Who doesn’t want to have money coming in sooner? While there are a general practices that come with an industry, maybe it’s time to make a few changes.
- Invoice quickly. The sooner the invoice goes out the door, the sooner you get paid. If you can automate your invoicing, you get them out the door even faster. And emailing invoices will not only get them to your customers faster, but save the time (and money) to print, stuff and stamp envelopes, and getting them to the post office and then being delivered to your customer. Here’s an article that discusses 8 ways to quickly create your invoices.
- Track what needs to be invoiced. The last thing you want is for the work to be done but the invoice not going out!
- If you were invoicing off the estimate, you can use the Estimates vs Progress invoice.
- If you use the Sales order feature (which can also be used as a work order), you can use the Open Sales Orders to track. This feature is available in Premier & Enterprise
- Use the Invoice Time & Expense feature to see a list of all your customers with unbilled time and expense. That’s available in Premier & Enterprise (turn it on in the Time & Expense company preferences). If you are in Pro, then look at
- Unbilled time
- Unbilled costs
- Change your terms. If your terms are currently net 30, can you change them to net 15? (With the Add/Edit Multiple Lists, you can quickly change the terms for your existing customers.) Can you make your terms Due On Receipt for your new customers?
- Make prepayments a part of your business. Look at all the recurring monthly and annual payments you currently pay in your business. You may have opted for quarterly or annually so you could get a reduced rate, so it’s definitely more common now. You can do the same thing – offer a reduced rate if your customer prepays you for the contract, or the season, or … you get the picture. If you are starting a project, maybe ask for a deposit up front – that helps ensure a commitment at their end in addition to any signed agreement- even if it’s a one day project. Doesn’t need to be for the full amount, but it does give you cash to offset payroll and other expenses you might have. Here’s an article I wrote on how to set it up and track it so you don’t see this big sale in one month and then nothing for the other months for which you provide service.
- Make it easy to pay you– eliminate some of their excuses! There are several ways you can do this:
- ACH – customers can pay you online or give you the check information by phone
- Accept credit cards – statistically customers will spend more if they can use a credit card – wouldn’t that be great if they spent more with you?!
- Automate their payments so you can skip collections. If you accept credit cards, you can charge their card each month (or quarter or whatever your payment frequency is). If you use the Intuit merchant services, you can set this up in QuickBooks so it’s all in one place (which saves time and money).
As you can see, most of these are simple to implement. So what are you waiting for?! Start getting those invoices out the door faster.
I’d love to hear what changes you made and how it’s helped you and the business.