Why small businesses should send professional invoices
Your customers are unique, and have different needs and requirements. That means you need an invoice that is flexible enough to capture all you do for each customer. At the same time your invoice needs to be clear and easy-understand so your customers know exactly what they are paying for.
As a small business it’s also extremely important to appear professional and experienced. A well-organized, attractive invoice reflects positively on your image and brand, and adds to your outstanding reputation as a small business owner, no matte whether you are in photography, consulting or construction.
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 wide range of invoice templates in several beautiful designs and colors
- Pick the invoice that suits your small business and download the invoice template in the format you use, such as Word, Excel, PDF, Google Docs, or Google Sheets. It’s free!
- Insert your small business name and all of your up-to-date contact information
- Add in your fantastic logo, website address, and any other promotional graphics
- Insert your client’s name and contact information
- Generate a unique invoice number and add it on
- Put in the invoice date, and if appropriate, the date the work started and finished, or the duration for which you provided your goods or services
- List your products and/or services, with a description and cost for each
- Don’t forget to list any materials or miscellaneous costs that are charged to the customer, including descriptions
- Add lines to make sure the invoice covers all your costs. The template is easily customized to meet the specific requirements of your small business
- If you are including a discount for loyal or first-time customers, add a line explaining the discount so your clients know you appreciate their business and are giving them a special price
- Calculate the total price, including applicable tax, and enter the total at the bottom of the invoice
- Include your payment terms, such as the methods of payment you accept, and the payment due date
- As a small business owner you want to encourage repeat business, so always thank the customer for their business, and add a personal note that will make you stand apart from the competition
- Save a copy for your records – and send the invoice to your client
When is the right time to send an invoice to your small business customers?
The right time to send your invoice varies with the type of goods or services you provide, and the type of customer. If it’s a stand-alone order or project, many small business owners invoice upon completion, especially if it’s for a long-time, repeat customer.
But if it’s a complicated order, or a project that will span a long period of time, you could request partial or even full payment up front, especially for new customers.
Whatever payment 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.