If you’re a home service business owner, you know that sending out invoices is a crucial step in getting paid for your work. Invoices help you show clients what services you provided, what the cost of each task was, and when and how they can make a payment. Without an invoice, it can be hard to communicate this information effectively.
Read through this guide to find out how to optimize your invoicing strategy to ensure you get paid on time and for the right amount.
How to create an invoice
The first part of maximizing your invoicing strategy is to have a quick and easy way to create and edit invoices. One of the best ways to do this is to use a free invoice template that you can download online.
To use our free invoice template, follow these steps:
- Download the template to your computer
- Save it as a file so that you can reuse it as many times as you need to
- Input information for each client by entering the services you provided, their costs, and any additional charges like taxes or fees
- Update the invoice number, client information, and due date
Save the edited version as a PDF with a unique name (for example, AmySmith.March2020.PDF)
This template option is great for those with smaller client lists and easy-to-manage admin tasks.
However, you can also invoice software, such as Jobber, to create, send, organize, and store your invoices for you.
With Jobber, you can:
- Create an invoice from scratch or base it off a quote you created earlier
Customize tasks, costs, taxes, discounts, etc.
- Send your invoice via email or text
- Collect online payment from the client
- Track invoices statuses, such as Draft, Sent, Awaiting Payment, Paid, or Past Due
- Set invoice reminders for completed jobs so invoices don’t fall through the cracks
- Send out automated invoice follow-up emails and texts
This option is best for those with multiple clients and a high number of jobs.
How to send an invoice
Once you create your invoice, you need to figure out the best way to get it to your client. While some choose to send invoices through the mail or even hand-deliver them, we strongly recommend that you email or text your invoices to clients.
Email and text invoices are better because:
- They’re received immediately
- You can set read receipts to confirm they have been viewed
- They won’t get lost in the mail or accidentally tossed out with flyers
- They’re easy to resend, file, store, and find
If you use software like Jobber, you can offer online payments to your clients, and even vault their credit or debit cards.
How do I text a PDF invoice to a client?
When you save your document as a PDF, it will open a new tab in your browser where you can view your invoice. Copy the URL for this document to your phone and send it to your client in a text message. They will be able to click on this link and view the PDF invoice through it.
Alternatively, you can simply open the clients’ invoice in Jobber, and select “Send Text Message.”
How do I email a PDF invoice to a client?
To email an invoice to a client, you can either send them the URL to your PDF (as mentioned above), or you can send the PDF as an attachment to your email. However, be sure not to just send a blank email.
Use an email template like this for your invoices so that you communicate the right information to clients:
Try This Simple PDF Invoice Email Template
Dear [client name],
Please find your [month and year or service provided] invoice attached.
Your invoice details are as follows:
Invoice date: DD/MM/YYYY
Invoice number: XXX-XXX
Total due: XXX-XXX
Payment deadline: DD/MM/YYYY
Payment can be made via [list your accepted payment methods and any necessary details].
Please reach out if you have any questions.
We appreciate your business!
Alternatively, you can simply open the clients’ invoice in Jobber, and select “Email to Client,”
and either use the existing email body template, or edit it to provide more or less information to your client.
When to send an invoice
Timing is everything. While there’s no hard and fast rule for the right time to send an invoices, the sooner you send them, the quicker your client receives them, and the sooner you get paid. However, there are better times to send an invoice:
- Immediately after a job has been finished
- Within 24 hours of a completed job
- On a consistent, recurring basis that your client expects,like the last day of the month (for ongoing work), or every Monday, for example.
The worst times to send invoices are:
- A week or more after a job
- Before a job starts (deposits should be documented separately and in your final invoice)
- On statutory holidays
- Very late at night, or too early in the morning
Integrating successful invoicing
Invoicing doesn’t just help you to get paid on time, it also helps you to keep track of past jobs and clients—information you may need come tax time or if a dispute ever arises.
Getting a system in place may seem difficult in the beginning, but once you’ve got one set up, it will help you manage payments and client details as your business grows.