Not only is it a good idea to learn how to create an invoice for different industries, it’s also a good idea to learn how to create an invoice for a freelance job and learn more about invoicing for freelancers.
While working as a freelancer has several benefits, often times, completing the invoice and sending it is one of the more difficult tasks for a freelancer, even though it is completely necessary in order to get paid.
If you are a full-time freelancer, and have to send lots of invoices, then you might consider using an invoicing software or an online program that helps keep track of invoicing and bookkeeping. Many invoicing programs are affordable, and often worth the upfront investment, if they will help you create invoices quickly and maintain your payment schedule.
Define your invoice policies
Before you send any invoices, it’s a good idea to come up with your own policies. For example, you’re going to need a policy on how to handle late payments. Believe it or not, you’re going to come across a client that does not pay on time – how are you going to handle it? Will you institute a late fee? If so, how much will it be? Will you send a certified letter? Call a collections agency? Figure out a policy that works best for you and include it in the fine print of the invoice every time.
Other policies you may want to consider include payment options (check, credit card, electronic payment, etc.), beginning work with or without payment, how many days is the payment period before a late fee is required, and when does the client receive the work – before or after they make a payment? It may seem like a lot of work upfront to create these policies, but it will make your billing processes much easier afterward.
After you have created these policies, make sure you stick to them! Start by informing your client of all of your policies, and then follow through if you need to – show the client you mean business.
Another good idea is to think about how much you charge. Do some research and see what your competitors are charging, or other people in the industry. You never want to undersell your services just to get clients – you’ll end up resenting the work. During this process, figure out if you will charge by the hour, per word, or a fixed price per project. And just like with your policies, be sure to stick to your monetary rules.
What to include in your invoice?
When you create your invoice, be sure it includes all of the necessary information including contact information for your client and yourself (name, street address, phone number, and email address), the invoice date, the unique invoice number, a detailed itemized list of the services completed, the date each service was completed, the dollar amount owed for each line item, a subtotal, any fees and taxes, a complete total amount due, a thank you note, and any information on policies and payments. If you wish, you can also include a line to sign and date the invoice.
Keep a record
Once you send the invoice, you have to keep a record of every invoice sent. And don’t just rely on your computer – use a backup, and file away a paper copy, too, just in case. If you don’t hear from your client after they receive your invoice, be sure to send a follow up email or letter to make sure everything is still in good shape. With any invoice transactions, you want to be methodical and professional, as it is an important part of your business.