Why electricians should send professional invoices
You’re a master at complex electrical work, and you know no two jobs are ever the same. That’s why you need a flexible invoice that can clearly detail all the labor required, as well as all the materials and special services you need to charge for. Electrical wiring is a mystery to most people, so your invoice also needs to be easy-to-understand so your customers know exactly what they are paying for.
Besides technical know-how, you also supply great customer service. Make sure your invoice looks as polished and professional as the work you provide, and adds to your professional reputation.
Once you've downloaded your free invoice template, you'll need to customize it to fit your specific business. Here are the 10 key things to include on your invoice:
- Title and Description: Name the project and briefly describe what type of work your client is being invoiced for.
- Company Details: Add your company name, address, phone number, and logo to the top-right corner.
- Customer Details: Under "Bill To", add your customer's name, address, and contact information.
- Invoice Number: Include a unique invoice number to help you track down this invoice in the future. You can format this based on sequence and customer. For example, if you're sending your very first customer their first invoice, the invoice number could be 001-001.
- Dates: Include the date when your invoice has been issued and the date when payment is due.
- Line Item: Add individual line items for each unique good or service you provided. For each line item, include a brief description, quantity, individual unit price, and total price.
- Subtotal: Add up the subtotal of your goods or services, before tax has been applied.
- Tax: Indicate the tax rate applied to the subtotal. This is legally required to provide on invoices, and your rate may differ depending on where you run your business.
- Total: Outline the total amount due from the customer, after tax.
- Notes: Include any additional info your customer should know, including terms of service and payment terms (for example, payments are due 30 days after the invoice has been issued).
- Download the invoice template you have decided on in the format you prefer, such as Word, Excel, PDF, Google Docs, or Google Sheets. It’s easy to do – and it’s absolutely free!
- Add your electrical business name, address, phone number, and email address. If you offer emergency services – mention it here
- Insert your electrical work company logo, website address, and list your certifications here as well
- Insert your customer’s name and contact information
- Add a unique invoice number and, if appropriate, a job number (for larger projects)
- Add the date of the invoice, and the payment due date
- Include a detailed list of your electrical services, along with descriptions, and the hourly or flat rate you charge
- Include a list of materials or supplies to be charged to the customer, with descriptions and costs for each
- If you include other services, such as repair or renovation services, add lines to include all the details. You can easily customize the invoice template to make sure you cover all the many services you provide
- If you are including a discount for a high volume of work, or for a loyal customer who has referred you to their neighbors or friends, add a line explaining the discount so your customer knows they are receiving a great deal for your great electrical expertise
- Calculate the total price, including all applicable taxes, and enter the total
- Include your payment terms, such as your accepted methods of payment
- Always take the time to add a personal note at the end of the invoice to thank your customer for their business
- Save a copy, and send the invoice
When is the right time to send an invoice to your electrical work customers?
As a professional electrician, you work on a variety of projects for both your residential and corporate customers, so the right time to send an invoice depends on the size of the job and your relationship with the customer.
For small jobs, most electricians invoice upon completion, but if it’s a big job requiring special electrical parts and materials, as well as many hours, or days, of labor, many electricians ask for a percentage or half of the cost up front, with the remainder when the job is finished.
Whatever payment cadence you choose, make sure it’s clearly noted on each invoice, and clarify what portion of the final ‘cost’ has been paid to date.
Invoicing tips for electricians
Be courteous and patient
An electrician’s bill is often an unexpected expense. Make sure you politely and patiently explain the necessary work and costs involved for the electrical work you are doing. By being empathetic and kind in a stressful situation, your customers are more likely to spread the word about your great work and recommend you both online, and in person, to their friends.
Include a payment due date
A payment due date can help you get paid promptly. It also reinforces your professionalism, as your customers will see you have an established system in place.
Accept a variety of payment methods
Why not let your customers pay in the way that is most convenient for them. Especially for large jobs, customers will appreciate the ease of using an e-Transfer or direct bank deposit to pay your bill – and you will receive your payment faster!
Send a proforma invoice before the job starts
If this will be a costly job, let your customers know exactly what work is needed and how much it will cost them, by sending them a pro forma invoice before you start work. This can help prevent any misunderstandings that could delay your payment.