes straight to the junk folder. This works the same way with invoices. Building and maintaining good rapport and strong relationships with your customers, suppliers, and partners starts with a professional and personalized invoicing system.
According to Entrepreneur, using the magic words like “please” and “thank you” works in ensuring that you get paid on time and also strengthens your personal and professional ties with clients. A polite tone in your invoices is proven to speed up payments by as much as 5%. Injecting your brand’s unique personality in your invoice design and content also makes stick out from the rest. Also, putting up a logo helps create a relatable face to your brand too.
Ramp it Up with e-Invoicing and International Payment Methods.
To avoid excuses like being away on a trip and not paying dues on time, you can set up international payment routes and use e-invoicing software so clients can send payments right away at any point in the globe. In this way, you get to avoid the hassle of having to wait up for clients to get back from vacation and settle their payments right on time.
Set Up Recurring Invoices.
Save time and get to bill efficiently by setting up recurring invoices for your customers. This would work for customers or clients that you bill monthly for the same amount. You can also create an invoice template that would allow you to edit details on products and services as well as total balance or amount due.
Your invoice is one touchpoint to value with your customers, especially if you are a new entrepreneur or a budding startup. This is a vital part of enhancing customer experience with your brand. This allows them a taste or peek of what your brand is all about. It also helps you introduce your brand to your customers without really forcing it.
To create a professional image for your brand, your invoices must be personalized, precise, consistent, and transparent. Do not just shoot blanks; get an invoice template that speak volumes of credibility for your brand.
Young Upstarts is a business and technology blog that champions new ideas, innovation and entrepreneurship. It focuses on highlighting young people and small businesses, celebrating their vision and role in changing the world with their ideas, products and services.