Invoice and Payment Tips for Professional Freelancers
When working as a freelancer, one of the great benefits is making money for yourself instead of someone else. However, one of the downsides is that you have to take care of all of your own invoicing. For many freelancers, this can seem like a nightmare. Fortunately, by following some simple rules, you’ll find that invoicing your clients in a professional manner is actually easier than you may have initially thought:
Use Quality Invoicing Software
When preparing invoices for clients, make sure to use quality software to manage and produce your invoices. There are many different options available, so research them and find one that is easy to use and clear to understand. Some freelancers prefer to use invoicing software online rather than an offline version. Since you can access an online program from any computer, it can make it easier for you to track your clients and what you’re owed.
Accept Multiple Forms of Payment
When someone first starts freelancing, they may only feel comfortable accepting one or two forms of payments. While this may not seem like a big deal, it can actually cause you to lose potential clients who want to pay in a different manner. Since the last thing you want to do is limit your pool of possible clients, the best way to avoid this problem is by accepting as many forms of payment as possible. You can do this by getting a merchant account. Once you get set up with your account, you’ll be able to process payments via credit cards, debit cards and more.
Make Payment Policies
After you’ve completed your work, you no doubt want payment from your client for what you produced. Unfortunately, clients don’t always pay on time, and you may come across some clients who are especially slow or stubborn. The best way to avoid these kinds of problems is to have clear policies in place before you ever begin any work. Depending on your specific industry, it may be appropriate to request some or all of your payment in advance. In other industries, the preferred method of payment may be to set up milestones throughout the project. By doing your research and finding a method that works for you and will appeal to your client, you can make this aspect of your business go as smoothly as possible.
Include Your Contact Information
When you create your invoices, remember to include all of your contact information. This means your full name, business address, phone number and an email address that you check regularly. Some of your invoices may go through multiple hands before they reach the person who actually pays the bill. It makes things easier on both you and the paying customer if your contact information is listed clearly on the invoice. In addition, if that person needs to contact you for clarification about something before paying, having your contact information available makes it easy for that person to reach you. Not including your contact information may result in delayed payments.