5 INVOICE TIPS
Don’t expect to get paid by your clients if you don’t follow these invoicing rules of best practice
Get into the habit
Invoicing for your work is the least glamorous part of running a creative studio but it goes without saying that it’s crucial. Particularly if you’re new to owning your own business, it’s tempting to get distracted by the myriad more exciting things on your to-do list, but it’s important to make time for financial matters and to approach them professionally. Try and get into a habit of putting a dedicated couple of hours aside for cashflow each week, and be strict about sticking to it.
A lot of problems that arise with payments can be avoided by having frank discussions with clients or suppliers at an early stage. If everyone understands how the payments will be invoiced and how soon they are expected to be paid, then nasty surprises later down the line are much less likely.
Practise practical style
As a creative business it’s important your stationery (including invoices) reflects your design values and your brand’s aesthetic. That said, the most important thing is that your invoices are clear – there’s no evidence that says great-looking invoices get paid any quicker, so don’t fret over it too much.
Chase late payments
Chasing overdue payments is never a fun task, but it is an essential one, so don’t put it off. Be polite, be prompt and be to-the-point; dancing around the issue will get you nowhere, but that doesn’t mean you have to be insulting or offensive. Pick up the phone if possible – it’s much easier to ignore an email.
If you run a small or mid-sized design agency then it’s likely you’ll be invoicing clients for work and receiving invoices from suppliers. Good invoice karma depends on you treating others as you expect to be treated. Everyone is busy but financial affairs can’t be overlooked, and a bad reputation spreads quickly – and sticks.