If you don’t think the design of your invoices matter, consider the example of the direct mail industry. Every year, marketers spend millions of dollars sending slightly different versions of advertisements to see which one gets the better response. Sometimes the difference is no larger than a single word or using different color schemes to deliver the same message.
Your company is asking for the client’s attention when it sends an invoice. More than that, it’s asking someone within the client’s organization to act and remit payment to your company. Even though your client expects the invoice, taking a few extra minutes to ensure it includes all pertinent information and is aesthetically pleasing can determine how fast anyone looks at it.
Start with Legible Type and Brand Unity
There’s a time to experiment with colors and fonts, but preparing invoices is not it. Your clients will feel annoyed if they must strain to read small print or make out an amount typed in purple than blends in all too well with the other colors on the invoice. While not everyone uses Times New Roman font size 12 anymore, the style you do select should be a high contrast color and a large but not overpowering font size.
It’s also important to use the same logo and brand phrases throughout the invoice. You don’t want to leave the customer confused about who they need to pay, and the consistent messaging gives your business a professional image. This can be especially useful for your company to gain trust after it first launches.
Be More Specific Than You Think is Necessary
When others owe you money, you tend to remember the details better than they do. Keep in mind that your client could have paid hundreds of invoices since originally receiving products or services from your company and honestly not remember the transaction. Provide enough detail to jog your client’s memory but not so much the invoice ends up being multiple pages. Instead of using the term copywriting services, for example, list the name of each article you provided for the client and the unit cost.
Spend Time Getting to Know the Customer Before Sending the First Invoice
Every business needs unique information before it can remit payment of an invoice. While a basic description will do for some, others need a purchase order number, reference number, or tax identification number to match your company’s invoice with the information in its own internal databases.
Be sure to ask new customers upfront for the details they require on invoices and then provide that information every time. Don’t forget to spell out your agreed-upon payment terms clearly and provide easy-to-find contact information if the customer has any questions about the invoice. Lastly, always express appreciation to your customers for choosing your company, along with the gentle expectation of timely payment.
Need More Financial Tips for Your Small Business?
Capital Business Services offers a wide range of tax, accounting, and other business financial services to small companies in Warren, Ohio and the surrounding areas. We invite you to come in for an initial consultation to learn more.