As a freelancer what’s most important is that you get paid for the work you do. The occasional client might be alright with paying you when the project is done without an invoice, but for most the invoice is required. If you don’t send the invoice you won’t see your money. So invoicing isn’t something you do when you get time. It’s something you do immediately after finishing a project.
Take the time to standardize your invoices. This will not only streamline the invoicing process it will make it much easier for clients too. There are many excellent invoicing programs online. Many are free, and just as many are created with the freelancer in mind. Using an invoice software package makes it quick and easy to set up a standardized purchase invoice template and then all you have to do is each time you use it put the details into it and the software will do the rest.
Your invoice should always include
- the name of your company
- contact information
- invoice number
- issue date
- description of services
- total due
- when it must be paid by – For example if you require payment upon receipt or you require payment within 30 days then that’s what your invoice should clearly state.
- what type of payments you take.
- Information about late fees and interest charges
Create an invoice or choose an invoice template You can send your invoices via snail mail, email, online through the programs, or faxed.
If a dispute occurs you should attempt to resolve it as quickly as possible, because the longer it goes on the less likely you are to get the payment you are entitled to. While it’s okay to empathize with a client, keep in mind you’ve done the agreed upon work, and so you should hold your ground and make sure you get the payment you are entitled to.
Want to use a FREE Online Invoicing Tool? Check out Apptivo’s Online Invoicing Software
The importance of invoicing cannot be stressed enough. Before you start a project with a client it’s a good idea to explain your invoicing process to them and what your expectations are at the time of invoicing. That way there are no surprises, nor can excuses be generated. “I thought you meant…so I can’t…” When everything is above board and open then there is little room for excuses.
Here are some resources you could check out
www.webdesign.about.com/od/freelancing/qt/billing.htm – Find out the best practices for freelance Web designers to send out bills, invoices, and proposals to get projects and then get paid for doing them.
As a freelancer it’s important you give billing invoices the attention they deserve, because if you don’t your business will suffer. After all you don’t want to be working for free do you?