Issuing and collecting invoices
Time to GET PAID.
First of all, it is extremely important to remember to invoice your clients according to the terms in your contract. Invoices typically have to be paid within a certain number of days of being sent, so if you never send them, they never get paid! If you send them late, they get paid late, which can hurt your the amount of cash you have available!
You can generate an invoice either directly via your accounting software (e.g., Wave or Quickbooks) or using a Google template that you then upload into your accounting software.
Some must haves on your invoice:
- Invoice number (so you can keep track)
Quick tip: Inflate these so that your client cannot really tell how many jobs you have done (e.g., Start with 341 not 001).
- Name of client
- Address of client
- Date of issuance
- Work that is covered by invoice
- Due date of invoice
- Late penalty information
- Payment information
- For Bank: Routing number, account number, bank name, account name
- For Paypal: Email address
- For Venmo: Venmo handle/ email/ phone
A nice to have is a customized template with your logo and the number invoice related to the project (e.g.,1/3).
The most important thing about invoices is to make sure they are paid on time! If your payment is even one day late, the chances that it will be two weeks late or not paid at all go up exponentially! So very, very important to monitor due dates closely.
Wave and Quickbooks allow you to set up automatic invoice reminders both when the invoice is coming due and when it is overdue. Definitely set these up to send your clients a reminder 24 hours before the invoice is due, and an email every two days if overdue. If this seems like overkill, it is — but you need to get paid!!
As soon as an invoice has been paid, mark it as paid in your software so you do not keep sending clients reminders once they have paid. In your weekly sessions, if you see that an invoice is a week overdue, I would call the client directly and politely but firmly ask when you can expect to be paid and remind them that, according to the contract, they are incurring late fees.
If non-payment is consistently an issue for you, would explore Joust’s PayArmour product, which guarantees invoices up to $5,000 for a 1–6 percent fee per invoice.