3 Things Every Business Invoice Must Have
Yes, it’s true that running a business is hard! Being in charge of accounts payable, marketing, invoicing, staffing and in some cases managing inventory in addition to doing the tasks promised to the client is no small feat. But I also feel that simple process changes can help us to eliminate much of the back and forth that we deal with every day. Below is a quick list of my list of what should be included on every invoice to save yourself time and a little stress in running your business:
Total Cost (incorporating all fees): This is a big one for me. Its really important to share the final cost due at the time that you send an initial invoice or price quote to a client. Surprise processing fees, delivery fees that don’t come until days, weeks or sometimes months after an agreement is discussed can cost you in trust from your potential client, which sometimes also results in a lost sale. Be upfront about the total costs when communicating with a client, by either sending an invoice with all fees, or stating what the additional fees are in your email correspondence so the client is aware and prepared for them when they receive the invoice. This reduces lots of back and forth questions about ‘why you charge what you charge’ or ‘what fees are there for’ when they are shared up front!
Payment method: As a wedding planner, there have been a number of times where a vendor complained about an invoice that wasn’t paid, but the invoice and email never stated the payment instructions - meaning that there was no way the client could have paid you. It’s totally OK if you don’t have a fancy credit card processing company to manage your fees - there are many other ways to include payment terms in your invoice. Simply create a “payments option” section in your word or excel file and list ALL of the info that a client needs to make a payment. For instance, for PayPal payments, specify the email address that payments should be sent to. For bank transfer options, spell out your bank name, account number, and inform the client if you need them to email you once the deposit is sent. Doing this puts the ball in the client’s court and reduces the number of back and forth admin emails that you have to manage in your business.
All Deadlines: Do you need to be booked at least 30 days before the wedding? Then state this in the invoice. mention that the contract must be signed by XYZ date in order for you to fulfill an order for a specific date. Be sure to include all other deadlines as well, including when questionnaires, timelines or other information is due to you to help you fulfill the invoice. It is very professional to set expectations ahead of time, vs waiting until later to complain. Be proactive about what you need ahead of time to make life easier for you and your clients!
I hope that these tips help you in modifying your invoicing process to make life easier for both you, and your clients!
P.S. Let me know your thoughts about these in the comments below!
Reminder! Registration is open for my final in-person workshop of 2018. It will be filled with practical, to the point and in-depth tips to help you to set your business up for success in 2019! Register today - early bird sales end on October 29th, and there are only 3 tickets left!