In this article we’ll cover some of the basics of writing your first invoice and sending it to your customer.
An invoice is not only a request for payment, but somehow also your company’s flagship. In addition to e-mails (or letters), invoices often account for the majority of direct communication with your customers. This means that you should make a good impression, especially with your invoices. And it’s not only about the image: if you’re taken seriously as an entrepreneur, it’s also much more likely that your invoices will get paid faster.
Are you still writing your invoices in Word or Excel? You should change this asap! Although you might be happy with the look of your templates (and have been using them for years), spreadsheets are far from professional invoicing. The crucial point there is the technology behind it. In order to be legally compliant, invoices should be stored complete, comprehensible and inalterable. And this can only be guaranteed with a professional software. In addition to making your bills easy to manage, invoicing software also offers a neat layout, reinforcing your overall professional image.
You should always add a logo to your invoices. With Zervant, you can easily do this in your account (this article explains how). Even beyond your invoices, a logo will guarantee direct recognition of your company. If you don’t have a logo yet, no need to worry. You do not have to be a graphic designer to get one. With simple online tools such as Canva, you can easily create a neat logo for free.
Of course, your invoices should always contain all legally required information. But also beyond that, you should provide as complete and detailed information about your company as possible. In addition to your bank details, this also applies to contact information such as your phone number, email address and website. The easier it is to get in touch with you, the more serious and professional your bill and thus your business will be considered.
When creating an invoice, you should pay special attention to the products or services you’re invoicing for. They are the very heart of your invoice, and it’s basically all about them.
When you create your products in the database, be sure to use detailed and descriptive product names. This way, your customer can see immediately what the invoice is about. Instead of “shoe”, you should rather name it “red hi top trainer size 7.5”, and “working hour wall painting” is much better than just stating “working hours”. Professional invoice software like Zervant makes your job even easier with integrated product databases and import options.
Another important aspect for when writing your invoice is your customers’ contact information. It’s a given that the name and address have to be written without any mistakes. With international customers make sure you use any special characters needed. Always use customer IDs, ideally multi-digit ones. This provides the impression of a larger customer base and adds credibility.
Every invoice should include payment terms to make sure that your customer knows when they have to pay. If you agreed on any special conditions such as discounts, these should also be mentioned on the invoice. If applicable, you should also attach your terms and conditions. If you’re struggling with creating your own terms, you can find plenty of examples online.
Your ultimate goal should be to make your customers happy, not only because happy customers pay faster. Deliver your invoices in whatever format your customers prefer. This can be an old fashioned letter sent in the post, or it could be an e-invoice sent using the very latest technology. With Zervant’s new premium subscriptions, you can do both, but of course you can also print, fold and send your invoices yourself.
The most common way to deliver invoices is via email. Zervant now offers a new feature that allows you to make an even more professional impression with your email invoices. With online payments, you can add a button to the invoice that allows your customers to pay online with a credit card. This is not only faster, but also much more comfortable for your clients.