Submitting invoices to clients can be a chore that many small-business owners are not excited to do. However, cash flow is vital to the success of any contractor, designer or builder, so billing is a necessary evil. Here are some tips to make the process easier.
Make Invoicing a Priority
Work may be billed on a schedule throughout a project or paid in full after the completion of the work, but either way, getting invoices out promptly has to be a priority for business owners.
If the scope of work and fees are clearly laid out at the beginning of the process, invoicing should run smoothly. When line items are not clear or are not the amount the client agreed to, there likely will be delays in the payment. Customers do not like to be surprised with unexpected costs. Clear communication in advance can eliminate roadblocks.
Make it Easy
Once the bill has been delivered, business owners should offer simple ways for the customers to pay the invoice. This could be an online portal that deposits payments right into the company account, or it could be a shopping cart on the company website. Electronic billing and payment options can make things easier on both clients and companies.
The dollar figures associated with work by contractors, builders and designers can be quite high. It’s a good idea to help clients out by offering payment plans, scheduled deadlines or discounts for paying in full and in cash.
After bills have been delivered, company owners must track the dates that they are paid as well as which method of payment is used. By monitoring what works best for clients – and prompts them to pay quickly – businesses can hone in on best practices and avoid wasting time chasing bills.
Billing can be a challenging activity for a small business. However, following these tips should help simplify the process and increase the chance of success!