As a small business owner, out of every other responsibility you share there is nothing more important than invoicing. Without the right invoicing policies, you would not be able to get cash flow into your business and keep it from growing, or even surviving.
Invoicing, for a business, is not just a certificate of services offered to seek monetary rewards. But, formal communication from the business to clients. It has the power to build or break the relationship with your clients.
For instance, you sent a client an unitemized bill with a hefty amount, say $1500. Are you sure you will get paid without chaos? Because we doubt! Whereas, a fully itemized bill with proper information, thank you note, and other important facts can act as a fully equipped awareness doc for your clients without your interference.
Keeping this in mind, here is a full report of what your invoicing habits speak about you:
You Often Delay/Skip Invoice Date?
Impression: It does not matter to you when/if you get paid
Forgetting to invoice on time or frequently skipping the invoicing dates is one of the worst mistakes a business can do to itself. It is a clear reflector of your carelessness towards the business and its cash flow. Such instances imply an impression of missing business ethics and give your clients a chance to skip due dates without any fair reason.
How you want others to treat your business is completely in your hands. Maintain sincere professional ethics to and prioritize your business to make others trust your procedures and never take them for granted.
Chances are high that you do not want to skip the billing date, but your small business is consuming a lot of your time leaving you with no time in hand to invoice in time. This way you’re not really careless, just to stuck to look into other tasks. Don’t worry we have a solution for you. To eradicate such delays you can opt for a small business invoice software that automates. This automated software can streamline invoicing, approvals, and payment processes for the business so that you can stay updated even when you’re running low on time.
You fail to remind clients of late payments:
Impression: you’re not concerned about getting paid.
Now, if you’re also committing the second mistake with the first one. You’re making sure your clients build an impression about you that you do not want to get paid or cash flow is not much of a concern for you.
Post delivering services, it is imperative for a business to follow up for payments. Because this incoming of cash will lead to payments of all the vendors and other expenses your business has undertaken. If you will not follow up on delayed payments how will you share timelines of payments to your vendors? It can bring your entire business on the verge of closure.
Never let your clients go lose on due dates. Make sure you remind them of due dates and late payments in regular intervals.
Pro Tip: An automated reminder set at the intervals of initially a week and then days can keep your clients reminded of payments even when you lack hours in hands for such calls. It is even more professional and appreciated.
You call too frequently to follow up:
Impression- you are desperate/do not trust clients for payments
We know we have advised you to follow up on late payments. But, we never asked you to keep calling your clients every now and then to get paid sooner. There is a business protocol for payments that should be followed diligently while confirming payments. Calling every day just after you have sent an invoice is an immature decision.
In order to follow up for payments, set a calling schedule. Initially inform and confirm invoice acceptance. Then call a couple of days before the due date to remind your clients for payments. It is also important to call and remind on the due date if you haven’t received payment, your client might have skipped. Later for late payments, remind before final dates. If not, remind every couple of days initially. In this case of late payments, you can also hold personal calls to understand the reason for delays and help your clients with delayed due dates.
You’re asking for a down payment:
Impression- You’re committed to your business
Asking for a down payment isn’t unfair at all. It is one of the most common practices held in every day to day business. Most businesses ask for down-payments upfront before starting a project to initiate the project to close the deal. “advance received”.
Such advances have major perks added to them, as they allow you to undertake expenses while working on longer duration projects.
You’re requesting full payment upfront in advance:
Impression: you are insecure about payments
This practice is not completely unfair. We aren’t denying the fact that in a business you meet different kinds of people, some who believe in fair trade and some who don’t. It is okay to ask full payments upfront from those whose vibe you don’t relate with. But, such practices should never be followed with every client. Such practices should never become the guidelines for your business activities. The decision to seek payments and steps to ask for payments should only be followed on the basis of relations and rapport your clients share with you.
You don’t own an Invoice Software:
Impression: Your processes are outdated/you don’t want to upgrade
The current business environment is nothing less of being on the verge of the competition. One wrong move and you’re out of the game. It is important to amp up your game in every possible way to let your clients realize you’re up to date in your processes and deliver efficiency through every process.
One of the major benefits of a small business invoice software is how it works as your virtual employee to quickly take up all executional tasks that are time-consuming, but important. Invoicing software for small business is capable of automating major invoicing, payments, and workflows to unburden your extra load that is consuming a major chunk of your time. It also establishes a fully professional communication with your clients to leave a positive impact.
You did not sign a written agreement/contract
Impression: you’re too trusting/naive
An agreement is a written tact of the deal between two parties. It states the complete contract, timelines, costs, services, additional information, and legal formalities (in case of failures). An agreement is important to avoid unnecessary chaos in the later run. It completely states the procedure and allows both the parties to come on common grounds of an agreement to carry the project forward. Does not matter whether you’re a big enterprise or a small business, an agreement is a necessity for all. In the professional environment, to carry out business activities without much chaos, always bring the role of agreement upfront.
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What the Experts Say
The kind of attitude you will have towards your business, exactly the kind of attitude you will witness getting reciprocated from the clients. While you advocate complete professionalism in your business activities, a lot of minor and major behavioral facts speak the unspoken. You’re definitely not looking for criticism in any manner, we suppose. It is important in this highly competitive hour to keep giving your competitors a run for their money.
Here we have a one-stop-solution to a lot of your business queries generating the utter need. A small business billing software is your answer to majorly every process flaw and delay. Invoicera has served more than 3.5 million small businesses around the globe with automated invoicing software for small business that helps you streamline invoice creation, invoicing, approvals, expense management, ROI reports, time tracking, AR & AP management, client and vendor management, staff management, and more. More so, Invoicera is completely capable of customizing to your invoicing needs as per your business hierarchies and integrate with your current ERP and CRM. Don’t forget to talk to our expert today if you’re facing any of these or more such problems. We shall guide you the best.