Nothing is as pleasant as receiving money from a freelance client after doing some work. The payment proves that you did a good job. Otherwise, the client wouldn't have paid. There are a number of strategies that freelance businesses can adopt to grow.
However, a growth in the number of clientele and retainer agreement should come with an increase in cash inflow. You need to have money to finance the operations and pay the bills that allow you to provide the services. This means the clients you get should be paying for the services you provide and on time. Otherwise, you risk being cash-strapped and bankrupt.
Many freelancers and small businesses find themselves on the verge of closing shop not because they don’t provide relevant or good quality services. For a number of them, clients drag them to their knees due to payment delays, some of which extend for months. Having a contract helps a lot, but that in itself is not sufficient.
The contract needs to be solid and well written. You would also struggle being paid if you don't prepare and send an invoice professionally. The good news is that you no longer have to wonder how to do it painstakingly through a manual, from scratch process. This is because you can rely on freelance invoice template for ideas. The template is a resourceful tool that all freelancers must have.
So, how does the template make you appear more professional and improve your chances of getting paid?
1. A freelance invoice template eliminates errors
Nothing screams unprofessionalism more than sending an invoice full of errors. According to invoicing basics: up to 40% of paper based invoices have some errors. Some mistakes will have minor consequences such as causing your business a little embarrassment. This is often the case when you are dealing with kind, understanding clients.
Other errors are capable of destroying your fledgling career as a freelancer or at the very least make you lose a few good clients. However, if you don’t adopt strategies to avoid those errors in future, the consequences can be dire. As long as you're keen, you will not commit these costly mistakes.
Common invoicing mistakes that have the potential to damage business relationships include incorrect invoice amounts, wrong address or person, missing or unclear payment options and due dates, and failing to specify what services are being for. Other mistakes such as failing to include your business logo and not sending the invoice on time can also be costly for the business. For example, failure to include certain terms on the invoice can be damaging for your business.
With a template and some proofreading effort before sending the invoice, you can make sure all the necessary details are there and correct before you send the invoice. The template already features the terms necessary, thus reducing your chances of failing to include the crucial ones. It also makes it easier and faster to prepare the invoice so that you can send it on time.
2. Stick to company policies when creating freelance invoice templates
It's common for a new freelancer to begin working without the right policies in place. This is often a mistake because policies are good for your business. They are also good for your clients. It's common knowledge that customers don't want surprises, especially when it comes through invoices. The only surprise they would not mind is a discount.
Avoiding surprise can be achieved by ensuring that you have set some policies addressing things like down payments, penalties for delayed payments, and whether the service/product will only be received after full or partial payment. Including these and other relevant policy reminders in the form of bullet points, or otherwise, in the invoice can be helpful. It helps you keep the client aware of what is expected and the associated consequences of failing to adhere.
A good template would provide for this. Therefore, using the freelance invoice template informs clients about your policies. The result is that it eliminates the unwanted surprises. It also lets them know that the policies in the contract still hold. Therefore, they are expected to meet what is specified in those policies.
An important thing to note here is that the policies presented as part of the invoice serve mainly as a sort of reminder to the client.
It is proper practice to make these policies clear in the contract you sign with your client. Otherwise, if you include policies for the first time in the invoice, the element of surprise will still be there. Further, if the policies have changed in any way, make sure the changes are made clear to the clients.
Failure to make known and stick to the company policies will likely affect how quickly you get paid.
3. Freelance invoices help you charge correctly
When it comes to invoices sent out to your freelancing clients, one thing you should avoid doing is undercharging for services offered. Make your prices close to what's prevalent in the market right now. Quoting low simply to attract more clients to your business is a mistake. If you continue undercharging, there would be nobody else to blame but yourself when your business appears only capable of attracting cheap clients, some of whom take off without paying.
The benefit to charging correctly is also provided by the fact that you are less likely to leave some things out as discussed in more detail below.
