CHOOSING INVOICING SOFTWARE

Chapter 8

How to Choose Invoicing Software?

Author: Bhaval Patel

Factors to Consider While Choosing Invoicing Software

This is a similar case that applies when you’re looking for Invoicing software, and there are different things to consider to help you make a better choice. Implement these solid tips when choosing the best invoicing software for your business.

  1. It should fit into your business context

The type of invoicing software should be what your business needs to grow, from the billing and creating of an invoice to the automated response and reports you will need to have a clear conversation with customers. These features will help you move faster and more efficiently while you’re dealing with more than one customer at a time. You don’t need a software package for a large company to grow your small business invoicing and accounting. Consider the extra cost you’d incur when you go for a full package software instead of getting what you need.

  1. Its invoices should appear professional and be user-friendly

While you’re looking for one of the best invoicing solutions out there, the type of invoice it will create should always be professional and convince your client that you are a serious person.

Every invoicing software can generate an invoice, but not all do this professionally. The invoice structure should be natural for you and the buyer to break down and understand the necessary information.

  1. It must be safe to use

Besides the professional layout, your invoice should portray, the software must be secured. You have to choose from trusted vendors and those with good reviews in system security. It is essential to look into this factor, so your data and customers’ information don’t get into the wrong hand, through the source from which you acquired the software.

The invoicing software should also come with good security and end-to-end encryption.

  1. It must also offer robust customer support

You should consult a reliable vendor for one of the best software to provide insights into the software operation. Your vendor should also be available to help you with handy information to run the software without a hitch.

Every software is prone to having bugs when you encounter issues like this, your vendor should be one with accessible customer service, so the bugs don’t stay for long, else you may have to spend extra cost to provide a solution to it.

Billing Mistakes That Don’t Get You Paid

The most crucial part of a business is managing the financial aspect. Regardless of the size of the company, whether new or established, large or small, most of them don’t find it easy with invoicing. If you’re after increasing the cash flow of your business, more attention should be paid to proper invoicing, instead of taking it as a little task.

Billing Mistakes That Don’t Get You Paid

It is indeed essential that you get paid the exact amount for your services and goods you supply to customers in due time. To ensure that you do not always have to ask for late payments, here are the seven mistakes you have to avoid.

  1. Failure to Prepare An Invoice

For you to oversee the business and run it smoothly, there’s a need for you to pay attention to details in the business. In some companies, billing is not properly taken care of because they fail to prepare an invoice.

Most times, the business owner just call out the price to a customer verbally, without having a documented record of the cost of goods and services. They expect the customer to make a payment without proof. Whatever relationship you have built with the customer, issuing an invoice will help both of you avoid disputes in the future.

When the payment is overdue, some customers may want to act smart because they’re sure that you have no invoice for their purchase. It is very important that you send an invoice to every customer to avoid a shortage of payment or dispute that may arise in the future. To make your work look smart, there is credit management software that controls your invoicing.

  1. Having Limited Payment Options

There are several ways a customer can make payment conveniently after doing business with you, from online payments, mobile transfers, card transactions, and another payment gateway.

These payment methods have benefits and disadvantages for your business and customers. Refusal to adopt a payment method may reduce the number of people who patronize you. You may not notice this change but is one of the billing mistakes business owners make.

As a business owner, you should provide your customers with different payment mediums so they can pay you in time and with ease. All the payment methods you accept should be listed on your invoice and website to keep customers informed on what payment method they can pay you with. Keeping them informed will help them decide whether to patronize you or not, instead of delaying your payment after you have sold them the goods.

  1. Ambiguous Terms of Payment and Incomplete Details

A good way to make customers lose interest in doing business with you is to make them frustrated; this will not help the business grow. Mistakes you make when billing your customers can make them lose interest in your services. Everything the customer is paying for should be clearly stated in the invoice, and the payment conditions should not be harsh on them.

As you bill your customers, ensure that every detail they need to know is included in the invoice, the likes of payment methods, the total cost of your service, the due date for payment, and a penalty for late payment. The customers will understand you better if you clearly state your conditions.

  1. Absence of Payment Terms and Policy

If you wish to improve your business, you should always avoid late payments as it is very detrimental to the business.

For you to prevent late invoice payment, you have the right to state your policies and terms for customers wanting to do business with you, and your message to them should be friendly. Stating your policies will keep them aware of how you want to get paid and the conditions to abide by so you can serve them better.

  1. Failure To Follow Up on Late Payments

As a business owner, the fear of losing a customer may overshadow the thought of getting a customer to pay for their debts. It is very important that you always remind a customer of late payments, as it seems better to lose a customer who does not like paying on time.

