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Issuing invoices is essential for many businesses and freelancers, yet in spite of its ubiquity, it is also a process that is frequently carried out in an imperfect way.
To help you improve your invoices, here is a look at why this is a sensible step to take and how you can actually go about achieving it.
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The problem with printing invoices & the benefits of going digital
The first foible that is commonplace is the printing of paper invoices, which are so old school as to be positively archaic by modern standards.
There are lots of downsides to relying on paper invoices. They are easy to lose, misplace or deliberately destroy, so getting clients to pay and following up in the event of non-payment is trickier.
Likewise there are some industries in which paper invoices are simply too fragile to be appropriate for the working environment, such as construction and HVAC installation.
Thankfully the era of digital invoicing is upon us, and finding templates that are tailored to specific sectors, such as an HVAC invoice template, is not only more resilient and reliable than printing paper copies out, but also significantly more convenient.
The downsides of delays vs. the advantages of punctuality
If you are slow in issuing an invoice after a project concludes or a course of work is completed for a client, then there are all sorts of pitfalls which might emerge in the interim that could cause you to lose out.
For example, if it takes a few days or weeks to send an invoice and you have added employee expenses in the interim, this may cause consternation and even prompt clients to question the accuracy of all the figures included.
Instead it is best to be as punctual as possible with your invoicing, and also provide mid-project updates if there are any unexpected additional expenses which may be incurred. This is not just about being accurate and honest, but also about ensuring that your invoice is paid out sooner rather than later. If you have a relaxed attitude to sending out your invoice, then a client may feel less inclined to jump to attention and fulfil their part of the bargain upon receipt.
The power of convenience
Even if your invoice arrives on time and is delivered digitally, it may take longer to get paid if the actual process of paying is convoluted.
Rather than requiring cash payments or using obscure systems, offer mainstream digital payment services as an option so that paying is as painless as possible.
The value of politeness
While for some it is merely a formality that does not require much effort to send out, it is definitely the case that clients will be more inclined to pay you promptly and also return to use your business services again if you are well mannered in your communications when the invoice arrives.