Today’s marketplace has become so competitive, especially for freelancers. Attracting and retaining customers is equally a hard task. There are many variables involved, and you should always know the ones that positively impact your business. Increasing convenience and productivity for your clients is paramount. One of the major ways to do this is by using an invoicing system. The best method to use would be an online invoice maker. It is key to scaling your billing methods and ensuring you bill your clients efficiently and effectively.
Traditional methods of invoicing such as using a spreadsheet or creating paper-based invoices are almost extinct. Furthermore, they show your client you are not ready to embrace change and may not be a good fit for their business. If you are still using traditional methods, you need to learn on the advantages of an online invoicing system. This information will help you understand the benefits of such a system to your business, as well as why it is more of a necessity than a convenience.
The following are nine advantages associated with using an online invoice maker:
If you have one client, you can comfortably use a spreadsheet or paper-based invoicing system. It will work effectively for that one client. The problem with such a system is you will not be able to grow. If your business has started experiencing exponential growth, or even slow but steady growth, you will need to change your invoicing strategy. You will waste a lot of time and energy entering clients’ billing information, particulars of the service or goods, and other necessary information.
When you use an online invoice system or platform, you will find all your clients’ information saved in the cloud. Details such as preferred payment method, payment terms, name, and address will all be saved in a secure cloud server. All you need to do is log-in and select the client you want to invoice. If they are a repeat client with the same project details, you can invoice them in less than five seconds. If the client is a repeat client, but with different projects, all you need to do is to add the particulars of the new project you’ve undertaken. In normal cases, this should take less than five minutes. In simple terms, an online invoice maker will not only speed up the payment process, but it is also easy to use.
There is nothing more assuring than getting a guarantee that all your data is safe and secure. If you have ever lost data, you know the inconvenience involved and why it can be a costly affair. The good thing about using an online invoice system is your data will be backed up in the cloud. Majority of these systems do an automatic backup after every few seconds. This means you will be saving your data in real time. Even if you experience a sudden power outage or system failure in the middle of billing, you do not have to start from scratch.
You should never worry about the amount of storage you have. With a basic account, you will get enough storage to last you at least one year. Take note invoices do not take up large storage spaces. As this is the case, you will be able to save a lot of your invoices even if you subscribe to the smallest package. The good thing about it all is you can access the information even if you are not using your computer. All you need is an internet connection. Currently, the majority of cloud services are mobile friendly meaning you can access them using your smartphone or tablet.
Automation is one of the greatest benefits you will experience when using an online invoice maker. Automation settings will vary from one system to another. For example, if you have recurring clients who have given you a large project, you can use this setting to pay them. At the same time, if the said clients decide they will pay you in percentages, let's say after every 10% of completion of a project, you can set the system to bill them this way. Once you set it up, the invoice system will send an invoice every time you reach the required quota.
Another advantage of automation is payment reminders and follow-ups. These are done for past-due and upcoming invoices. If you are running your business alone, you may find remembering such tasks will be quite challenging. Instead of hiring an administrative assistant to do it, you should get an online invoicing system. It will save you a lot of time and money compared to hiring an individual to do the same. Additionally, you will have peace of mind since you will not need to keep on chasing outstanding payments or sending reminders.
Identity in any business is important. Your identity distinguishes you from your competitors. If you use a spreadsheet, you can make an identity, but it will not be as good as when you use an online system for your invoices. For instance, you are able to add your company’s or business’s logo, fonts, and color scheme when you use an online system. These will match with your company or business logo and fonts. Establishing an identity will go a long way toward helping your company or business gain recognition.
When you strengthen your business identity, you increase the possibility of being paid on time. Researchers have discovered that you increase your chances of being paid on time by 300% when you have an established identity. For example, if your client has a large business with several processes before payment is approved, it may take longer when you do not have an identity. When your brand is established, it reduces the chances of people making mistakes when they are planning on paying for your services.
