The rise of technology has proved a boon to small business owners who were caged in a bottle and freed by the genie sent to the rescue. The lack of resources to hire dedicated staff or delegate the responsibilities to individuals with a little know-how of accounting continues to weave a thicker, complex system which ends up causing you loss and puts you under unavoidable pressure.
You ask small business owners to name one thing leaving them to a near-death experience, and they would reply in unison- Invoicing and accounting errors. There are too many things on their mind to pay attention and focus on invoicing. They fail to take time to check whether the invoices have been sent or not, and when they do happen to take some time, they’re on the verge of collapsing due to mental exhaustion. A top-rated invoicing software for small business is an ideal solution.
The amusing bit is how management teams fall to silly errors, which you don’t expect from high-performing executives, and the chain of cash flow gets broken sooner or later. Let’s study about the common mistakes and how invoicing software could help to save face and day. We would classify it into two sections: Areas of improvement and rewarding the clients.
Areas of Improvement
1. Don’t Delay the Invoice Process
You should never delay the invoice process. The casual approach of generating and sending an invoice later on or at the end of the day is the root cause of all issues related to accounting. You miss the reminder at the end of the day or postpone it to the next morning due to an unexpected flow of work right before you’re about to leave the office. Doesn’t it sound familiar?
2. Slipping through the Mind
What about forgetting to send an invoice in the first place? It complicates and delays the whole cycle. One of the reasons why individuals forget to send an invoice is the workload, and it’s only a matter of time before they start feeling the pressure. The productivity standards would take a hit, no matter whether you want to accept it or not. Investing in an invoicing software would eliminate the chances of not sending the invoices in time.
3. The Case of Missing Details
The absence of an expert individual would result in work-specific horrendous mistakes. Take the example of missing or incorrect details. The only excuse the guilty person would have is he or she was preoccupied with several tasks, and it was not their fault entirely to miss some sections in the invoice. It may sound reasonable to an extent, as long as we’re talking among ourselves but the moment the invoice is sent there’s no looking back. You need to put twice the efforts to rectify the mistake and apologise for it.
4. Failure to Itemize the Invoice
The client or customer would calculate the fee and crosscheck before making a payment. Any failure on the part of the merchant to add items in an order or miss a few of them would cause unnecessary to-and-fro, and delay the payment process as a result.
5. Simplify the Invoice Details
The invoice should accurately have all the details. It should carry vital information with each column specifying the details. Any discrepancies would lead to confusion. It doesn’t end there. The client feels a bit disappointed at the nature of the mistake and questions the professionalism.
6. Selecting the Wrong Department, Recipient
The list of human errors in judgement, sometimes, causes an embarrassment. Sending the invoice to the wrong person, the team isn’t justifiable. The instance could jeopardize business ties with the client.
7. No Follow-up on Outstanding Invoices
The last thing you want is to miss the follow-up on existing invoices. It becomes the responsibility of the concerned individual or team to keep a track whether the client has paid or how much amount he owes to the company.
8. The No-Cloud Backup Option Haunts for Lifetime
Business teams should use cloud backup services to have everything safe, secure in the case of unforeseeable damage done to the physical machines. What if a business unit failed to use the cloud services and invoices were not backed at all? It’s the beginning of a financial loss which would spin severe consequences in the months to come. Innovative business solutions follow a proactive approach and nullify the chances of any such incidents by storing everything in the cloud from the moment go.
9. Don’t Tarnish the Reputation by Not Disclosing the Fee Structure
What clients often complain about is the kind of shock they experience after finding some figures left unexplained in the voice. It doesn’t only leave the company a lot of explaining to do but lose the trust factor in the process. It’s a suicidal error and the one every business owner should avoid at all costs.
10. Insert the Late Fee Charges
Management teams can help the cause by adding a late fee penalty to the invoice. The clients would keep it a reminder and make arrangements to pay before the end date to avoid extra charges. As a business owner, you don’t want to compel clients to pay extra, but it’s an industry standard to run the system efficiently. There’s always an exception to waive off the charges for the loyal clients.
Reward the Customers
11. Put Incentives for Early Payment
If there’s a penalty for late payment, there shall be a reward for paying it earlier than scheduled. All successful ventures reward customers for making payments in time and strengthen the brand-client association.
12. Multiple Payment Options Fasten the Payment Cycle
Businesses should offer multiple options to the clients to select a payment mode of their choice. It makes sense as each client prefers a specific payment mode or channel. By limiting the payment options, you’re driving the business away from the company. It’s time to adapt to digital and cryptocurrencies to stay competitive.
13. Invoices As A Marketing Channel
Businesses have penetrated the art of marketing in the digital era. Some brands attach newsletters along with invoices to educate the customers about forthcoming deals and keep them abreast of the developments in the industry.
14. Custom Invoicing to Create the Brand Identity
A brand logo on the invoice goes a long way in making an impression. The client would instantly differentiate between your brand (With a logo on it) and invoices without the logo. It lends credibility, earns trust and confidence. It’s a rare opportunity to introduce the client to corporate values and work philosophy followed at work. Such initiatives would bring the brands a step closer to winning over the existing and new clients.
15. Highlight the Warranty, Guarantee Features
Business teams shouldn’t spare a single opportunity to advertise about the selling features of their product, services. They should highlight any warranty or guarantee offered and mention it clearly for the clients to catch a glance of it at first sight. The best agencies don’t stop there. They consider it their responsibility to resolve any issues the client has with the warranty, guarantee.
16. Offer Flexible Payment Options
Business owners don’t want to lose clients or suffer due to the long gap in payments. They should look for a middle path where the client can make monthly payments instead of paying it in full. The idea is to simplify the process rather than complicating things in the name of policies. You don’t want to lose a client. It’s a kind of loss that dampens the spirit.
17. Follow Exemplary Customer Service Standards
Business units of all sizes and shapes have learned the importance of treating every single customer uniquely. The invoicing process is no exception. It’s a part of the customer service experience. It could serve as an ideal opportunity not only to influence the decision to make a timely payment but also build a long-lasting partnership with them.
18. Pay Cycle and Sync the Invoice Date
Every client would have a different payment cycle and operations team cannot make the mistake of not syncing it with the invoice generation and sending process. What if you keep on sending invoices on irrelevant dates? It would make the client think about intentions, work ethics.
19. A Contract Between Two Sides
Brands and clients should sign a contract to let common sense prevail. Signing a contract would bring much-needed clarity, stability and a sense of assurance for both sides involved. It abolishes any chances of common sense being found guilty of not making things obvious.
20. Time to Switch to Innovative Payment Solutions
Businesses need to embrace technology to stay in the hunt for a larger market share. It’s time to make the transition to intelligent, technology-driven accounting solutions. There are so many such brands which comes to the attention to have transpired the markets worldwide. The accuracy factor is undeniably the most sought-after in accounting.
Invoice software is not just another service. It streamlines the whole process. It brings all departments together and fuels the future growth of the business. The regular cash flow enhances productivity and team spirit in the company.
Also read: Why Your Business Should Launch a Mobile App