When you start a business or set out to lead a growing company, invoicing may not be on your list of things you can’t wait to sink your teeth into. The reality is: if you want to make money, you need to send out invoices. Here’s why a sound billing process is crucial to your company, plus a few reasons why shifting the way you look at billing can open up new revenue streams.
Out of all your responsibilities as a business owner, there’s nothing more important than invoicing. Without invoicing, you won’t be able to get cash to flow into your business. Without that cash, you won’t be able to grow your business — let alone keep the doors open for very long. Invoicing, however, is more than just getting paid for the goods and services that you provided. It can also shape the relationship that you have with your clients. Think about it for a second. If you emailed a client saying, “Hey, pay that $500 right now or else!” How do you think that client would respond? Even if they pay you ASAP, I highly doubt they’ll do business with you again. With that in mind, it’s time to consider what you’re invoicing habits say about you as a business owner.
You forget to bill your clients.
What this seems to say about you: You don’t care when, or if, you get paid.
This is hands down the worst mistake that a business owner can make. Forgetting to bill your clients is an indication that you don’t care when, or if, you ever get compensated for the services or products rendered. Furthermore, it can show the client that you’re not a professional who deserves to be paid on-time.
If you want to be taken seriously as a professional, while also improving your cash flow, always make invoicing a priority.
You never follow-up on late payments.
What this seems to say about you: Getting paid isn’t that big of a deal to me.
Even if you’ve made invoicing a priority, it’s still imperative that follow-up on any past due invoices. After all, there will be times when an invoice hasn’t been paid by the due date. Not being proactive shows that getting paid isn’t important to you.
As a business owner, it’s your responsibility to follow-up on late payments. This may involve a kind (but firm) email, phone call, or visit if they client is in your proximity. Remember, the longer you wait, the less likely that the invoice will get paid. If you use invoicing software, it will automatically send your clients late payment reminders.
Again, if you want to be taken seriously as a professional, and not an amatuer that can be pushed over, follow-up on late payments immediately. In many cases you’ll find that there’s actually a good reason why the client didn’t meet the due date. However, if the client doesn’t respond, you may have to take actions like taking them to small claims court.
You don’t use invoice software.
What this seems to say about you: You’re inexperienced and new to the game.
In this day of age, this can be seen as inexcusable.
Instead of manually creating invoices, online invoicing software come with templates that allow you to quickly create and send invoices electronically. You can even brand them by including your logo. As a result, you’re showing the client that you’re an experienced, professional who has made invoicing a priority.
Sending invoices speeds-up the payment process since it eliminates snail mail. And, most invoicing solutions come with multiple payment options so that the client can pay the invoice using their preferred payment method.
As if that weren’t enough, these type of invoicing solutions allow you to set-up recurring payments and will “ping” clients when they miss a due date. And, since they’re on the cloud, you can manage your invoices whenever and wherever you like.