Boost my biz invoice is an initiative that was set up to help small business owners learn how to raise invoice for payment made by customers.
Every business needs an invoice.
Regardless of how small or large the business is, an invoice helps you keep an accurate account of your sales and transactions and avoids misunderstanding.
A business invoice is simply a detailed list of the products and services you supply to customers, the total amount owed to you for those goods and services and a method through which your customers can pay for those services and products.
It is an inestimable tool for ensuring an accurate record of your transactions. It is essential as it endures the protection of both the seller and buyer. It may be in electronic or paper format, it depends on which may be more convenient for your business.
Why is My Business Invoice System Failing?
Some major reasons why your your business invoice system is failing today includes the following:
- Paper based system
- Manual errors and typos
- Miscommunication between vendors and clients
These are further broken down thus:
#1: Paper based System
In this time and age, using a paper based invoice management system is not only stressful, but can also be extremely problematic. There’s the issue of not being able to keep to time.
It takes much more time inputting information coming in to the business daily, and then, the entire sending process as well may go wrong in a lots of ways.
Admittedly, technology also has it’s flaws, but still, it’s way easier to send out electronic invoices via email to clients or through whichever means appropriate for communication in this kind of scenario.
There’s also the issue of filing – a lot of files may sometimes get mixed up in the office, and then, when you finally decide to transfer the invoicing system to an electronic based system, the process is quite rigorous.
The paper based system is very slow and may be what is slowing down your business from raising invoice for clients and customers’ payment.
#2: Manual Errors and Typos
Sometimes still, the problem might just be due to typos or errors made while the invoice was being typed. We are all humans and we have flaws!
It’s not uncommon for a person to make a mistake when typing out a business invoice, and still, the mistake may not be acknowledged until after the payment doesn’t come in.
In such a situation, errors like these will lead to a delay, which in turn, occurs quite often without notice, and winds up having a drastic impact on your business invoice management system.
#3: Miscommunication Between Vendors and Clients
The relationship maintained between you and your client should be one without misunderstandings.
Learn how to be professional without being rude.
Where there is some form of miscommunication, either as regards undetailed information, or as regards ensuring proper communication, this may frustrate your invoice payment.
Address your clients properly when speaking to them, especially when requesting money from them. Improper communication might not seem like a real issue but when it starts to show on the invoice, then and then, you’d realize there’s something that needs fixing.
Why Can’t I Boost My Biz Invoice?
This may be due to the following reasons:
- Improper addressing
- Sending out invoices late
- Sending in open invoices
- Lack of clarity
- Sending in lump sums or surprise fees
#1: Improper Addressing
Before sending out an invoice, whether the address is written on paper or is being sent out electronically, always cross-check to make sure you are sending the letter to the proper address, email or contact number.
This is to avoid the invoice being sent to the wrong person, as such, a mistake like this could lead to you waiting for an invoice that isn’t coming in.
#2: Sending Out Invoices Late
If you send your invoice late to customers, you’re likely to get a list of consistent debtors in your business.
Do not wait for your clients to request for payment modes. Once your have a business contract or dealing that has been concluded, immediately send out a business invoice to that customer.
“Service before payment” simply means that after the service is rendered, in comes the payment.
Must Read: 7 Things Nobody Tells You About Running a Small Business.
Thus, it’s always best to send out an invoice instantly, especially when your business has been known to get clients quite frequently. This is to avoid you from forgetting.
Some clients may even claim to have forgotten about the pending payment as well, while some won’t bother reminding you at all, and by the time you do send in the invoice, you may begin to get excuses and wind up with late payments, which in turn, is always bad for the business.
#3: Sending in Open Invoices
Only the person hurt knows exactly where it’s hurting. As to which, never send your clients open invoices!
It’s like giving you them a blank check to cash out whenever they feel like. Always specify the due date on every of your business invoice.
If you fail to give a due date, you’ll end up shooting yourself in the leg.
While customers may choose to send payment for the invoice early, they’re also most likely to send it when it’s most convenient for them. Thus, always give customers a specific date to pay for their invoice or a time frame to pay within.
This encourages your business’s positive cash flow as you’re now more able to calculate and predict your income accurately.
#4: Lack of Clarity
When sending out invoices, always ensure that the language used is not just suitable to you and your employees alone. This is bound to have a negative impact on your invoice payment.
#5: Sending in Lump Sums or Surprise fees
This is another very common problem which quite a number of small business owners often face and fail to realize it until it comes back to bite them in the butt.
One major reason for payments not coming in to your business invoice might just be because you keep sending in the goods and services all under one lump sum.
Failure to break down the items or services that make up the product or service rendered often leads to an elongated process in receiving payment on invoices, seeing as you may have to resend invoices again with all items now properly broken down.
Also, always try to be detailed at the checkout phase of your business selling process. Let the client know exactly what they are paying for. Include all necessary additional fees such as taxes and delivery fees whenever a client is trying to make a purchase.
Failure to do this will of course cause delay in payment of invoices.
How Do I Boost My Biz Invoice and Learn How to Raise Invoice for Payment?
You can learn how to raise invoice for payment by:
- Making clear and simple to understand invoices
- Allowing multiple payment methods
- Following up due dates and time frames
- Being polite to customers
- Invoice factoring
#1: Making Clear and Simple to Understand Invoices
Ensure that your invoice is easy to understand and that all the important information are made easy to find. The design of your invoice should also be neatly done and all the necessary information relating to the payment terms should be in it.
This includes payment details, method, contact information, etc.
#2: Allowing Multiple Payment Methods
Allowing multiple payment option ensures that you’re paid on time, and efficiently.
It also helps you to avoid certain billing errors that may be associated with a particular payment method. Thus, if one fails, customers can always choose to try another.
Allowing for automated payment is also very valuable in every small business. This way, once the business dealing is concluded or a purchase is made, you get your payment automatically sent in from your client’s account, making you not to have to remind them of the payment all the time.
#3: Follow Up Due Dates and Time Frames
Whenever you give your clients due dates or time frames to pay within, ensure that you follow them up judiciously so as to avoid excuses when the time for your payment is due.
Be consistent in contacting customers through whichever means you can, and if one doesn’t go through, try another. Keep reminding them of their due date passed, amount due and the need to pay.
#4: Be Polite to Customers
Never turn green, looking all angry and irrational like the Hulk whenever a client refuses to make payment on an invoice. Remember, the customer is always right.
Use polite words and languages on your invoice and in other communications when dealing with clients.
Be respectful even when they aren’t. Maintain a good relationship and use your magic words as often as is allowed.
#5: Invoice Factoring
This is one of the most effective ways for service providers, as well as product vendors to properly manage their invoices and get all their money back when due from customers and clients.
Must Read: Invoice Factoring Made Easy for Small Business Owners.
For this to work, the business owner first has to reach an agreement with a factoring company whereby the company manages their sales ledger and controls all of its customers’ credit.
Basically, the factor is given charge of all invoice payments.