Invoicing Etiquette 101 for Small Business Owners and Freelancers

As a small business owner or freelancer, it’s your responsibility to ensure that you get paid for the work you’ve completed. Getting paid correctly is important as a small business owner or freelancer, as it’s usually your main source of income. It can become tedious to follow up late payments and keep track of which client owes what amount. A professional invoice and invoicing system will help you manage these important business documents.

When you’re approached by a client for your goods or services, a quote with an approximate amount should be given to them. As a result of the completed job, supplying the client with an invoice is the best way to ensure that you’re paid correctly. The invoices that you provide your clients should have all the correct information needed for the client to pay the invoice. 

Maintaining a professional and courteous relationship with your clients ensures that your invoice will be paid correctly and quickly. This relationship also builds trust, which means that you have a good chance of clients returning to you for future work.

Knowing how to generate invoice is crucial in keeping your small business or freelancing work afloat. Following an invoicing etiquette will allow you to provide professional invoices to your clients. 

List your services and set the terms at the beginning

It’s important to list your services and goods available and to let the client know the terms of business at the beginning of the transaction. Any surprises or charges that were not discussed at the beginning may cause an issue. Particularly with a new client, it’s crucial to have a conversation regarding payment terms and conditions, methods of payment, and payment due dates. Listing your services allows the client to make an informed decision in what they’re looking for. It’s important to be upfront about the cost and services with each client at the beginning, otherwise you can risk a disgruntled client. 

Methods of payment

Offering many different payment methods is appealing to clients as it allows them the option of how they want to pay. Methods of payment may include bank deposit, cash, credit card payments, and online payments. You might also want to offer the option to pay through payment gateway providers such as PayPal. Listing the different payment methods that you offer on the invoice makes it clear and easy for the client to pay you, which makes it more likely that you’ll get paid on time. 

Provide all relevant information on invoices

Providing all the relevant information on the invoices is important for both you and your client because it means that there’s no room for error or complaints from the client. These invoices are also business records, and having this information is crucial for tax purposes and other circumstances. The information a professional invoice should have includes: 

  • Your contact information (including business name and business number)
  • Client’s contact information
  • Invoice number
  • Date of invoice
  • Itemized list of services/goods provided to client
  • Tax information
  • Terms of payment
  • Payment methods
  • Total amount due
  • Payment due date

Delivering the invoice promptly

Once all goods and services are provided to the client, delivering the invoice to the client promptly is ideal. This means that the client won’t have to chase you up for the invoice – which is just not good business. You will hopefully receive your payment quickly if you provide the invoice promptly. If the payment is not made within the agreed time frame, sending payment reminders will need to be done. Always make sure to be polite and courteous in these reminders as it will help to maintain the professional relationship. 

Invoicing is a large part of your freelancing or small business. Getting it right is important to maintaining professional relationships, strengthening your business, and leaving your clients satisfied!

Staff Member


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