How to send an invoice that gets paid quickly [Xero Guide]
What makes a good invoice?
There are many little things that can have an impact on how quickly your invoices are paid. You want to send your invoices at the right time, to the right person, with the right details in it. And the easier you make it for your customer to pay, the faster you’ll get your money. Here are some of the basics…
Discuss invoicing first.
Just as you would discuss prices before reaching a deal with customers, you should also chat about billing. Set out payment terms explaining when you’ll invoice (weekly, monthly, or when the job’s done), and how long they’ll have to pay the bill. A customer should know when they’ll need to part with their cash so they can be prepared.
When to send an invoice.
It’s best to send your invoice as soon as an order is filled or the work is done – especially if you do one-off projects and odd jobs.
If you’re working on a big project, you might send interim invoices every two to four weeks. And if you sell subscriptions or memberships, or you’re on a retainer, you can send a recurring invoice at regular intervals.
Sending invoices as soon as you can ensures the work is fresh in your customers’ minds and that they’re less likely to bury it under a pile of work. It also reinforces that there’s always a fee attached to your work.
Ways to send an invoice.
You have options when it comes to getting an invoice into your customer’s hands.
In the mail
- Mail can still be best for customers that overlook emailed invoices, or don’t use email at all. But compared to other methods, mail is slow, less secure, and harder to get right (addresses often change).
- Email addresses are easier to get right and the invoices arrive faster. Plus the invoice can’t really be lost. Just double-check you’re sending it to the right person or department.
Via online invoicing
- With Xero, you can create an invoice online and send your customer a secure link to it. It’s nice and simple for them, and you can see when they’ve opened it. Better still, online invoices allow you to include a “pay now” button. Customers just click through to pay immediately via credit card, debit card, or automated clearing houses (like PayPal). Chat to us to learn more about accepting online payments.
Got a question?
Need help with your finances? Get in touch with us today.
*The above post is an extract of Xero’s “Invoicing Survival Guide” part 3 which we highly recommend.