Did you know that 50% of small businesses don’t make it past their first 5 years? That’s a scary statistic, but with proper management of people and resources, your small business can find staying power.
A thorn in the side of small business owners is invoice management. What programs do you use and how do you send invoices? How do you organize open invoices to make sure you get paid?
While it’s understandably not your favorite task, it doesn’t need to be overly complicated. Here are 3 invoice management tips to integrate into your routine.
#1- Provide Estimates in Writing
Imagine this: you’ve finished a project and your client is thrilled. You hand them the invoice and their jaw drops.
Clients don’t want to be surprised by the amount on the invoice. They are less likely to pay it if the price exceeds their expectations. You can nip this shock in the bud by starting your project with a detailed estimate.
Projects are often fluid and change throughout the completion of services. As things change, update the estimate, send it to the client, and get approval in writing. This will save you the pain of having to prove yourself once the work is done.
#2- Adopt a Payment Schedule and Stick With It
An invoice management key is to choose a payment schedule and stick with it. If you like to start projects with 50% down, then don’t start working until you have the 50% in your account.
Maybe you want to send invoices at weekly or monthly increments? That could be a great system to lessen the risk of losing the entire fee of the job.
Whatever system you choose, stick with it. Running a business is hard enough, doing this will save you the headache of having to remember who paid what and when.
#3- Use Technology to Keep You Organized
The list of products out there to help your business invoices organized is endless. You don’t need to use them all, but you definitely should find the ones you like and use them to your advantage.
If you’re like most businesses, you use Paypal and QuickBooks. Understanding how these two programs interface can give you an edge. QuickBooks Online enables you to label all of your transactions. As soon as you get a payment, go in and label it in a standardized way so you can quickly reference it.
Automate wherever you can to reduce your mental load. If you provide invoices on a bi-monthly basis, tell your phone to remind you every other week to send the invoice. Automating as much as possible reduces the chance that something will slip through the cracks.
Become an Invoice Management Expert
You can be an invoice management pro. Integrate these simple steps into your startup company and watch your invoices start to send themselves. Okay, not literally, but it will feel much easier!
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