Did you know that working mums generate over £7 BILLION for the UK economy every year? It’s an amazing figure, but it also means there is A LOT of money out there owed to Britain’s business mums. Getting that money paid, on time and in full, always seems to prove a stumbling block. Enter this short and sweet working mums’ guide to invoicing. Read on and find out what you can do to get those invoices paid on time.
The first step to successful invoicing is making sure you have all the right information in the right place, including a clear and detailed description of what you’re billing for. Consider adding a line of text explaining what each item is. You should do this even if you’ve already discussed everything with your client. It will help avoid questions and potential delays getting paid later on.
Don’t forget to add your own details (especially your bank details and how to contact you!), your customer’s details, and a unique identification number for the invoice. This number is not only a legal requirement, it will help with admin and accounting. If you need it here’s an example of what your invoice templateshould look like.
Even armed with your thorough, detailed invoice you should still anticipate more roadblocks. Or as Alfred Montapert once said: “Expect problems and eat them for breakfast!”. Maybe your client is still unhappy about the price? Maybe they didn’t end up using the work you did for them?
Stand your ground!
If needed, explain again what each and every item is, and what the price represents (all the detail added in step #1 will help reinforce your argument here). It’s also worth getting a legal professional help you draft a watertight contract template you can use with clients. It should explicitly state that your client is paying for your time and the work you do for them. This is regardless of whether they end up using the work or not.
Whatever happens, remember this is a client you’re dealing with. Your business needs its clients now. So however frustrating late payment can be, don’t lose your cool. You don’t want to damage your chances of future work or miss out on potential revenue.
Try to incentivise clients to pay on time, right from the off. Invoicing as soon as the job is done will ensure the payment is fresh in their mind. There’s also nothing wrong with a few timely reminders (emails backed up by phone calls tend to work best here). And why not consider adding a small discount to the invoice if the client pays on time?
Hopefully this quick recap has provided you with a few tips and pointers. But if there’s any other advice you think we’ve missed out, we’d love to hear from you in the comments section below!
*This article was written by John Hills of Zervant, which provides online invoicing software for entrepreneurs and microbusinesses in the UK.