10 Invoicing Tips for Small Businesses in 2022Written by InvoiceBerry Team on May 30, 2022
Are you stuck with how to make invoices? Maybe you usually open up your email, fire up an invoice template, and start typing away. But wait – there are so many things to consider when sending an invoice.
Maybe you’re a new freelancer and you don’t know where to start. Or maybe your company has been around for years but it’s time for some fresh ideas on how to get the most out of invoicing clients.
This article is here to help! It will walk through the basics of invoicing and cover some valuable tips on how to invoice clients in a way that will make them happy and keep their money flowing into your bank account!
What is an Invoice?
Simply put, an invoice is an itemized list of the goods or services given to a client and how much they cost. Whether you’re a freelancer or small business owner, you would give invoices to your clients so that they know how much to pay you. You also use invoices to track how much you’ve earned from your business.
There are different types of invoice depending on type of company, location, and use, but the most common ones are:
- Sales invoice – this is an invoice for goods or services that were sold to a customer.
- Purchase invoice – this is an invoice for goods or services purchased from another company.
- Service order – this type of invoice has quotes and the terms and conditions agreed on in advance between two parties, usually as part of a contract.
- Accounts payable invoice – these are used by businesses for goods or services that are not yet supplied to the customer.
- VAT invoice – is used for goods or services including VAT
- Tax invoice – this type of invoice is often required by the local government and it lists the amount paid in taxes.
Anatomy of an Invoice
While there may be different kinds of invoices, they all follow the same general requirements to be considered a valid invoice.
- Name and contact information of the seller
- The word “invoice” clearly displayed
- A unique invoice number
- The date the invoice was issued
- Name and contact information of the buyer
- An itemized description of the products or services purchased
- The date the products and services were provided
- The quantity of goods sold
- Unit price of each product or service sold
- Total amount charged
- The date the invoice is due for payment
Other types of invoices may also include other details such as taxes charged, account information for the seller, payment terms, and the like.
Now that you know the basics of an invoice, how do you exactly make an invoice? Is it really as simple as opening up a Word document or email?
How to Get Started
There are a few ways you can go about creating an invoice for your clients.
One of the most basic ways is to open up an invoice template on your word processing application such as Microsoft Word or Pages and start entering all the necessary information.
Invoice templates from applications usually have placeholders for the information you need to provide your client, so you won’t have to worry about missing anything out.
But often, invoices from basic templates can look too amateurish.
A great way to freshen up your invoice is to download one of the many free invoice templates online. You can get invoice templates for almost every application you might need, such as Word, Excel, Numbers, or even fully online options like Google Docs and Sheets.
However, if you’re not tech savvy at all, or your business is more established, it can be a challenge issuing many invoices if you do them manually.
If you find yourself in that situation, you can opt for an invoice management software that can handle invoices for you automatically, including sending out the invoices to your clients, recurring invoices, and even allowing your customers to pay you directly on the invoice.
However you generate your invoices, we’ve got some valuable tips on what you should put on your invoices, and what you should leave out of them.
Tips for What Goes Into Your Invoice
Get creative! You don’t need to stick to only the required information on your invoice.
- Make sure your branding is spot-on in your invoice. Aside from using your company’s colors or your logo, you should look at the overall design of your invoice. Are your brand’s values reflected in your invoice? Should you have a professional, minimalist invoice or a more colorful and vibrant one?
- Give them all the information they need. Your client should have all the information they need to pay you right on the invoice. This can be information on bank accounts, payment terms, and the like. You can even remind them about the great work you’ve done in the past through attractive project timelines.
- Take advantage of online payment methods. It’s 2021! Everyone’s online these days, and your business should, too. Make it super easy for your clients to pay you by providing them online ways to do so. If you can, provide a link or QR code that they can use to pay you via credit card, transfer, or other online wallets.
- Use your invoice as a marketing tool. When your client is looking at the invoice you sent, they’re already giving you more attention than many email marketing newsletters can boast. Don’t take that for granted! Your invoice can help you sell your products and services too. Don’t fill your invoice with offers, but do let them know about special deals or promotions that you have. You can even reward them for their loyalty by giving them something special on their invoice.
- Include incentives for them to pay early or on time. Outline any early or late payment terms on the invoice you send your clients. Late penalty fees or early payment discounts can be a great way to get paid on time.
Must-Do Tips for Sending Invoices
Just generating a well-designed and complete invoice is half the battle! Actually sending them can be a different matter entirely.
- Send your invoices as soon as the work is done. The sooner your client receives your invoice, the better. Sending your invoice quickly makes sure that the work you’ve done is still fresh in their mind. Waiting longer can result in some misunderstandings and the need for clarifications.
- If you’re emailing your invoice, make sure you send the invoice in PDF format. A PDF invoice will make sure that the terms and values in your invoice aren’t editable both for you and your client’s safety.
- Even if you’re just starting out, make sure it’s easy for you to generate and update your invoices. You won’t have a lot of time later on to spend generating your invoice. You should put a little thought into how easy it will be for you or your team to generate and send out your invoice.
- For regular clients, look into moving them into a retainer contract with automatic billing. This can make it easier for both of you, especially if the bill doesn’t vary in pricing over a definite period of time.
- Even if you’re sending paper bills, make sure your invoice is available online for your client. Provide a QR code on the paper bill so that they can access it online, and perhaps even pay you online. Online payment can increase the chances you’ll get paid on time!
Whether you are a freelancer, small business owner or running your own company, invoicing can sometimes feel like an intimidating process. The key to it is understanding the basics and then shaking it up for your business!
From the content of your invoices to the actual process, take your time to make sure it fits your business and what you need. Remember, a streamlined process can save you lots of time–while a well-designed invoice can even bring you more sales. Both can bring about significant impact to your growing business.
Good luck in bringing your invoices to the next level!