Don’t ex­pect to get paid by your clients if you don’t fol­low these in­voic­ing rules of best prac­tice

Computer Arts - - Need To Know -


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.


Com­mu­ni­cate ex­pec­ta­tions

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.


Main­tain re­spect

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.

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