How to Maximize Your Invoices
We all enjoy getting paid, but most of us don’t enjoy the step that comes before that: making invoices. Luckily, there are ways to make your life easier when it comes to making invoices and collecting payment. Use these tips to stay organized, keep your customers on the same page, and get paid on time.
1. Make your payment policies clear before you start work.
The best way to do this? Write up a payment policies document for them to sign along with your main contract. This document should outline your expected payment schedule (up front? half and half? milestone-based?), how long they’ll have to pay, late fee policies, types of payment accepted, and so forth. There’s no need to include the payment amount here; that will be something for your actual contract. This is more of a one-size-fits-all policy doc you can give to any client to keep expectations clear.
2. In your contract, be as specific as possible.
Again, this helps you avoid needless misunderstandings. Outline the kind of work expected, when it’s due, exactly what services you’re providing, how much the job will cost, and so on. Each party should have a signed copy.
3. Use online invoicing software to automate the process.
Time to ditch the Word document template: there’s plenty of robust software that can handle invoicing for you much faster and smoother than you could do manually.
4. Send your invoices immediately once the service is complete.
This means you’ll still be fresh on the customer’s mind when they receive it. If they’re a busy person, they might not recognize an email if it comes weeks later.
5. Describe services rendered clearly on the invoice.
If invoices are vague, clients (or their accounting departments) might not recall what the invoice is for, delaying payment until they figure it out.
6. Send email reminders.
Oftentimes, invoicing software will have a way to set it up so emails are send out automatically when deadlines are approaching. If not, send a friendly reminder on your own. If you hear nothing back, you can follow up with a phone call making sure the work was done to their satisfaction and reminding them of the due date.
8. Charge late fees.
What’s the best way to ensure invoices get paid on time? Make it costly for them to refuse. If they miss the payment deadline, be firm: send another invoice with a late fee added. Only do this if you’ve noted late fees in your payment policies, though!
Infinity Commercial Lending is here to help you maximize on your invoices. Contact us to learn more today!