4. Includes all services offered and their charges on your freelance invoice
The freelance invoice template is a great resource for anybody who wants to be as professional as possible in the eyes of his clients. The template ensures that you include all the services you have offered and their respective charges. This way, clients have no problem understanding the invoice and sending the payment on time. This is a great way for both of you to monitor what has already been done and paid for, thus keeping a proper record of completed tasks and payments.
It’s very embarrassing and potentially damaging to the business to send your clients an invoice quoting charges that are too high above the market prices. It’s one thing to charge a high price for a high-quality service that the client has asked for and that you have actually delivered. It’s another to send an invoice charging them extravagantly for services that they didn’t request or over-charging for a poor service. This is a real possibility if you are creating an invoice from scratch each time you are billing a client.
5. Freelance invoices help you to be quick about invoicing
When you are a freelancer, you probably want to cut down on time spent preparing invoices and chasing payments. Much of your time should be spent looking for and providing services to more clients. You also want to spend it running the administrative functions of your business such meeting your tax obligations. You also don’t want to keep a client waiting too long for an invoice when they are ready to pay.
Further, fewer lengthy delays in your processes help make you appear more professional. This will be difficult without templates. They allow you to create invoices faster with fewer errors and are also essential in automating the invoicing process.
6. Freelance invoices display acceptable methods of payment
Some clients might send you payment using methods that you don't accept. Some of the methods might not even exist in your country. After all, freelancing allows you to work with clients from all corners of the world. The freelance invoice template ensures that the client only uses methods you accept to send payments. The clients can't say they made a mistake, because the acceptable methods of payments are clearly displayed.
Common methods are PayPal, AlertPay, and Skrill. The specific payment terms will, of course, vary depending on what works well for you and your clients. What you should however do is to find out the norm within the industry. Which payment methods are most businesses similar to yours using and which ones do customers prefer? Once you’re clear on this aspect, your invoice and your business will look more professional by indicating the methods clients can use to pay.
7. Freelance invoice templates indicate due dates for all payments
A good template should have a section that allows you to indicate when the payments are due. The client should not feel confused. The invoice should be clear on this matter. Otherwise, clients might remain with the invoice for long without settling the debt they owe you simply because you failed to tell them clearly when the payment is due. Each invoice must have a due date.
Indicating the due date gives you the security needed. Therefore, as long as you get the right freelance invoice template, your clients will see you as a true professional. You must prove your professionalism. Don't forget to include your contact details. In fact, get a software that includes your contact details automatically on the invoice to avoid making mistakes. The template should also number the invoices automatically for future reference in case problems arise.
8. Freelance invoices create the impression of a classy business
Freelance invoice templates allow you to move from the basic, drab invoice to one that makes your business appear classy as well as professional. What’s more, you can achieve this with so much ease.
9. Freelance invoices create consistency
Regardless of whether you are issuing printed invoices or sending them online, it is important to maintain consistency. This helps cement your image, identity, and brand among clients. It may have been difficult if every single time you want to invoice a client, you are scribbling down an invoice. With invoice templates, however, it becomes much easier to maintain consistency in the appearance, correctness, and effectiveness of your freelance invoices. You can, of course, change the layout, font and overall look of your invoices, but not too often that your regular clients are left confused. In this regard, it’s also easier to change the appearance and your business information when you are dealing with templates.
These features and benefits associated with a freelance invoice template can make your business look professional. They can also improve your chances of getting paid. There are a lot of free and paid for freelance invoice templates available. Therefore, freelancers have a wide variety from which to choose an appropriate template for their businesses. There are modern, clean, simple, complicated, corporate, and creative designs. However, you need to select the right template for your invoices. It’s not a matter of just picking a template that has your favorite colors and font. There are a number of factors that you have to consider when making these choices.
Select the invoice template with the type of impression you want to make on the client who receives it on your mind. The template will largely depend on the type of freelance service you are providing. For instance, an origami-inspired template might not be so appropriate for a freelancer providing legal services. There are times when a clean, simple design is what works for the business brand. There are also businesses where a more adventurous, complicated design is okay. It all depends on the type of business you are engaged in and the nature of clients you are sending the invoices to and the impression you want to make. Your business brand will also help you determine whether you pick a personal, friendly, bold, vintage, minimalist, graphic or playful type of invoice template.
