Pushed to meet a deadline? Don’t forget your invoices! It’s a common problem that small business owners face. Projects are completed, there are more coming through, and so we put aside the need to generate invoices in favour of meeting our clients’ needs. By the time we get round to it, the details of how long we spent on a job or the external costs involved in delivering it are a blur, making it hard to invoice appropriately. Generating appropriate invoices is essential for your survival! Here are some simple strategies to help you manage your invoicing: Establish a clear payment schedule Invoice small projects on completion; establish automated recurring invoices for ongoing projects that require fixed hours and costs. For projects with irregular hours and costs, consider interim billing at agreed fixed periods or milestones, with a final invoice on project completion to mop up any additional costs. No surprises Before you start a project, make sure your clients are aware and agree to the quoted costs and terms of payment. Every quote and invoice you generate should state your terms of payments. No surprises means no awkward moments! Know whose paying the bills Sometimes your contact person for a project will not be the person who pays your invoices. Understand your client’s approval process, who you need to send your invoices to, and who you’ll need to follow up with, right from the start. Monitor and follow up Sending invoices is just the beginning – keep a close eye on your bank account to monitor payments. If an invoice is not paid according to your agreed payment terms, follow up with a phone call and an email. Unpaid invoices are a risk to the future of your business. Invest in invoice management software Invoice management software will enable you to record hours and costs spent on a job as you go, then quickly generate and safely store paperless invoices. These systems enable you to email rather than post invoices, ensuring speedy delivery for payment. They also integrate with your administration for more efficient, cost effective accounting processes. Investing in invoice software can also help you quickly analyse your profitability and the value of each client – which will be invaluable when you’re working out how to take your business to the next level. Ask the experts Free yourself to look after your clients by engaging an external supplier who will step in on a weekly or monthly basis to generate your invoices and follow up any unpaid accounts. At Ayers, our experts have been assisting small businesses like yours for over 20 years. Helping them grow and increase profitability by managing their financial administration is our strength! Talk to an Ayers Group expert today.