You have set up your business and sold goods or services to customers and clients. Now it’s time to send them an invoice. An invoice is normally the end of a transaction, however, it shouldn’t be the end of your customer experience.
Whether you are a small business owner or have been running a business for a while, you can always look at certain tips on how to create an invoice that makes your customers happy.
1. Electronic invoice – the best invoice option for small businesses
Before we get to know how to create an invoice for small businesses, let’s determine what is the best invoice option for small business businesses.
As we all know, an invoice is a bill that businesses send to customers or clients to ask for payments for goods or services. An invoice usually includes a description of the items you are charging for, along with payment terms and other information.
Invoices are an important part of bookkeeping since businesses need to keep track of sales information and income for tax and accounting purposes. Invoices are different from receipts (which acknowledge payment) and purchase orders (which notify intent to buy goods and services).
Each invoice allows you to bill your customers for your services and helps you track all the income you earn from your business. Therefore, creating a professional invoice can help you get paid faster and spend less time managing your billing process. You can choose between traditional invoices or electronic invoices, however, as digital transformation is showing great impacts on almost every business, using electronic invoices can be beneficial for your business.
Electronic invoice (or E-invoicing) is a more reliable, convenient, and safe form of transaction. It fulfills the same role as a traditional invoice and is legally equivalent, but most importantly, an electronic invoice has many more benefits, making it an essential resource for companies. Business owners already have enough to worry about without adding needlessly complex invoicing to the mix, which is why using electronic invoices is the best way to easily and professionally bill clients.
2. How to create an invoice that makes your customer happy
- Make your invoice look professional
The very first step to creating a professional invoice is to put everything together: the fonts and styling that match your brand, your logo and signature colors, and so on. You can do this yourself using Excel or a word processor, but you can also try AccountDock‘s special feature, which will be introduced later.
Make sure that you have all your business information at the top of your invoice. The information should include:
- The name of your business
- The address of your business
- Your phone number
- Your email address
It is also a great idea to ensure your customers know they are receiving the right invoice. Adding the word “invoice” at the top of your document can make it more likely to be paid on time since it makes your payment request stand out from other documents that your customers might get.
Your invoice needs to have an identification number. This information is for your records since you should reference all the invoices you have raised to make sure nothing is duplicated. To achieve this, you can choose an invoice numbering system that works best for you and stay consistent with it to avoid confusion. For example, you can use a sequence of numbers that increase gradually and use letters in front of a number to indicate a specific customer.
Gathering all essential information right at the top and closely to follow is the all-important step of letting the customers easily reach you (and pay you as well!).
- Include an itemized list of services
It is crucial to include an itemized list of the services rendered for the invoice period. For the simplest way, you can try to present a table with columns that include this information:
- Services rendered
- The supply date (the day you provided your goods or services)
- The issued date (the day you create the invoice)
- Quantity or hours of using your services
- Discount (if any)
The information doesn’t need to be long, but each of them should be detailed enough for your customers to know what they are paying for. If they have no idea what they are being billed for, they will be more likely to query the invoice, which leads to a delay in payment.
- Specify your payment terms
It is critical that your invoice clearly specifies when and how you expect your clients to make the payment. For instance, if you use a 30-day billing cycle and issue an invoice on May 1st, the payment is due 30 days later, on June 1st.
You will also need to include information about the accepted payment methods (i.e., credit card, check, Paypal, etc.). If you charge late fees, clearly point out the late fee terms. It is a good idea to inform your clients of all your payment terms when they first sign so that they will not be taken aback by any of the details when receiving the invoices.
And most of all, make sure that the invoice includes bank details clearly stated, so there will be no hold-ups when it’s time to get paid. If your payment options change, you can always update at a later stage. However, it would be best if you do it as quickly as possible.
- List applicable taxes
The tax you collect from your customers will vary depending on your location and type of business. It is a good idea to research through your local tax bureau to identify how much tax you should charge your customers.
- A tax invoice has the same information as normal invoices, plus:
- The tax point (time of supply) if it is different from the invoice date;
- The VAT rate and total VAT charged if all items are charged at the same rate; if different items have different VAT rates, you need to point out the accurate rate for each item.
- Use AccoundDock’s beautifully designed invoices
Last but not least, you can let your company stand out with custom invoices to legitimize your business and increase your brand awareness. Nowadays, various invoicing software choices give you further customization options to establish your brand identity. You can customize fonts and color schemes or change the style of your invoice. Selecting an appropriate font or design scheme to suit your company spirit keeps everything on-brand and professional.
AccountDock is an online software suite that lets Stripe-powered businesses provide billing history for their customers. With AccountDock, you can allow your customers to generate a PDF from their receipts, send them via email, or view receipts on the web. The best part is, they can manage all of their receipts by using bulk actions. Besides bringing you an outstanding invoicing solution, AccountDock proudly introduces beautifully designed invoices that suit your brand image. AccountDock is also supporting full retina support so that you can rest assured that every invoice looks beautiful on every device.
After all, customer satisfaction defines your business’s success. Paying attention to the smallest details can show your genuine care about your customer experience and prove that your high-quality service meets all requirements customers can ever ask for. From a friendly attitude to a beautiful invoice, everything adds up to your customer satisfaction journey.
We hope our tips help you on how to create an invoice that makes customers happy. If you have other cool ideas about creating professional invoices, don’t hesitate to share them with us.
And if you are ready to create beautiful invoices for your business, visit AccountDock and get your 14-day trial now!