It’s just invoicing; what’s the big deal? Right? Wrong. It’s exactly that attitude that can result in your business experiencing less than optimal cash flow because someone just forgot to send a sales invoice. It’s exactly the attitude that gets you branded as a “small player” or a “mom and pop shop” because your invoices are shoddy and unstandardized. And it’s exactly the attitude that might make potential investors dig around more carefully to see what else is running less than optimally.
Did we make things look dramatically dire? Well, if you’re not being mindful about sales invoicing, we are probably not that far from the truth. A sales invoice, like a business card, reflects on your brand. Its appearance is linked to what people will think of your company.
Let’s look at 5 tips to improve using your sales invoicing software
- Always include your logo and company details
It makes sense to include your logo, office/ outlet telephone number, and website on your receipt for the following reasons:
- Your logo helps customers to remember and recognize your company or your brand.
- Contact details allow the customer to reach you easily in case of any complaints: this makes your company come across as more accountable and approachable.
- People throw-away business cards more often than they do invoices and receipts; this is your way of ensuring you are not forgotten very quickly
- If you are a growing company that has distinct numbers for placing orders and troubleshooting, putting the complaint number on the invoice is a polite way of directing clients to the appropriate channels.
- Use your invoice to get customer contact details
Building databases can be a costly exercise, and often you might get an outdated or irrelevant database. Why not gather vital details like your customer’s name, phone number, email address, and date of birth during the sales invoicing process. This can help you to reach out to your customers in case of any key business changes like a change of outlet location, or a new location on the map, or maybe an end-of-season sale or a special festive discount. You can also stay on top of your client’s minds with birthday greetings and build goodwill through special birthday vouchers, discounts, and offers.
- Always send invoices on time
Tardiness with regards to sending invoices puts you in a spot in two ways:
One, you’re in no position to urge the receiver of the invoice to pay on time.
Two, you’re creating cash flow problems for yourself because a late invoice could result in a late payment even as expenses/ suppliers still need to be paid off on time.
Work backward. If invoices are due by a certain date, they should ideally be printed and prepared a few days before, taking weekends and public holidays into consideration. For example, you might want to send in an invoice for December’s goods and/or services prior to the 20th of December.
- Follow up does make sense
People are uncomfortable when confronted with something that they have not been able to complete, for whatever reason. Light a fire under someone for them to feel the pressure and pay quickly – when it comes to payments, this proverbial fire can be achieved by frequent payment deadline reminders.
- Standardize like the big boys on the block
Do you know what Amazon and Zara and Primark all have in common? Standardized invoices. Established players and big brands, across price categories, will always send you an invoice that looks just like the last. It’s probably part of their accounting software or sales invoicing software package. As a result, this attribute has become characteristic of professionalism and having “arrived”. Be sure that your sales invoices look the same each and every time, in terms of fonts, spacing, layout and orientation, logo placement, colors, borders, the bezel of the borders, and so on.
Sales invoicing software can ease most of these moves for you because most sales invoicing software will come with the ability to deliver templates to create standardized invoices, reminders around due dates, automatic follow-up and client reminders, notifications when invoices are opened and paid and alerts when invoices become overdue.
Moreover, you can get sales invoicing software for as little as 20 pounds a month. Check here for more information on invoicing software, or to get a free trial.