Ever since the first civilizations, people found a way to trade goods for other goods but a fair price. Long gone are the times when you could trade five lemons for an entire cow because people didn’t know the worth of things. Money slowly took over, and nowadays everything has an accurate price.
Today we are going to talk about invoices, but to be more exact, we are going to talk about how to make a professional invoice, what it means to do so, and some of the reasons why you should do it. If you are interested in learning some more, feel free to stay with us until the end of this article. Let’s take a look.
What is the real purpose of an invoice?
When you send your clients an invoice, you are not just sending a payment request, you’re also making things very formal. According to some experts, things are not very official and formal until you issue your invoice, and although the people you worked for are obligated to pay you for what you’ve done for them, it’s still quite rare to see this happen without you sending an invoice.
In short, you are sending a payment request, but the main goal is to make things official between you and your clients. Okay, now that we got that out of the way, let’s take a look at some other important things as well.
Invoicing is a chance for promoting
Believe it or not, the way you invoice is the way you appear in the eyes of other people, which means that this opportunity should be used to present your company in a good light. If you do aggressive invoicing, or you get lazy with your designs, people will not appreciate your brand as much as they should.
So, make sure to include your logo, your address, e-mail and all other things that you would include if you were to promote your company. If people notice that you pay a lot of attention to the design, and you care about how even insignificant things such as invoices look like, you’re on a good path. It might sound silly, but hiring a designer to create the look of your invoices is a very smart idea.
You get to keep an accurate record of payments
Is there a better way to track payments and know exactly how much cash flow you had in the previous year than by keeping all of your invoices in one place? We don’t think so. You should always keep your invoices because the Taxation Office also requires proof of your earnings now and then, so try to save them for at least five years. You can throw away the older ones, but we advise you to keep them as well, you never know when you might be needing some proof about a certain payment that happened ten years ago.
Creating the design and core of the document
Although we mentioned a few important things about the design earlier in the promotion section, let’s take a look at some of the core elements that you need to take care of when designing your invoices.
First of all, you can start with your logo. Add the logo of your company at the top so that the person reading your invoice can know who the sender is and what is this all about. When you do this, you are making things official, and easier at the same time.
Dates and Deadlines
Next, you need to start adding the dates. The date when you created the document, and the date on which the payment needs to be completed. For more information, and some free help with the template, you can check this.
If you want to be formal, friendly and professional at the same time, you’ll add a respectable deadline that will allow the person or the company to pay you at the right time but without rushing things. Don’t send a document that requests the payment on the very same day or the day after it, that’s not very professional.
Listing your Services
Now that you’ve done those things, you can proceed by explaining in detail your services, how and when they were done, and how much you are charging the person that’s currently reading your document. If you are a graphics designer, and you were hired to do five different logos, make sure to include all of the valuable information on it, simply to make things as clear and transparent as possible.
For example, Logo 1 was completed on the given day, and it now costs this much money because I used all of the X tools to make it. In many cases, you will discuss all of these things before you even sign the contract to work with a company or a client, so the price cannot really be random and “out of nowhere”, but you still must write everything in a very transparent manner. Proceed by listing all of the services that you’ve provided, as well as their prices.
A friendly touch at the end
When you are done with all of this, just to make things seem a bit friendlier and warmer, add a few extra good words before you complete the document. For example: “Thank you for the opportunity to work closely together with you on this project, we hope that our paths will cross again in the future.” This isn’t anything special, but it will greatly increase your chances to be hired again from the same company or client, and it makes things a lot friendlier in general, which is a great thing if building a network of clients is your goal.
So, that’s it for today’s article, we hope that you learned something new, and if you did, we wish you a huge success if you ever get to implement this knowledge in your everyday life. Remember that these types of documents are very formal, but you should keep the tone friendly when you’re sending them out to people. Even with simple payment requests, you can show your company in good light if you try well enough.