Customized messages can also be made using an online invoice system. In this case, you can add customized messages for your clients. You can add a “Thank You” message or link to a piece of content that is beneficial to the client. It may seem like a trivial thing to do. However, these messages show your clients that you care about their business and well-being. This goes a long way to creating a solid business relationship.
Security is a priority for any business. You will want to make sure all your data is safe. The good thing about any online platform dealing with financial transactions is they need to meet certain security standards. Even the minimal standards are a plus for you. They need to have SSL encryption and other security layers to ensure their data is safe and fit for businesses to use. This kind of security is quite costly and very few people, and businesses can afford it. Instead of hiring an ICT firm, or buying expensive security software for your computer, you should try using an online invoice maker that has all that incorporated in its features.
When you try securing your data on your own, there are chances you will fail. The protocols involved are quite technical and will need someone who is tech savvy for them to be implemented as intended. Why should you waste your time and energy trying to figure this out while you could be concentrating on your business? This is why an online invoice platform is recommended.
Have you ever met a client who comes from a different country? Have they offered to pay you using their country’s currency? If you have, then you understand the challenges involved when you try to convert the currency and find out whether or not you are overcharging, undercharging, or charging fairly. You will need to have a calculator close to you every time you are making an invoice when you encounter such a client.
An online invoice maker does not have this setback. All you need to do is request the system to auto convert to the currency of your choice. It can make two invoices of different currencies, but with the same details with a click of a button. This should save you time and reduce the stress involved in trying to figure out the conversion rates. Since the system is online, it will give you updated currency rates. You do not need to keep on going online to find out if the rates are higher or lower every time you want to send an invoice.
Most businesses and freelancers work on a laptop or desktop computer. With this in mind, the owners will either have to move around with their laptop if they are traveling or go to their home or office to access their invoices. If you have been running your business using this method, you may find it a bit hectic. In case a client requests for an invoice, you will need to access your computer physically. When you are traveling, this may not be realistic especially if you are using a desktop computer. This may mean a delay in sending an invoice which in turn delays payments.
With an online invoice maker, this will not be an issue. Since the system is online, you can access it from any location, at any time of the day or night. Additionally, these systems are designed to be used with an internet enabled phone through an Android or iOS app. This means you can access, create, edit, and send an invoice even when you are not using a computer.
One of the headaches in any business is auditing. If you have accounting skills, you may find this to be a walk in the park. However, for people with zero accounting skills, this is a nightmare. If you are using traditional billing methods, you will spend hours and maybe even days auditing your business. The stress involved and time spent can be overwhelming. This is not the case when you are using an online billing system. All your data will be stored in one central place. This makes it easier to do any financial tasks including auditing.
A standard online invoice maker will ensure all your data is stored safely and accurately. This will include outstanding payments, expense receipts, defaulting clients, and payments you have received. Additionally, they have a report feature, which shows you how your business has been doing for a particular duration. As such, the auditing process will take no more than an hour irrespective of the size of your business. This feature will also be helpful when you are doing your tax returns.
Some clients will be truthful while others will lie. It is common for clients to claim they never received an invoice, especially when they are experiencing financial straits. On the other hand, sending an invoice using “snail mail” or email may also not be as efficient as you expect. Sometimes mail gets lost or sent to the wrong recipient. The email you send may also end up in the client’s spam folder, meaning they may not see it immediately.
An online invoice maker will send the completed invoice to the client immediately. Since these are renowned systems, the chances of them landing in the spam folder are very minimal. This means you will have a guarantee of your client receiving the invoice. You will not have to wait for days or weeks for the client to receive your invoice. The advantage of this feature is faster payments. The quicker a client gets your invoice, the quicker you will receive payment.
The benefits associated with an online invoice maker are many. If you have been using traditional invoicing methods, you will need to consider upgrading to online methods. There are those that can be customized to meet every financial need of your business. Their services are offered at reasonable prices such that it is more affordable to use them instead of hiring an administrative assistant to handle the work. If you want to improve you invoice system, you should get one today.