As a freelancer, it can be difficult to try to stay on top of everything, including your freelance invoices. While you understand that getting paid is the main goal of any business, you are often so swamped and unsure about your finances that it can seem overwhelming.
There is also the risk of not getting your invoices paid on time by your clients, and this will negatively impact your cash flow and your ability to stay afloat. However, there are ways to ensure you can get your invoices paid—whether they are standard, proforma, commercial, or many others.
Today we’ll look at the five best ways to get your freelance invoices paid faster every time.
1) Create your policies beforehand
As they always say, prevention is better than a cure. If you make sure that you’ve prepared the process of providing excellent services and receiving adequate payment, you’ll save yourself a lot of troubles that freelancers often encounter.
When you create your freelance payment policies, you should decide:
- if you’ll require payment upfront
- how long your client will be allowed to pay
- how much the late fee will be, and if it is a percentage or flat rate
- what types of payment you’ll be able to accept
- if you’ll require full payment before or after you deliver goods
By solidifying these points now rather than later, you’ll help yourself and your client avoid a lot of potential problems.
2) Get organized with your invoices
You should generally try to make your life as easy as possible by automating as much as possible about your work. This includes your social media, marketing, and of course your finances.
However, many freelancers pay little attention to all the great tools out there that can help them send out invoices more quickly and professionally. This is generally known as online invoicing software, and the online part is important. That means, because all the information is saved online, you’ll be able to do the invoices anywhere and at any time.
This also means that you won’t have to save any of the files on your computer and worry about organizing it. Any good invoicing software will do that for you.
3) Create quotes before accepting a job
If you’ve created adequate policies, you should see how important it is to have things written down, as references and protection.
However, policies are too general to apply to specific jobs. That’s why you’ll need to create a quote before you start your work and answer the following questions:
- What does your client expect from you?
- How long do you have to deliver?
- What is the extent of your services?
- And, if applicable, how many revisions will there be—1, 2, 3, or infinite?
By ironing out these details, you’ll avoid a lot of disappointment, surprise, and scope creep.
4) Get invoices out ASAP
It seems logical: if you don’t send your invoices out in a good amount of time, you won’t get paid on time. This is a universal truth.
However, even with this, business owners and freelancers especially can get very busy. They are so caught up with what they are doing, have done, or still have to do that they just simply forget to send out their invoices immediately.
Perhaps that partly explains why businesses on average have to wait 72 days on payment.
In order to help avoid that, you should create your invoices as soon as possible—even before the work is delivered.
5) Send email reminders
The other part of why invoices don’t get paid faster has to do not with the freelancer but with the client. They are just late. They may be late in paying invoices for other reasons, but one of the biggest ones is that they are busy and forget.
That’s why it’s important for you as a freelancer to send them email reminders not after they are late, but a few days before. Even more, you should set your due date not for the standard 30 days, but instead 15 days. That way, on the 13th day, you should send a polite email reminder to your client to ask for updates on the outstanding payment.
This will help you look professional and ensure that your invoices, in general, get paid faster.
With these tips, you’ll be well on your way to getting your payment more quickly so that you can focus on growing your business.