The Essential Qualities of a Great Small Business Invoice
It can be tempting to think your work is done when you’re preparing a final invoice. You’ve completed a great project and the client is happy. Plus, an invoice is just an invoice, what could possibly go wrong?
Quite a lot in fact, if you’re not careful.
There are a few essential qualities that make up a great invoice and if you’re a small business, it’s vital to get these right. The last thing you want, especially after a positive experience, is a worried or confused customer questioning you about the content of their received invoice. It’s a shame to put a dampener on things when everything has gone so well.
So what are the qualities that make up a great invoice?
Gone are the days when a plain and hastily put together invoice document would satisfy your clients and customers. People expect something better. The invoices (and quotes etc.) you send out form part of your brand’s identity. It’s never been more important to create a coherent and continuous brand look across multiple touchpoints.
It’s for this reason, your invoice needs an attractive design which seamlessly echoes your brand.
An invoice without a unique identifying number is like a person without a name. An invoice number helps you and your client to keep track of the sent invoices. Identifiers, whether a unique chronological number or filing code, enables both parties to quickly bring up the relevant document from a pile of invoices.
Every invoice should have the company details of both your own business and that of your client. This will include the legal name, postal address, phone number and website url. These details ensure you and your client, as well as finance departments, bookkeepers and virtual assistants, can easily identify the two parties – and if there’s a problem, quickly make contact.
You want your invoices to be easy to read when someone is in a rush. People are busy! This can be achieved by itemising your services and products within the invoice body. A multifaceted service, for example, can be broken down into its different components, each of which will be named, briefly described and priced, within a columned table. The client can immediately see what they’re paying for and are left with no doubt as to the accuracy of the total payment fee.
Payment terms and instructions
It’s likely you will have agreed with your client/customer the payment terms and conditions prior to sending out a deposit or final invoice. However, it’s always sensible to include them in the invoice proper, together with payment instructions. For non-business people, paying an invoice might not be a regular occurrence. It’s therefore helpful to offer a little guidance as to your payment options and details, as well as what to do next. These can be placed at the base of the invoice document.
Still using excel or even paper invoices? It might be time to consider a cloud-based invoicing platform instead. This will make life easier not just for your clients but more so, for you! With internet invoicing you can create attractive templates, track invoice open-rates, monitor payments, send out automatic late payment reminders, integrate with a multitude of apps and be instantly updated regarding how much you’ve earned and have yet to be paid.
And so much more.
Invoicing made easy with virtual assistance
Here at moretime PA we have a lot of experience writing and sending invoices. As professional virtual assistants, we understand the best practices and what clients and customers like to see when it comes to payment requests. Our team can help you with all your invoicing needs.
Get in touch today to find out more.