One of the hardest parts of running your own small business can be getting your customers to actually pay you for your work. Fortunately, you can utilize your invoices to increase the odds of your customers fulfilling their end of the bargain. Here are some tips and tricks to follow when creating invoices for your small business. Make Your Invoices Look Professional Invoices are your last chance to make a good impression on your customers. A sloppy or poorly designed invoice can sour an otherwise pleasant business experience. When you create an invoice, you want to be certain it looks professional. To make the best looking invoice you can, you’ll want to do so with the following questions in mind: Is your invoice easily readable? The last thing you want to do is use frilly, hard-to-read fonts. Your objective is to enable your customer to easily scan your invoice, understand their financial obligation, and fulfill it. If they have to decipher handwriting or filter through the letters of your type choice, then you may want to reconsider your design. Does your brand shine through? An invoice is a great place to let your brand take one last stand. Consider including recognizable icons or graphics on your invoice or a quippy line that matches your brand’s voice. Is the design too complicated? As you add elements of your brand into your invoice, be careful not to add too many. Your ultimate objective for an invoice is to communicate information clearly and to get your customer to pay you. If an invoice is too complicated or overwhelming, they may not even realize it’s an invoice. Include Due Dates When a customer knows they need to keep to a timeline, it serves as a motivator. The invoice should clearly communicate payment details and expectations. This is a great place to reiterate any payment terms you established at the beginning of your business arrangement—like deposits, payment due at time of completion, etc. While it’s a better idea to have the payment amount due sooner rather than later, you’ll want to avoid holidays and write out the full due date to ensure there’s no room for error or misunderstandings. Include Late Fees While it’s normal to be a little leery of including late fees on your invoice, it’s not necessarily a bad idea. When you include late fees, it can not only help you get paid faster, but it’s a great way to discourage clients/customers from developing bad late-payment habits. Additionally, it can make your business appear more professional and reputable. Many businesses across various industries employ the use of late payments. Making use of them in your invoicing strategy can show you’re a serious business owner who expects customers to keep to their agreements. It almost gives your business a bit of street cred. Use Recurring Invoices Recurring invoices are a great way to circumvent the pains of late payments. When you set up recurring invoices for repeat business, it eliminates the need to continually send out duplicate invoices and repeat reminders. You’re able to fully automate the payment process and take the conscious burden off of both you and your customer. Be sure to leverage some sort of free bookkeeping software to make automated invoicing even easier. Provide Multiple Payment Options When you build your invoice, it’s a good idea to find a way to include multiple payment options. Whether it’s by cash, bank transfers, or the speediness of credit cards, that diversity could be the difference between consistent on-time payments and sending a customer to collections. Find ways to diversify your payment options to make it easier for your customers to find a solution that best fits their needs and situation. Prepare Your Invoices for Free If the task of invoice design and preparation seems daunting, you don’t need to worry. Lendio's software is a free invoicing and bookkeeping software designed to help your business excel. You can create custom invoices, set up recurring payments and invoices, and automate many bookkeeping aspects of your business. Why spend extra time and money doing everything yourself when you can utilize easy and intuitive software to build your invoices and catapult your business toward success? Get your free account today and make invoices that your customers simply can’t ignore.