10. What platform is best?
With many freelance jobs being provided online, it makes sense that the invoicing process should be free of geographical limitations that affect the time of receipt of the invoice, the effect if which spills over to when payments are made. Online invoicing has, therefore, become the norm; reducing reliance on paper invoices. For this, invoicing software are used as they automate the invoicing process, making it faster to prepare and send the invoices as well as keep track of what has been invoiced.
There are many types of software, some as basic as Microsoft Word and Excel, that you can use to create invoices. Others like Bonsai with which you don’t have to manually create the invoices yourself. The software platform used should be selected carefully with consideration being placed on factors such as costs, ease of use, and the number and type of payment methods supported. The features should also be a perfect fit for your specific invoicing needs, how tech savvy you are, and the reputation of the template software. It makes no sense to try and use software that you are not familiar or comfortable with when the invoice needs to be sent as soon as possible. Doing so would likely increase errors in your invoice; a mistake that you should avoid.
11. Is it customizable?
A fully customizable freelance invoice template is essential for your business. You may want to add your business logo, change the colors to match those of your business website, card, or social networking profile. These features help clients recognize your business better. You also need to be able to change fonts when you wish and edit details such as your name, contact details, client’s name and contacts, invoice number, and date, descriptions, payment dates and terms, as well as currency due.
It should also allow you to include a thank you message to express your appreciation for the client who has ordered a service from you. A good template should allow you to make these changes whenever you deem necessary. It should also be relatively easy to make these changes.
12. Are the small details right for you?
There are minor details to the template that one can easily take for granted, but which affect how well the freelance invoice template serves your business. Things such as the margin sizes, distribution of white spaces, font size, and scaling can easily be forgotten. Despite the ease with which these features can be ignored when selecting a template, they are important most especially if you're in a web design business. This is so regardless of whether it is for an online or printed invoice. They contribute to the appearance of the invoice; whether it looks professional or as though an amateur prepared it.
These details, though minor also affect the readability of the invoice. You want a clean, professional-looking freelance invoice that is easy for the client to read.
A simple thing like making the total amount bold makes it easy for the client to find the amount s/he is expected to pay. Therefore, focus on what will make it easy for your client to read and understand the invoice; not just what looks attractive to you. After all, the client is the one enabling you to pay your bills, and you want to be paid quickly. Achieve this by making it easy for the client to clearly tell what s/he is being charged for, how much the charge is, and how the fee should be paid.
You also don’t want the clients to have any doubt or excuse regarding your policies. Make them clear by paying attention to these minor yet important details whenever you are selecting a freelance invoice template.
The typical large business will have an employee/s that is tasked with handling the invoicing and debt recovery. For the freelance business, until such a time when the business has grown enough to employ some people to take over certain tasks, you perform all the tasks that need to perform. Therefore, even if invoicing is not one of your favorite activities, you just have to handle it. It, however, doesn’t have to be so unpleasant.
With the right tools, freelance invoicing can become less of a nightmare and more of a business activity that you can do easily, comfortably and perhaps even enjoy it. Having a professional-looking invoice is one of the several measures; an important step to improving the chances of getting paid for your freelance work quickly. However, there are other strategies too, that you should learn too in order to improve chances of your invoices getting paid on time, including making follow-ups. Use the templates, tools, and strategies that can help you get paid.
How to create a freelance work invoice template
Finance is one of the crucial aspects of a business. To succeed as a freelancer or individual consultant, you need to be paid for your work. Besides, you want to do your best to make clients happy about your services to keep them coming back, and that makes room for fast payment as well.
While charging for services rendered is essential, you must employ a reliable invoicing system to track and monitor your due payments. If you have a large client base requiring you to send multiple invoices, manual entering of data and repetitive invoicing may become boring and tedious; hence the need for a freelance work invoice that you can customize to meet your needs.