Failure to follow up on late payments can affect your cash flow and is a major billing mistake. The best way to approach your customers who haven’t paid is to find out from them why they are unable to pay you and discuss a preferable payment plan that suits both of you.

If a customer is still adamant after a series of reminders and messages, it is better to seek further help with a collection agency. Before you seek further help, make sure that you can capture their attention and get them to draft a plan to pay you, this will help you have a good relationship with them.

  1. Failure To Sign a Contract

The first thing you should always do to make sure every other process runs smoothly is to have a concise agreement with your customer, regardless of how big or small the job is. Signing a contract means you’re not going to have disputes with the customer when it is time for them to make payment.

An agreed contract will help you avoid confusion because all the terms of the job will be clearly stated. You are also getting legal by signing a contract because, with the agreement, you can win your customer if they fail to pay your invoice.

  1. Failure To Properly Explain Fees

When a customer notices additional charges on an invoice you send, they get confused and will need an explanation for the extra cost. This is a costly mistake you should avoid making as a business owner.

Every cost you are including should be accounted for in the invoice and should first be discussed while you’re negotiating, so they won’t think you’re trying a trick on them. Clearly list out every cost in the invoice, and be professional at it.

Sometimes, customers should not be faulted for failing to make a payment. Every billing mistake made by you will always affect your payment. Pay attention to every detail while you’re negotiating a deal and state your terms clearly to avoid chasing a customer for late payments.

The mistakes you make are very much avoidable if you take the right approach.

In summary:

  • Failure to prepare an invoice
  • Having few payment options
  • Ambiguous terms of payment and incomplete details
  • No payment terms and policy
  • Failure to follow up on late payments
  • Failure to sign a contract
  • Failure of explaining the cost

Invoice Productivity Tools

The main goal of starting a business is to be successful at it, and every business owner wants to be the best in their dealings. As a new business owner, efficiency, smartness, and productivity is key to continuing the business in the long run.

Invoice Productivity Tools to Rev Up Your Business Processes

While you have a lot of things to set up so your business can have a good beginning, being productive is one important thing to take note of. Choosing the right tools to work with will boost your business beyond your expectations in every bit and give routine to explore other aspects.

As a young and upcoming entrepreneur, there are numerous tools, both free and paid, that you can use to kick start a successful business and management activities as you progress. Listed here are reliable tools you can trust to help you grow your business.

  1. MixBit – Invoicing Solution

With the right invoicing solution, your business can now run smoothly.  Since you don’t have to bother about waiting for checks to deliver, you can spend time on other things that will grow the business.

MixBit will help you manage all your invoices as well as helping you draft a professional type and send them out to different customers. These invoices can be tracked at different times and help you reduce the cost of employing an accountant to help you generate financial reports. You can also send automated reminders to customers who are yet to pay up and receive payments with ease in different ways.

With this software,  you have more time to do other things that will grow your business and gain customers’ trust. It is not dependent on a customer’s location. As a new user, you Start using it for 30 days for free.

  1. ProofHub – Task Management Tool

One of the most trusted tools that will help you manage your task is ProofHub and is being used by successful entrepreneurs. It is used to simplify and assign a task to different people at a time.

You can customize your settings and add features like due dates, estimates, files, and other essentials in one workplace. The software will break down your task management and is easy to understand and use. It helps you work smart and fast.

The software has a dashboard that shows all your work as they progress, in charts and understandable patterns. There’s a tab that helps you manage tasks in between themselves, making it possible for you to work together with other businesses by including figures, leaving feedback, and adding comments. The software is available in paid and free trials. Overall, it keeps all your projects organized and prompt.

  1. iMindMap – More Creative Planning

Only business owners can tell how risky and hard it is to make plans for the progress of their business. Keeping up with other factors outside the business can make it hard for one to concentrate when you need to think for the sake of your business.

iMindMap software can help you remember anything you need to put into consideration later and pen them down so you won’t forget. With this, you can have control over deadlines.

It successfully helped more than a million entrepreneurs in increasing their efficiency and productivity in different tasks they find themselves in, such as creative thinking,  organizing,  planning, tutoring, managing projects, and so on.

  1. Evernote – Note-Taking App

For you to be productive in the business, you have to be filled with different ideas and thoughts. You may not need some of the ideas and thoughts at the moment, but they can be useful later in the future when you have to ponder on other things. Evernote helps you keep the ideas you may forget later.

You can keep the thought and ideas in the form of text, pictures, videos, voice notes, and other forms. The ideas can be organized into one system.

The important ideas you’ll need for later can be kept in a safe place until you need them. You can access your thoughts when you’re not online, as it can synchronize on all your connected devices.

  1. pm – Project Management

When you need to work together as a team, this software can help you manage your projects, even when they are spontaneous. You can monitor your task, control the time, check the status of your progress, and demand reports from time to time.

