In order to successfully run a web design agency or be successful as a freelancer, one needs to focus on three major things – quality of work, customer satisfaction and proper invoice management. Many designing experts feel uninclined towards the financial aspects of a business; however, it is highly crucial that one handles it with accuracy and meticulousness. One of the major aspects of the financial side of a business is appropriate invoicing of the work for the clients.
Following are some tips for better billing and invoice management:
1. Select a Right Invoicing Software
There are numerous options available in the market when it comes to selecting an online invoicing software. However, one must always select the most appropriate one that is specifically created for designers and freelancers. With the help of an online invoicing software, a freelancer or a web designer can easily save his/her time. Hence, it becomes highly imperative to select one that comprises of all the features to manage the finances of your business. There are many software that are available for free as well. But, a user must always opt for a solution that offers accurate invoicing and management of financial records in a comparatively lesser time span.
2. Set Rigorous Standards and Policies
In order to maintain proper invoices and ensure timely payments from clients, you must set a stringent policy so that you can save your time. Your policy must comprise of the following points:
-> Percentage of the upfront payments must be predetermined.
-> The time duration for the clients to make the payments.
-> Late fees for the late payments must also be predefined.
-> Submission date for the final work, to be before or after payment.
-> Preferred Payment type.
3. Avoid Surprises
Always maintain a transparent relationship with the client. The client must always aware about your work policies and the invoicing terms. There must never be unwanted surprises for the clients on the invoice, e.g. for payment terms, hourly charge, due amount and even the subject of the invoice; all of these must never be mentioned on the invoice but should be discussed beforehand.
4. Mention Your Contact Details
You must always include your name, address, contact number and email ID in your invoices.
5. Number the Invoices if Sent in Bulk
You must number your invoices in case they are being sent in bulk. Most online invoicing apps consist of this function by default.
6. Mention the Receiver’s Information
Along with your contact details, even the recipient’s information must be mentioned. Through this, it becomes easier to converse and interact. Also, it is important from the legal perspectives.
7. Detailed Charges and Services Must Be Mentioned
All the services that you’ve offered along with the charges must be explained in detail in the invoice to avoid any confusion.
8. Mention the Last Date for the Payment
All the invoices must contain the information about the due date for when the payment is expected.
9. Acceptable Payment Methods
The client should be clarified about the payment methods through which you can accept the payment. This makes it easy for the client to be aware about the preferred payment method.
10. Invoice must be sent as an attachment
Always send invoices to the client as a PDF attachment via email. It is a reliable and easy way for the clients to receive the invoice.
11. Always send the invoice to the correct client
Before you dispatch the invoice to your client, make sure that you are mailing it to the appropriate person.
12. Keep a Record of the received Payments
13. Follow Up
Once you send the invoice to the client, make sure you mention the due date on it. In case the due date is approaching and the client hasn’t cleared the payment, you must follow up to remind your client regarding it.
14. Specify in case of Partial Payment
All the web design projects generally involve more than a single invoice, as you may initially ask for an upfront payment (some percentage of the total) and receive the remaining after the work is completed. This is a reliable and efficient way to ensure that you receive your payment on time.
15. Tackle Properly If Any Issue Arises
In case of any unforeseen problem, you must not hide away from it. You must address it right away even if it involves the client having an issue with the invoice.