Whether you work for a business or are in charge of running your own, it’s no secret that your ultimate end goal is to make money. But, despite this being fairly obvious, it still doesn’t make asking for money any easier – after all, paying out all of our hard earned cash isn’t exactly something any of us want to do, or even like doing for that matter. So, when it comes to creating our invoices, many of us often quickly sign them off with “thank you for your business!” in an attempt to make the process a little less painful and hope that those tiny few words will make your payee a little more willing to pay. Well, unfortunately for you, you’re going to have to do a lot more than that to make people want to cough up the cash. How exactly? Well, the key to success lies all with a good invoice.
Now, I know that many of you reading this may be thinking “how hard can creating an invoice be?” – all you need to do is download a template from the internet, change the numbers to correspond with how much you want to be paid, and voila! – Job done, right? Well, follow that and you certainly aren’t going to get anyone rushing to pay their bills.
So, to help you, here are a few simple tips on how to create the perfect invoice, so you’ll never have to chase for an invoice ever again:
1. Make It Visually Impressive
Now, this is a fairly straightforward tip that can give great results, yet many businesses and professionals tend to ignore it as they feel it takes up too much time – after all, I know what you’re thinking “surely a simple, plain and easy to make invoice does exactly the same job as a jazzed up and colourful invoice, after all, they’re all asking for the same thing”, right? Well, you’d be wrong. Because a boring invoice will get neglected straight away, leaving you chasing for it to be long after you’ve sent it off. And, what’s more, creating a boring invoice won’t exactly leave the most positive lasting impression of your business – you’ve spent long and hard creating an amazing product or service to please your customers or clients, only to hand them an effortless and boring invoice summarising all that work you’ve done. What’s your lasting impression likely to be?
So, instead of creating a simple word documented invoice, spend a little time adding a little personality into it instead – because chances are, you’ll get results from it a lot quicker. Place descriptions and amounts in neat boxes, create individual and exciting headers and don’t be afraid to inject a little colour onto your page. Once you’ve created your desired invoice, you can then save it as a template for future invoices – so creating a truly great one need not be as much hard work as you originally thought it would be!
2. Make It Clear
A big mistake of creating invoices is the tendency to focus all of the effort on the numbers rather than on the words. Now, I know that the numbers are the whole reason you’re doing the invoice, but it’s important to spend a little bit of time on all of the other stuff too.
Start by detailing contact details – not only theirs, but yours also. You may presume they know how to contact you, but repeating details such as who handles their account or who they can contact if they have any questions is a great way to add another dimension to that all-important customer service. Also make sure it’s clear exactly how you would like the invoice to be paid – this may seem quite obvious, but it’s often a key feature that many forget!
Make sure you also clearly and carefully itemize the list of services they’re paying for. Rather than just quickly describing your service as ‘design’, tell them exactly what they’re paying for and if they’re paying by the hour or per project – most of your clients or customers will greatly appreciate the finer details, as it’ll greatly help with their financial records in the long run.
Don’t also forget to include the date, the invoice number and that little phrase of courtesy by thanking them for their business.
3. Invest In Good Invoicing Software
There’s no excuse these days when it comes to creating a high quality invoice. Why? Because there are hundreds of tools out there, such as SLIQtools, that will do it all for you. Investing in a good online invoicing program can help you to conjure up perfectly great invoices in minutes.
Many will assist you in inputting every financial detail no matter how big or small, help you keep track of every single invoice you send out, and can even help you to make your invoice design look fantastic. Most invoice software platforms have a plethora of different template designs to choose from, so you can tailor make your invoices to every individual business or client you work with – all of which is bound to help your invoice to stand out from all the others that will land on the recipient’s desk…
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