We are willing to bet there are so many more things that you would rather be doing than handling start-up invoicing and billing, but it’s something that’s got to be done. After all, it’s the very thing that gets you paid! Proper invoicing is a vital part of running your business successfully.
The good news, though, is that the start-up invoicing and billing process doesn’t need to be difficult or time-consuming, particularly if you combine the general best practices alongside a robust invoicing tool designed specifically for small-to-medium sized businesses.
Our Tips for Better Start-Up Invoicing and Billing
It isn’t rocket science, but we understand that it can be difficult figuring out where to get started with everything and manage your billing going forward.
1. Take advantage of invoicing templates
There are literally thousands of invoicing templates out there on the internet that you can use for free. You really don’t need to make your own invoicing template… after all, all invoices serve the same purpose. Simply fill in any suitable template with your company’s details and your logo, and you’re good to go. It’s merely a case of finding a template that fits your business… you’re guaranteed to find one.
2. Use cloud-based invoicing tools
By using a robust invoicing tool that is cloud-based, you can bypass the need for going out on the hunt for an invoicing template… all the good ones come with them built in. In addition to this, invoicing tools—the good ones, at least—enable the sending of invoices directly from the platform itself. No more downloading PDFs and attaching them to emails.
3. Agree on terms in advance
Hopefully, you won’t ever run into problems with invoicing terms, but it can happen. By preparing them in advance, you eliminate the likelihood of being stung or having payments slowed down. Terms that you may want to bring up and agree on may include:
- The scope of a project and its deadline
- How you’ll be billing (e.g. hourly? Per-word? Flat rate?)
- Types of payment methods accepted
- When a client should pay the invoice
- What happens if an invoice is paid late
Having all this agreed to in the form of a signed agreement prior to starting any projects can avoid unnecessary headaches further down the line.
4. Automate as much of the start-up invoicing process as possible
Another benefit of using invoicing platforms and tools is the automation of invoicing. For example, if you have a regular client who you do work for on a month-by-month basis that has the same scope and fee, you can generate his or her invoice automatically each month. Instead of creating and sending an invoice each month, it is done automatically and, if agreed to, the funds for the invoice can be automatically debited from your client’s account on that date.
5. Keep detailed records
It seriously pays to be organized. Whether you’re selling a service or a physical product, by keeping a proper inventory or tracking your time accurately, you can create invoices quicker and get paid faster without there being any bumps in the road. It’s unprofessional for you to guestimate how many hours you have spent on a client’s project, and it is bad practice to not properly keep inventory as this can lead to delays and a poor customer experience. Detailed records help you keep track of anything and aid communications with clients and customers.
It’s All About Using the Right Start-Up Invoicing Tools
Handling start-up invoicing and billing is part and parcel of running your own business. It can’t be avoided unless, of course, you can afford to pay a member of staff to whom it can be delegated to. Unfortunately, most start-ups don’t have this luxury. It is important to keep on top of it—improper management of your finances can lead to serious problems in the long-term.
Handing invoicing and billing doesn’t need to be a pain, though. When you use the right invoicing tools and have a pragmatic approach to the overall invoicing and billing process, you can get it done quickly and efficiently, meaning you get paid on time without there being any problems and can spend more time concentrating on what’s important: your work and your business.