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Invoicing tips for small businesses

Updated on April 29, 2015

Invoicing is a pivotal process for all businesses, but arguably even more so for small businesses, as thorough invoicing procedures and prompt payment are essential for cash flow and growth. One of the biggest mistakes a lot of companies make is failing to have a stringent and successful invoicing procedure in place. Of course you cannot control your clients and when they will pay you, however you can increase the chances of everything running smoothly by handling things the right way. Keeping that in mind, continue reading to discover some top invoicing tips for small businesses.

Alter your payment terms – Research shows that on average invoices tend to be paid two weeks late. Therefore it is a good idea to alter your payment terms taking this into account. So, if you intend to be paid within 30 days, you should probably make your payment terms two weeks or so less.

Keep your invoices simple – There is no need to overcomplicate your invoice. Make sure everything is laid out in a professional and straightforward manner. You can download an invoice template if this helps. Include all of the required details, such as date, payment total, bank details, contact information and such like, but don’t overcrowd the invoice with details that are not needed.

Present several payment options – You should make it as easy as possible for clients to pay you. Present them with several different payment methods for them to take advantage of. As well as direct bank transfer and cheque, why not offer the option of a PayPal payment? This allows you to accept the payment instantly, which is always beneficial. Another option to think about is accepting payment in alternative currencies, with Bitcon being a prime example. Of course this will not work for everyone, which is why you should discuss it with your chartered accountant in London.

Don’t forget your VAT number – All good accountants in London will tell you how vital it is to include your VAT number, if you are registered for VAT of course. Whenever you supply services or products to another company that is VAT registered it is imperative to give them a VAT invoice, which means you will need a unique invoice number and your VAT number.

Keep to your end of the bargain – How can you expect your clients to pay you on time if you do not provide the work they have asked for on time? Of course it is a cycle – If someone does not pay you on time, you may experience cash flow issues, which can then cause you to delay in delivering work. Nevertheless, you should do all in you can to avoid such situations.

Communicate with your clients – Last but not least, if you are struggling to get the money you are owed, then you should increase communication with your clients. A simple email reminder may do the trick. However, it is always a good idea to pick up the phone and give them a call, as reminders from a real person are much more persuasive and effective.

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