There’s a real science to getting clients and customers to pay their invoices.
According to FreshBooks, accounting software for service-based business owners and independent professionals, roughly 1 in 4 self-employed people who send invoices say they’re owed significant amounts of money by late-paying clients – as much as $2,000 on average. For freelancers working with tighter cash flows, that can really add up.
FreshBooks reviewed 10,000 invoices to create the ultimate data-driven checklist to help freelancers and self-employed professionals get paid, fast. When the tips on this checklist are followed, 91% of invoices were paid in full – so it pays to take the time to craft a solid invoice.
Here’s a brief look at seven simple and quick billing and invoicing tips you can use to get paid faster:
1. Avoid invoicing at the end of the month
Invoices sent on the 30th or 31st take up to 20% longer to get paid. Meanwhile, “Companies invoicing weekly or fortnightly – that sent invoices on weekends – got paid ten days faster compared to when they sent invoices on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.”
2. Limit line items
Unless your client has asked for a detailed breakdown of your work, 2-5 items on an invoice is the sweet spot.
3. Keep your invoice totals low
Invoices under $1,660 get paid 11 days sooner than invoices that exceed that amount. If you’re invoicing for more than $1,660, consider breaking up your invoice into multiple smaller invoices.
4. Include clear terms
Terms tell a client exactly how to pay for an invoice, and using specific language in your terms can help you get paid even faster. Ninety-four (94%) percent of invoices that mention “late fees” were paid.
5. Be polite
It might seem obvious, but courtesy can go a long way. Invoices that included the words “please” and “thank you” get paid a median of two days faster than those that don’t, according to FreshBooks data.
6. Offer online payment options
Invoices that give customers the option to pay online are paid seven days faster than those that don’t.
7. Send automatic late payment reminders
If you think your clients might miss their invoice due date, you can automate late payment reminders to help them get back on track – without having to deal with the stress and awkwardness of chasing them yourself.
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