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Invoicing lessons: What every small business owner should know

How do you feel when you have to pursue your customers for your own money? Frustrated, right? 

Back then in school, I used to sell Vintage shirts. Most of my customers were course mates and friends. My ignorant self didn’t issue invoices whenever I made a sale, or when I did(if we can call it that, lol), it was just a message on WhatsApp. There was no form of accountability and they paid whenever they felt like. After a semester, my business packed up.

A part of me felt like it was because I had a close relationship with them, but myself today disagrees with that. I would say now that if I took every aspect of my business, including my invoicing seriously, and treated them as customers, it would have been a different experience.

Invoicing is a hurdle for small business owners. Amongst the many things they have to face, proper invoicing is one of them. The main objective of invoicing is to receive payments for goods and services provided. Nobody takes into consideration the time spent in generating the invoice, sending it and most times, chasing the customer to pay up. 

But time is money and the amount of time used in doing these, can be put into more productivity in growing your business. 

When your business begins to slow down because of invoicing, then it has become a problem. Getting paid is supposed to be fun, and the fact that your business is slowing down because you are doing it the wrong way shows that you need some help. 

There are processes to invoicing and it is very necessary to follow them to the t. Some of these processes include but are not limited to:

Set your terms and conditions

Save yourself the hassle of disagreeing with customers by setting terms and conditions. Send an estimate of the job before it is done and follow up with an invoice. Let them know the exact date the invoice is due. Thirty days has always been the standard but you can tailor it to fit your own standard. This can speed up the process and ensure that the customer is not caught unaware. Also, ensure your customer is on board with the terms. 

Follow up unpaid invoices

Don’t feel awkward about asking for your money. You can contact them personally by sending a polite email, phone call, or use an invoicing tool that automatically sends a late payment reminder. The Vencru accounting software has this feature. In some cases, the customer may have forgotten, or the invoice didn’t deliver. 

Either way, you deserve payment for work done. 

Use a software i.e. automated invoicing

This would save you the stress and time of creating manual billing, and looking up client information. The right software would enable you to send your invoice from wherever. You would also cut down on mistakes made from manually invoicing, save time you would use in going to post the invoice, and lastly, save money used in buying paper, ink, printer etc. 

This just crossed my mind, lol, you get to be eco friendly. Doesn’t this sound amazing?

With Vencru, you can send invoices via email or WhatsApp, get reminders for late payment, store client information, all in one place.

Make it easy for them to pay you

New technology has made it easier for people to pay you directly from the invoice. Give your customers as many options as you can for payment. Also, clearly state the account details. 

Also, ensure to send invoices promptly and be polite when following up.

 Conclusion: Vencru as an enabler.

A lot of challenges faced with invoicing can be solved with Vencru, a management tool that enhances the way you run your business. Send professional and customised invoices to your customers via WhatsApp or email, track your inventory, track unpaid invoices, manage your clients

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