As a business owner, this is one of the most reliable tools needed for your business to hit the next level. Regardless of the company size, you can rest assured as it can serve different capacities.

It comes with all the needed features your team will appreciate; Kanban, automation, project reports, checklists, schedule, integration, issue tracking, time, and status report.

  1. Hunter – Connectivity

Connectivity with everyone in your team is under-appreciated until you lose the ability to do so. To connect with your associates or board all the time, you’ll need software like Hunter to help you lead in smartness.

Reaching out to other members or customers is best done through electronic mails, Hunter will help you source for email addresses of any firm in no time. You can access any address with the right keyword.

You can as well reach individuals through Hunter. There’s a domain search on the system that helps you connect to all staff of a company you enter, including their email addresses. You can find over 200 million email addresses, provided you have the right keyword to search. It also has search filters to help you find fast details.

  1. Yammer

It is better to admit you do not have a working team than to have a team that lacks constant communication, especially when you have to pass an important message. Poor communication will bring a setback to the progress of the business, even if other aspects are doing fine.

With Yammer, communicating with other members just got better as everyone gets informed on time. You can network members of your team easily anytime the need arises. You can as well create a functional group that is only accessible to your members so that information can be disseminated in the form of videos, documents, images, and voice notes in an online office.

  1. Blinkist

There’s no limit to the learning process as you start a new life as an entrepreneur. Every successful business owner has read and is still reading books to expand their knowledge on many things. With Blinkist, reading has never been made easier. You can get access to several best selling books and spend quality time learning.

All the books are available in highlights that you need to apply in your business or life as a business owner. The books you’ll get here are from different aspects like psychology, self-development history, modern science, productivity, no fiction, and many others.

You can also get thousands of books in audio versions from their library. With options like this, it is easy and fun to learn while you get the best out of the books. Your personified Blinkist library can be accessed on any device, anywhere.

  1. me – Meeting Tool

If you need to set up a meeting for business purposes, maybe within a short period or later in the future, and you also want people to see the progress round have made on a project you’re working on, it is easy to set up with Join.me. It integrates with all your working and productivity apps in a single system so you can perform multiple tasks from a tab. You can trust the software for all your business schedules and meetings.

  1. TMetric – Time Tracker

Working with time is essential for most business owners, and the limited time you have as a business owner should be utilized efficiently. A time tracking system you’ll need to track the progress other members of your business have made so far is TMetric.

You can now track every member’s productivity in minutes or hours. As they resume business and take a break or get a leave, you can monitor the progress made and analyze how far they have come.

The software can be connected with several apps like Asana, Trello, and others. It ensures that no time is wasted as work progresses.

  1. Front – Email Management

Everyone knows it sucks to have a long list of unread emails, as seeing a list alone can kill your productivity. As a business owner, you can avoid this type of situation with Front. Front helps you manage your email list efficiently while your team members work with accuracy.

You can have all messages organized in an inbox and can assign specific emails to your members so that the task is equally shared and executed. With this software, your customers can get fast replies from you, and this will improve the relationship.

You can as well connect all the necessary tools in one workplace to increase productivity on all fronts. The software is free for 14 days for new users.

Sometimes, it can be hard to maintain a high level of productivity. If you truly want to see progress in your business, working with the tools mentioned above can help increase your productivity level. At the same time, you will work smartly with these tools and avoid any setback.

Scheduling, Invoicing, and Expense Tracking

Now that you have customers, you have negotiated a deal with them and have done the job required of you; the next step is getting paid for your service. Throughout the entire process, the simplest part should be invoicing. As easy as it is, you have to be smart at it and as it could end up becoming the hardest part, especially when you don’t get paid on time.

Scheduling, Invoicing, and Expense Tracking

The tedious job is down by invoicing software. If you want a single system to help you prepare and send an invoice, receive payments through convenient ways from your client, and follow up on an invoice, you need invoicing software.

There are different invoicing software on the web, and selected ones have been tested and can be trusted.  This is to make sure you don’t find a random app misbehaving after finding out all it can do for you in a quick time.

First off, good invoicing software should ease the stress of preparing a professional invoice, and it should be done faster than the Word processor program. Also, it should be capable of helping you receive your payments through different payment methods. Some others can help you track the time spent on doing a job for the customer and explain the expenses in detail.

You only have to fill in the variables for every other invoice you’re preparing, rather than repeating the whole process every time you need an invoice.

While the selected apps were being tested, only the ones with multiple features and specifications picked, in other words. The final apps could do more than other apps.

Only the apps primarily designed for invoicing were selected. An accounting app wouldn’t be considered because it has an invoicing feature, which is one of its many features.

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