Freelancing has become a common way of employment these days. More and more people start their own online businesses, providing a variety of services that can be done away from an office.
Unlike regularly employed people who get their salaries at the end of a month, it doesn’t work like that with freelancers. For a freelancer, getting the money means sending invoices.
Nowadays, most self-employed workers use invoicing software to receive payments, like Zoho, Square, Fresh books, and similar. In case you have wondered what you could do to cut expenses while using this software, you will find some useful tips here.
Before we get to the tips, let’s say a few words about what is an invoice and how to make it. Namely, for small businesses, invoices are a means of building up the cash flow. In other words, they are documents containing the following payment instructions:
- amount due
- seller info
- buyer info
- payment deadline
Freelancers send these documents to the people paying for their services, hoping for a regular and swift payment.
It is possible to make invoices in Word or Excel. However, this is already considered to be old fashion, because most people use beautifully designed invoice samples or invoicing software.
It is generally recommendable to freelancers to do the same, especially if they have a large number of tasks weekly.
As it can sometimes become easy to forget sending an invoice or doing it too late, this time-consuming yet necessary activity is much better done by software.
Now, let’s get to the point and see how invoicing software can save you some cash.
1. Communicate Payment Terms In Advance
Before getting to work, make sure to agree with the employer about payment conditions and deadlines. It is important to be explicit right away because late payments are a common issue in a freelancer’s life. And this issue can easily cost you not only money but time and nerves as well.
A common way of preventing this from happening is to think of late payment penalties. Tell the employer that they will have to pay a fee in case they don’t pay you in time.
To show some goodwill, offer a small discount for early payments as well.
2. Don’t Delay Sending Invoices
Although it’s about their money, freelancers can be forgetful as well. This can simply be a matter of negligence, or a person can be overwhelmed with work or other personal issues.
In any case, sending an invoice months after the service was provided can be a bit awkward. The customer might not even remember what it was about, and it certainly doesn’t leave a good impression about your accountability. Finally, delaying invoices can lead to eventually forgetting about it.
Therefore, try to be responsible for your own time and effort, and send invoices on time. This will make sure none of your working hours go unpaid.
3. Regularly Supervise The Invoicing Platforms
Although billing and invoicing software help a lot, after all, they are only algorithms and still need human supervision. As a freelancer, you should have a habit of regularly checking if your invoicing platforms perform accurately.
Doing that will make your collaboration with the customers go smoothly, while all of your income is properly billed.
On the other hand, regularly check what is going on with your outgoing payments. In case you hire someone to assist you or you have some other expenses, it is a good idea to control the automated outgoing payments from time to time as well.
4. Set Automatic Reminders
Although automatic reminders have been a common feature of most invoicing software for some time, people still hesitate to use them. This is probably because they don’t want to leave the impression of being boring or annoying.
However, remember that asking customers to pay for a service you provided is by no means boring. It is a perfectly normal thing to do, especially when you already asked for it and there was a delay in payment.
That’s why it is a good idea to set automatic reminders. Once set, the software will send a message to the customer, warning them that they still haven’t paid what was required by the invoice. In such a way, you won’t have to remember each and every payment request. Automatic reminders will make sure invoices are regularly paid for.
Having invoicing software is highly recommendable for freelancers. This goes especially for those whose income entirely depends on their online job. These apps will help you collect money from customers regularly and in a timely manner, reducing any unnecessary costs.
About the Author:
Nina Petrov is a content marketing specialist, passionate about graphic design, content marketing, and the new generation of green and social businesses. She starts the day scrolling her digest on new digital trends while sipping a cup of coffee with milk and sugar. Her white little bunny tends to reply to your emails when she is on vacation. https://www.linkedin.com/in/nina-petrov/