An invoice is a document that details the costs of a service or product delivered to a customer. Invoices can be in any form, but they all contain similar information. Invoicing is an integral part of running a business. It allows businesses to track and account for their expenses and ensure that they pay for their services and products. However, invoicing mistakes can lead to costly complications. Here are some common invoicing mistakes small businesses need to avoid:
Invoicing to Wrong Customer
Invoicing mistakes small businesses need to avoid can have costly consequences. One of the small business’s most common mistakes when invoicing is billing the wrong customer. It can happen if a business mistakenly relies on customer data collected earlier in the sale process, like when a customer signs up for a subscription or trial. If you invoice someone who did not purchase from you, that person may not agree to pay and could take legal action.
Not Having Backup
Without a backup plan, your business can quickly lose critical data and incur expensive losses. Here are four ways to safeguard your business data:
- Set up regular backups. A good rule of thumb is to back up your data once a week. It will help you avoid costly losses if something unexpected happens, like a power outage or computer crash.
- Choose an online backup service. Online backup services offer convenient and cost-effective solutions for businesses of all sizes. They typically allow you to set up automatic backups, so you won’t have to worry about it anymore.
- Use cloud storage services. Cloud storage services provide businesses with secure online data storage for their data and backup features. This option is perfect for businesses that need quick access to their data but do not want to spend money on separate backup equipment and software packages.
- Create a disaster recovery plan. A disaster recovery plan will outline your business’s steps in a data loss or emergency, such as a power outage or fire outbreak. This plan will help you minimize the damage caused by an accidental or intentional event and keep your business running smoothly during tough times. Read about The Top 9 Productivity Tools for Small Businesses.
Sending Invoice Late
- Make sure to keep track of your invoice dates. If you’re paying by invoice, keep track of the date you send the invoice and the recipient’s receipt. If you’re paid in cash, keep track of when you hand over the money. Deadlines can be tricky if you do not have a paper trail to follow.
- Double-check your invoices for mistakes. It’s essential to ensure that all your invoices are correct before sending them out.
- Make sure that addresses and phone numbers are accurate and that prices are correct. If there are any mistakes on your invoices, now is the time to fix them before you send them out. Small businesses may have their customers pay immediately instead of waiting for an invoice containing errors.
The invoicing process is an essential part of small business operations. However, mistakes can be made that can lead to problems down the road. Here are four invoicing mistakes small businesses need to avoid:
Not Including Details on Fees and Services Rendered If a business does not include information about fees and services rendered, customers may be confused about what they are paying for. It can lead to unhappy customers who may not want to do business with the company again. Failing to Specify Quantity or Unit Price If a business fails to specify an item’s quantity or unit price, it may be difficult for customers to calculate the purchase cost. It can lead to confusion and potential problems when negotiating payments with creditors or other vendors.
Not Including Shipping and Handling Fees Shipping and handling fees are often included in the price of an item, but if they are not specified, customers may assume that these costs have been included in the product price. If this is not the case, customers may end up overpaying for shipping costs or receiving less product than expected due to increased shipping costs.
You are failing to include all necessary information on an invoice. Incomplete or missing information can lead to duplicate billing, incorrect payments, and extra work for your finance department. Make sure to list all services and products provided on your invoice and the price for each item. When creating your invoice, do not forget to include the correct prices for your products and services.
If you’re providing a service at a discounted rate, include this in your invoice. Suppose you’re charging by the hour, including the number of hours worked on the invoice. Taxes and fees should always include an invoice’s cost of goods sold (COGS). Be sure to list these charges along with the regular price of the product or service. You should also include shipping costs on an invoice if they are applicable.
Sending invoice unprofessionally
When invoicing, it is essential to take the time to ensure your invoice is professional.
- Failing to include a company logo: An excellent way to distinguish your business from the competition is by including a logo on your invoices. Not only does this show professionalism, but it can also help you track which clients are ordering from you and which ones may be more likely to respond positively to your services.
- Using too much jargon: When composing an invoice, try not to use too much jargon or technical language. It will make it difficult for customers to understand what you’re asking for and could lead to them receiving less than they expected in terms of payment.
- Not including contact information: When sending an invoice, always include contact information such as a name, email address, and phone number. It allows customers to reach out to you should they have any questions or concerns about their payment or order.
- Sending incomplete or incorrect information: One of the most a common mistake small businesses make when sending invoices is failing to provide enough accurate information. For example, if you are billing for hours worked instead of rates per hour worked, include that information in your invoice so that customers know what they’re paying for. Additionally, list all applicable taxes and fees in your invoice so that customers know how much money they will spend before downloading.
In today’s economy, ensuring that your small business is adequately invoiced and paid for its services is more critical than ever. However, many small businesses make common invoicing mistakes that can result in unpaid bills or even legal trouble.