When you’re a freelancer, the only thing that’s free for you is the hours of invoicing you’ve got to do, hoping your payments reach you on time.
Regardless of the scale of your business, invoicing is an integral part of lifting your business from zero to one. While the task can get tedious, it’s what gets the money in the account, at least on paper. And no matter how uninspiring, you still have to get it done.
Invoices are great ways of reminding your clients of the services you provided and a polite way of reflecting assertive communication. The freelancer’s life becomes a lot easier when you make invoicing time-efficient and cut down on the paperwork stress.
Here are nine effective invoicing hacks that you shouldn’t miss even in your nightmares.
1. Draft Yourself A Clear Payment Routine
Working as a freelancer is a midway when it comes to working a nine to five desk job and handling your own business. This Midway street is infamously known to get confusing when it comes to payments and papers.
To make the labyrinth slightly more accessible and easy to chart through, be sure to bill people at an established set time, every month. While your clients may prefer working with payment cycles, invoicing at an established time might give you greater security. And that should be your cue to be more assertive. Set a date and map your invoicing routine.
2. Streamline Your Invoicing Process
Invoicing is a routine task and no one mints money by performing the same task at the same speed every week. Streamline your process of Invoicing- by making use of a recurring invoice or an invoice template. The internet is also brimming with a bunch of Free Invoice Generator software that can come in handy. Investing in subscription-based billing software might also get your job done.
Streamlining the process will declutter your schedule and help you bill your clients regularly and on time.
3. Invest In Accuracy – Make sure your invoice is full proof
An invoice is the testament of a job well done, and hence not something you can afford to make silly errors with. When drafting manually, remember that the devil rests in the details. Make sure your invoice has all the following details –
- Details of the client – Company name, address, Point of Contact, etc.
- Your Details – Your name, address, and the services that you offer
- Mention the date of generation of the invoice and the due date for payment.
- Provide a crisp and clear description of services offered
Adding your Tax Identification Number to the invoice might also be a good strategy. Make sure you list down the negotiation bandwidth you share with your client and mention the final payable amount. Avoid messing up the details. Precision and accuracy go a long way when it comes to business.
4. Avoid Billing Misunderstandings
If there was a penny for every time the payment terms of a freelancer were misunderstood, the freelancers around the world wouldn’t have to worry about invoices and pending payments.
Don’t fall into the communication gap. Provide your client with detailed and clear documentation of all your services.
Make sure your client is aware of all your terms regarding the payment. Write legible, Write smart. Mostly, write crisp.
5. The Key to Quick Payments – Convenience & Accessibility
The whole point of an invoice is to bring payments, on time. There are multiple hints that you can drop in your invoice to make that happen for you.
Offer a wide variety of payment methods that your clients can avail to clear the accounts. Be it Credit Card, Debit Card, Cash, UPI, Bank Transfers – offer as much choice as is possible for you from your end. Your invoice should include all the information about the payment methods you accept. Clients love convenience just as much as they love the accessibility. Give them that.
6. Personalize Your Messages
Adding a small note at the bottom of your invoice template is a great way to build trust between you and your client. Ranging from a simple thank you message to recurrent reminders from your meetings, a little customized message goes a long way in getting the job done.
7. Integrate Reminders
Nothing sours a working relationship like late payments. Clients are likely to conveniently forget paying you on time and following up is likely to cost you your time, energy, and creativity.
To avoid having to deal with this exhausting process, automate your invoices and set late payment reminders.
Make sure the tone of your reminders is polite and their message loud and clear.
8. Incorporate Brownie Points
The first rule of business – if you do not incentivize timely payments, you might never get them. It’s just how the world works. Instead of scaring your clients with penalties for late payments, you could reward early payments.
A simple email thanking your clients for timely payment goes a long way in building goodwill within the relationship.
A smart strategy that you could employ can be to offer brownie points in the form of discounts for clients that provide you long-term and regular business.
A positive association means fewer hassles and an efficient business routine. Cash in on that.
9. Crystal Clear Communication
No client enjoys uncertainty, not when it involves paying money from your pocket. When you onboard a new client, let them know of your modus operandi and how you do your job. Mostly, how, when, and how you would prefer getting paid. Keep your communication with crystal clear and make sure you’re not peddling unrealistic and unreasonable expectations. This will allow you to manage deliverables and reduce the possibility of misinterpretation regarding invoicing in the future.
You’d be surprised by the things you can achieve with time on your hands once you streamline invoicing. Free Invoice Generator apps can be a freelancer’s best friend. When you’ve got ninety-nine problems to worry about, billing shouldn’t bother you. A strong freelancing portfolio is built on work, but just as much on clear communication and task management. Use your advantages and know your hacks. Billing can’t be as hard as paying your bills, after all.