A small business is often called the “Heart of the Economy”. Every country relies on its small businesses to do well to ensure stability. Small businesses typically have to take care of a number of responsibilities every single day. These responsibilities, outside of just operations, take their toll more on a small business than a larger one. The reason for that happens to be the fact that large businesses typically have the machinery and systems in place to take care of every single thing. On the other hand, small business owners are required to be vigilant and hands-on with every single aspect that makes up a small business.
One of the things many small businesses need to deal with is invoicing. Invoices are created to get money on any sale or service provided and they need to be supervised duly to make sure that no discrepancy occurs at the business’ end or at the end of the customer. However, invoices can end up taking a lot of time in certain cases. Business dealings do not always take place at the pace a small business owner would want them to. Even if invoices are sent out, the payments might not be made on time. And while you’re focusing on getting those invoices handled, you might be neglecting other pressing duties and existing customers.
Hence, if invoices are taking too much of your time, you need to make changes to your invoice system. Here are some invoicing tips that a small business can use:
Make Sure To Have a Quote or Agreement Before Invoicing
One of the biggest problems to arise in the invoicing process can be disagreements over the fee and the amount of money mentioned in the invoice. Such problems can put a hold on payments and can even lead to legal problems, later on, costing you even more.
Therefor, it’s advised to have a quote and agreement with the other party beforehand that notes every single aspect of the deal in detail. This agreement will be used for reference if any problem arises with the payment of the invoice later on. It’s essentially insurance for your invoice and a way to guarantee your best interests.
Add Details to Your Invoices
Your invoices should not be too complicated or too plain. Both can end up confusing your customers. The former can create problems in trying to figure out what the invoice is about and how it’s supposed to be handled. On the other hand, the latter will offer no information whatsoever to your customers.
Two kinds of details are typically advised. The first is a numbering system for invoices that will be of use to you. By numbering your invoices, you can find them quickly and look for any details related to them without having to scramble about. The other detail is pointing out all the payment terms related to the invoice on it. The payment terms will make it clear to the customer as to exactly what is required and how it is supposed to be done. It smooths out the entire process.
Brand Your Invoices
Another essential detail to add to your invoice is your brand. Your brand defines who you are. It represents your business to everyone acquainted with it. This includes your customers as well. Your customers need to know exactly whose invoice they are dealing with and who they are supposed to pay. Any confusion on the customer’s end can lead to problems such as payments being made to the wrong company or invoices being ignored. A small business needs to make its identity clear and needs to tell customers that it’s really them. Branding your invoices is the best way to do that.
Automate All Manual Procedures
Manually handling invoices has long been the way of dealing with them. It’s an effective approach since it allows small business owners to look at them personally, but it does have its negative effects as well. The biggest one of those negatives is the fact that manually dealing with invoices is a slow process. You need to pour over many different registers at the same time, do calculations on the spot and type in facts and figures. It’s all too slow.
In order to speed everything up, you can automate the invoice system. Automated invoices rely on cloud storage to make sure that all the data is being hosted in one place and is being updated as you want it to. Moreover, cloud storage makes information retrieval quick and allows you to use data when you want to.
Online invoicing also becomes an option for you in an automated invoice system. You can create, send, and receive invoices online throughout the day. Online invoices allow you to deal with payments in a matter of seconds at any time of the day and not have to worry about them being lost or still in the mail.
WordPress invoicing is another solution that can come in handy to any small business. Offering customizable templates that allow you to create documents the way you need in a matter of seconds, WordPress invoices allow you freedom and helps you save time. Much like WordPress, there are a number of other online invoice makers that you can use. By using technology in invoicing, you make it all run faster while decreasing the risk of human error.
Stay Calm and Polite
Invoices can give you a major headache and often you might feel like letting someone responsible hear it on the phone. Such actions may offer you relief momentarily but will hurt you later down the line. Instead, you have to be calm and polite at all moments.
The more patiently you handle situations, the more rationally you will be able to figure them out and take the required steps. By staying polite, you engage your customers and decrease the risk of them running away from the idea of dealing with you.
We hope these tips were helpful for you as you consider how to take your small business to the next-level. Being a small business ourselves, we understand the difficulties and struggles that come with the territory. We hope that you can learn from our mistakes and triumphs and that those learnings can propel you into the stratosphere! Until next time, happy invoicing!