Such a template gives you room to add your logo, name, address, and other needed details. If you are still in doubt about how a modern invoice looks like, see the features of your ideal invoice template.
1. Here’s what your freelance work invoice should include
Don't forget including any of the below:
A professional header - Your business name or full name should start your invoice; it should be in a professional and easy-to-read font. Add your logo if you have, and if you don’t, it's okay. Just ensure your business name appears in a bigger font than other texts.
1.1. Contact info
Your freelance work invoice should carry your contact information. At least, it should include your phone number, email address, mailing address, and your website right under your business name.
1.2. Client info
The document should specify the recipient of the invoice — the name of recipient or company, email address, phone number, and website. You may also add other info that would help track the invoice.
1.3. Invoice number
Add an invoice number after your contact information. An invoice number helps you track the invoice. Choose any numbering system, but ensure it is sequential. For instance, if your first invoice is A1001, the next should be A1002, even if it is for a different client.
Your freelance work invoice should have the date it was prepared and sent to your client. A freelancer might need to refer to this date if the client takes too long to respond. Also, the due date must be stated if you don't want a delay in payment. Some consultants use 30 days, 45 or 60, as the timeline. Invoicing a client immediately after completing a project is a healthy practice.
1.5. Payment terms & options
Specify your payment option or as agreed between you and your client. Add your preferred payment details like Paypal email address or Payooner address to the invoice. Besides, your freelance work invoice should have a break down of the service and charges for each plus the total amount due.
2. Types of freelancer work invoices
Freelancers carry out different services for their clients, and depending on the service you offer; there's an invoice that captures your business and provides the best way for you to get paid.
- Standard Invoice - This is the regular invoice that bills you’re a client for services performed by a freelancer.
- Recurring Invoice - This type of freelance work invoice is employed in billing a client regularly. It is usually for predefined monthly subscriptions or services.
- Prepayment Invoice - it is an invoice sent to collect deposits for service as a portion of the total amount owed.
- Credit Invoice - You send this invoice when you offer a refund to your client.
- Mixed Invoice - It carries both credit and the charges made to the account of your client.
- Time-based Invoice - Freelancers that charge hourly use this invoice to bill their clients.
How to create a freelance invoice template PDF
Freelancers have the liberty to choose their work, time to work, and the fees to collect for their jobs. But when it comes to payment, some freelancers and consultants often encounter challenges. Among other steps, using a professional invoicing system can be of help in getting timely payment from clients.
As an independent consultant, a freelance invoice template PDF is needful in requesting payment from your clients and in enhancing consistent positive responses. Since every business is unique, your business invoice should speak your brand and represent you well professionally.
1. How to customize the freelance invoice template PDF
Most businesses have billing statements and invoices, which they employ to bring professionalism to their companies. As a freelancer, you can have yours too. You don't have to be limited because you work for yourself.
You don't have to craft an invoice if you are yet to get one; you may download a freelance invoice template PDF to give you the needed guidance. Better still, if you must draft a unique freelance invoice, we have detailed information on the relevant items to be included in your ideal billing document.
Follow the guide below on how to use a freelance invoice template PDF:
- Download a template or start drafting your unique invoice
- Add your name and contact information- email address, mailing address, phone number, and website.
- Client information same as above
- Choose a preferred invoice number to track your billing documents
- Include the date of issuance and the due date for payment
- Add the job code or number if available
- Describe the job you have performed
- Outlines the services against fees charged
- Include the hourly charge for each service and sum the charges to get the total amount due
- Add a line for discount (1-2%) for early payment (optional)
- Payment terms and conditions- a penalty for late payment, etc
- Preferred currency if sending internationally
- Add a line for a personalized note to thank your client (optional)
2. Using a freelancing invoice template PDF like a pro
Freelancers' invoice can take any form given the nature of the service performed. Some projects are billed per-hour while others take a flat rate. Irrespective of the nature of work, a freelance invoice template PDF should be flexible to accommodate the billing method of a project.
For complicated projects like research or web development, it is crucial to note this consideration in customizing a freelance invoice template. Invoicing like professional make companies see that you are competent and may enhance effective and efficient payment from them. See these tips for better invoicing.
