The Dos and Don’ts of Invoicing

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There are a number of advantages to being an independent contractor. Not only do you get to set your own hours, you exercise complete control over which clients you choose to take on. Of course, the obvious downside to this arrangement is the lack of a consistent paycheck. Instead of having payments automatically delivered to you or deposited in your bank account, you have to send out an invoice any time you wish to collect a fee. Furthermore, fledgling contractors should be aware that there are several unspoken rules you’ll need to follow when distributing invoices. If you’re relatively new to the contractor game, it pays to familiarize yourself with the dos and don’ts of invoicing.

invoice

Be Prompt

It’s important to send your invoices out in an expedient fashion. This will prove mutually beneficial to both you and your clients. For starters, the sooner you send out the invoice, the sooner your payment will be processed. Secondly, the sooner they receive your invoice, the more likely a client is to remember what they’re being charged for. Receiving an invoice weeks after a job has been completed can prove tremendously cumbersome for clients who work with a lot of contractors. Furthermore, it makes you appear unprofessional. Tardiness in requesting your payment creates the impression that you don’t have sufficient faith in the work you produce. Even if you do work for a large number of clients, take care to stay on top of your invoices. As a general rule of thumb, an invoice should be sent out within 24 hours of a project’s completion.

Be Professional

Instead of haphazardly cobbling together your invoices, why not use a premade invoice template? In addition to creating an air of professionalism, this approach ensures that clients know exactly what they’re being charged for. When searching for the right template for your invoices, you can’t go wrong with the products from Aynax. To learn more about what this company has to offer, check out the Aynax.com free online estimate template.

Be Patient

Wanting to be paid for your services right away is perfectly understandable. Unfortunately, not all clients are equally prompt when it comes to processing payments, particularly large-scale clients who have to keep track of dozens of contractors. If no action is taken within a week of your initial invoice being sent out, there’s a good chance it wound up in someone’s spam folder or simply fell through the cracks. If re-sending the invoice bears no results, place a call to the client to confirm whether or not either message was received. Although you may be tempted to be glib or condescending in these communiqués, adopting such an attitude won’t do you any favors. In most cases, there’s a logical explanation behind an ignored invoice, and blindly assuming otherwise is not going to endear you to any clients.

Sending out invoices is a much more delicate procedure than many contractors would have you believe. Taking the previously-discussed pointers into account will ensure that you’re able to collect payments in a timely manner without inconveniencing your clients. Professional courtesy is valued in any field – and this is doubly true for independent contractors.