As a freelancer, one of the best feelings is when you paid promptly. But, to ensure you do get paid in time, you need to have a simple yet effective invoicing system in place. Read on for our tips on how can freelancers manage their invoices effectively.
1) Get the basics in place:
Make sure you have a template for your invoice with the essential details in place. Ensure that you have your employer’s name and address on invoices and also the contact person who you communicate with. Write down your name, company name, address, contact details – both phone and email. If your employer needs any clarifications, they’ll have a ready reference to contact you on the invoice itself.
2) Write an itemized list of services:
You should make it a point to write a detailed list of items you are looking to get paid for. Instead of just putting down “content writing,” write down “content writing for home page creation” The more details you can add, the better for purposes of clarity. Also, make sure you mention whether the charges is on a per-project basis or hourly.
3) Include your T&C’s:
What are your terms and conditions regarding payment? When are you expecting payment? What will you do if a payment deadline is missed? All this is important for the follow-up of an overdue invoice. Having a proper paper trail in place is important in the case of delays in payment.
4) Have various payment options:
Do you prefer cheques? Payment by PayPal? Or bank transfer? It is always a good idea to have different payment options mentioned in your invoice. Discuss with your employer which payment option works for both of you. If you opt for a bank transfer, add the IBAN or SWIFT code to ensure that the payment reaches you.
5) Send invoices on time:
Invoicing might be a task you are not fond of. But, unless you send an invoice, how will you get paid? Don’t delay in sending your invoices as that may delay payment. Keep track of days on which you are supposed to send invoices in a calendaring and scheduling tool. After that, mark a date when you’ll follow up if the payment doesn’t come through.
6) Manual or automatic invoices?
If you have a low number of clients, you can opt for preparing manual invoices. But if you have multiple clients, then consider online invoicing software. They have readymade templates you can customize with your details. You can also set auto-reminders which will alert you in case payments are late.
7) Be polite in your communication:
Money can be a touchy subject, so it’s a good idea to be polite when communicating with your employer. If you get prompt payment, don’t forget to thank them for their business (and the payment!). In the event a payment is late, don’t lose your cool and send them threatening messages. In most cases, delays will be inadvertent, and it takes just a phone call to sort any confusion out.
Even though invoicing may seem to be a cumbersome task, it is the most important step in doing a project for you. After all, you do want to get paid for your hard work, don’t you? Have a seamless invoicing process to ensure that you can manage your invoices effectively and get paid on time.