2.1. Avoid complications
Some times, services offered may involve some complications. A clear and concise explanation would be fine for the recipient. Let them know the services you rendered and the billing accordingly.
2.2. Keep things simple
Shorten payment terms in such a way that won't confuse your client. If the service offered is more than one, consider adding a table in your freelance invoice template PDF. No one has the time to be studying your invoice before approving payment.
2.3. Be flexible
You should be flexible in your invoice as a freelancer because the nature of your job demands it. Since you are answerable to no one, personalize your freelance invoice template PDF, which may help in fostering a long-lasting relationship with your client. In case you have a delay in payment after clients receive your invoice, it is advisable to exercise some patience, especially if the client has a good record with you.
How to draft your invoice for freelance work
If you’re working as a freelancer, be it full-time or part-time, you would have certainly faced the question of invoicing. Being a freelancer is similar to owning a business in this aspect. Correctly invoicing your clients is a crucial aspect of freelance work, just like it is for a business.
Since freelancers do not have the advantage of having an accounts department, they have to take care of the invoicing themselves. However, invoicing is not a difficult process once you spend a little time familiarizing yourself with the process and building a system.
The faster you can invoice and the more professional your invoice looks, the better it is for your freelancing career. This where having an invoice for freelance work template comes in. There are several reasons why invoicing is important.
1. Your client will need the freelance invoice template for their records
Not every client would ask for an invoice, but you will find many who request it. They will need an invoice for their own accounting and tax records. If your client is a company, they may not be able to process your payment without an invoice.
A company will have internal processes in place that only allow payments on receiving an invoice. This ensures that they can account for all their outgoing payments.
2. You will need freelance invoice templates for tax purposes
Any person who receives an income needs to be aware of the income tax laws of their jurisdiction. Even as a freelancer, you will need to pay income tax if you are eligible for it. When you file your income tax returns, you should declare your income to be a certain amount.
In the event that you get audited, tax professionals will need to ascertain your income to judge whether you have paid the right amount of income tax. At this point, you will need all your invoices to prove your income to the tax authorities. Having an invoice for freelance work template will help you with this process because you will have a consistent numbering system for all your invoices.
3. Freelance invoice templates help you get paid faster
We all need to be paid for our work, but for some inexplicable reason, freelancers find it harder to get paid on time. If you invoice your clients as soon as the work is done and approved, you have a much higher chance of getting paid and getting paid on time.
Clients will also find it easier to process their payment if they have an invoice that they can rely upon. You should not wait for a client to ask you for an invoice before sending one.
4. A freelance invoice template makes you more professional
When you have a proper invoice for freelance work template that you use to bill your clients, it will make you seem more reliable and professional. Clients will consider you to be more in control of your work, when you send them a proper invoice for the work you have done.
5. Important points to cover in your freelance invoice template
The advantage of having an invoice for freelance work template is that you don’t have to make one from scratch every time you bill a client. When you make an invoice template, you should ensure that it covers some basic sections. These sections will make your invoice more useful and will help you in the short and long run.
Your invoice should have an identification number that is unique to that invoice. Further, it should have the date and your name, address and contact information to make it easier for clients to find you again, and for legal reasons. It should contain a clear description of the service provided, the amount to be paid, and identification details of your client like their name and address.
Freelancers need to be professional about all aspects of their services if they must gain the trust of their clients, and that includes invoicing. Ensure that your freelance work invoice is simple, detailed, and precise. Nobody likes paying bills, keep your payment terms simple, and help your clients understand your invoice to enhance fast payment.
As a freelancer, every job you complete counts likewise payment. More often than not, you may not be paid until you send an invoice. It would be helpful if you have a freelance invoice template PDF to call upon whenever you need to invoice a client. You save time with an editable template than drafting a new billing document each time you need to send one.
Generate an invoice for freelance work template today, so that you can start billing your clients and receiving payments. Remember that having an invoice template makes the process much easier and faster.