Why plumbing professionals should send beautiful invoices
You’ve never met a drain you couldn’t unplug – and you know no two plumbing contract jobs are ever the same. You need an invoice that is flexible enough to clearly detail your labor, as well as all the associated costs for the job.
Plumbing is a specialized skill, so your customers may not realize all the knowledge and expertise you bring into their homes. That means 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, especially in stressful plumbing emergencies. Make sure your invoice is as polished and professional as the work you provide, and adds to your outstanding 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).
- Look through our array of beautifully designed plumbing invoice templates and pick the one you like best
- Download the invoice template you have decided on in the format you use, such as Word, Excel, PDF, Google Docs, or Google Sheets. It’s easy to do – and it’s free!
- Add on your business name, address, phone number, and email address. If you offer emergency or specialty plumbing services – mention it here
- Insert your plumbing company logo, website address, and any fun plumbing graphics you like to use
- Insert your customer’s name and contact information
- Add on a unique invoice number and, if appropriate, a job number for ongoing, contract customers
- Add the date of the invoice, and the payment due date
- Include a detailed list of your plumbing 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 handyman services, or other repair or renovation services, add lines to include all the details. The template is easily customized to make sure you cover everything you have done for your customers
- If you are including a discount for a high volume of work, for a regular customer, add a line explaining the discount so your customer knows they are receiving a lower price for your great plumbing services
- Calculate the total price, including all applicable taxes, and list the total
- Include your payment terms, including your accepted methods of payment
- It’s always nice to add a personal note at the end to thank your customers for the business – especially if you’d like them to refer your plumbing services to their friends
- Save a copy – and give the invoice to your customer
When is the right time to send an invoice to your plumbing customers?
As a professional plumber, you do both big and small jobs – 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 plumbers invoice upon completion, but if it’s a big job requiring special plumbing parts and materials, as well as many hours of labor, many plumbers ask for a percentage of the cost up front, with the remainder when the job is finished.
If you are on retainer, or provide ongoing plumbing services to a corporate or municipal client, invoice at regular intervals to keep the revenue coming in.
Quick invoicing tips for plumbing professionals
Be courteous and patient
You are an expert in your field, but your customers aren’t. Make sure you politely and patiently explain the necessary work and costs involved. It pays to be empathetic, kind, and honest, especially if you’d like your customers to spread the word about your great work to their neighbours and 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
Let your customers pay the way that’s most convenient for them – it can only help you get paid faster! Especially for large jobs, customers appreciate the ease of using an e-Transfer or direct bank deposit to pay your bill.
Send a proforma invoice before the job starts
If this is a big job, such as replacing pipes, let your customers know exactly how much it will cost, and all the work you need to do, by sending them a proforma invoice before you start work. This can help prevent any misunderstandings that can end up delaying your payment.