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Why self-employed people should send professional invoices
You are a professional, but since you are self-employed, you don’t have the backing of a large company to make sure you are paid properly. You need to have clear, organized invoices that include enough detail to highlight the great work you have provided, as well as show your clients the advantage of working with you.
Your invoice actually plays two roles: it provides the correct information for you to get paid, and it is a reminder of your outstanding work, so your clients will want to buy your products or services again. An attractive, well-designed invoice template also instills confidence and credibility in your personal brand.
You are an expert in your field, so make sure your invoice reflects your skill and professionalism.
- Look through our great selection of self-employed invoice templates in different designs and colors, and pick the one you like best
- Download the template in the format you usually use – such as Word, Excel, PDF, Google Docs, or Google Sheets. It’s fast, and best of all – it’s free!
- Add in your business name, address, phone number, and email address
- Insert your wonderful business logo, along with your website, and any graphics you use to represent your self-employed business
- Add in your client’s name and all their correct and up-to-date contact information
- Generate a unique invoice number and add it on
- Include the date of the invoice and the payment due date
- List the work you’ve done, services you’ve provided, or products you’ve sold, along with the appropriate prices and fees
- You can add lines to include any extra charges, such as for travel, or for rush or overnight jobs
- If you are including a discount to encourage clients to work with you again, add a line explaining the discount so your client knows they are getting an extremely good price
- Calculate the total price, including applicable tax, and enter the total
- Include your payment terms, such as the methods of payment you accept
- Make sure you add a personal note at the end, such as a thank you, or to tell your client how much you enjoyed working with them. You are self-employed – so give your invoice that personal touch that sets you apart from larger companies
- Save a copy of the invoice – and give it to your client!
When is the right time to send an invoice when you are self-employed?
The right time to send an invoice varies with the type of business you are in. Many self-employed people invoice at the end of a job or project, or at the time of purchase.
You need to keep the revenue coming in, so if your services are required for a long period of time, or if the customer has made a large order, ask for payment up front, or for a percentage of the estimated cost up front.
Whatever payment time period 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 self-employed people
Accept a variety of payment methods
Why not let your customers pay in the way that is most convenient for them – it can only help you get paid faster! Especially for large jobs or orders, customers appreciate the ease of using an e-Transfer or direct bank deposit to pay.
Use numbered invoices
Numbered invoices help you keep track of how much money is coming in, which is important for your long-term financial health. It also shows clients you have a professional, organized system in place.
Include a ‘payment due’ date
Always clearly indicate when you expect payment without sounding too aggressive. It pays to be polite, but firm. You have provided valuable goods or services, so you deserve to be paid in a timely manner.
Include professional recommendations
Include a few lines to describe any other products or services you provide that your client might be interested in. It lets your clients know you are thinking about their best interests. You can use this space to promote your business too. Include a link to your blog or to client testimonials, or add in a coupon for the next time the customer contacts you for your services.