One of the big challenges of being a freelancer is getting your hands on your money. Often times, clients will take months to pay you for work that they have already put into use.
Getting around this problem isn’t easy, but there are methods at your disposal. A good many of these methods involve your invoices. In other words, invoicing strategically can help you to nab your well-earned compensation in a timely manner.
How do you invoice strategically? By utilizing these freelancer invoicing tools and tricks.
Freelancer Invoicing Tips
By utilizing the following tips, you make it just a little more likely that you’ll receive your money quickly. Make sure to take advantage of these tricks and tools.
Utilize an Online Invoice Tool
While large companies may still send paper invoices, they are quickly losing their popularity. The reason for this is simple — paper invoices are not as effective as online invoices.
As a small business, you should be sending online invoices and only online invoices. These invoices arrive more quickly, allow for quicker payment, cost less money to send, and usher in greater organization. Capable of accepting a range of different payment types, online invoices also make life easier on the payer.
Truthfully, there’s no contest between paper invoices and online invoices. Online invoices excel over paper invoices on every front.
Accent Plenty of Payment Types
If you want to be paid in a timely manner, you have to make the payment process as easy as possible on your client. One way in which you can do this is by accepting a number of different payment types with your invoices.
By accepting various types of credit cards, various payment software, bank transfer, and a range of other payment methods, you make it exceedingly easy for your clients to get money to you.
Send Invoices as Soon as Work Is Completed
One of the big mistakes that freelancers make with invoicing is waiting days after a project is complete to send out invoices. There is no reason to do this. If you want to get your money quickly, you have to ask for your money early.
Truthfully, the earlier you send your invoice out, the better. In fact, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to send your invoices out with the final submissions of your projects.
Send Invoices Before Work Is Completed
Another tactic you might consider is sending invoices out before you’ve even completed a project. In fact, you could even send an invoice out before the project is started, asking for a payment advance before work is begun.
Not only will this help you to get your money faster, but it will also provide you with the assurance that you are, in fact, going to get paid.
Establish Due Dates
This point can’t be stressed enough — you must put due dates on your invoices. Either label each invoice with a specific date or designate how many days the client has to pay upon receipt of the invoice. Most typically, invoices will designate a 30 or 60-day payment period.
By placing a due date on your invoices, you give your client a deadline that he or she will (hopefully) abide by. While due dates don’t always work, they are usually fairly effective.
Make Instructions Clear
Another mistake freelancers make when sending out invoices is accompanying those invoices with a lack of or no instructions. Because their invoices are not clear to their clients, their clients might tend to waffle around, failing to send over money when they otherwise would.
Make sure to list all possible payment methods, to list a very clear due date or grace period, and make sure to list all other vital instructions.
Clearly State Charges
A good practice to get into when creating invoices for clients is clearly stating the charges that have added up to the total sum of money on the invoice. For instance, instead of just stating that the client owes $4,500, state the hours worked and hourly rate that added up to that total.
By making charges clear to your client, you give him or her no reason to dispute your invoice. If you leave everything transparent, your client is very unlikely to withhold payment.
Place Penalties on Late Payments
Though it’s not always recommended, there are situations in which late payment penalty fees are applicable. In particular, these fees are effective when dealing with a chronically late-paying client.
Simply state the nature of the fee on your invoice so that the client knows what he or she is facing. You could, perhaps, charge 1 percent of the total payment for every day that surpasses 30 days of non-payment.
Nobody likes to pay late fees. Odds are, your client will ante up.
Cease Work Until Payment Is Received
Unfortunately, when it comes to chronically late-paying clients, it’s sometimes necessary to play hardball. You can do this by ceasing work on further projects until you have received your money.
While it’s a good idea to communicate this to your client directly, you could also do so by sending out a reminder invoice. In any case, you want your client to know what this situation is.
Make Use of a Consistent Invoicing Schedule
If you really want your invoices to work effectively for you, you have to utilize a consistent invoice schedule. Human beings thrive on routine, and your clients are no exception.
By sending out invoices to regular clients on the same day each month, you help get them into a payment rhythm. They are expecting your invoice when it arrives and is often already equipped to pay it.
Looking for a Quality Invoicing Program?
If you really want to simplify freelancer invoicing, you’ll use a digital invoicing program. These programs allow you to send invoices and receive payments in a matter of seconds.
Looking for a quality invoicing program? Sighted has you covered. Our online invoice tool is easy to use, highly functional, and capable of carrying out all of your monetary transactions.
Take a closer look at our invoice tool now!