For many self employed individuals, establishing a reliable cash flow is pivotal to making their small business work. As a result, mastering the art of invoicing is not just good to know, it’s business critical.
To help you invoice like a pro, we’ve created the following easy to follow guide. Learn what your self employed invoice template should contain and the steps you can take to get your invoices paid on time.
Who needs a self employed invoice template?
If you work for yourself whether you are a freelancer, a sole trader or business owner, you will need to invoice for your services. And we’re not just talking about an email with your payment details on.
For individuals who are self employed in any capacity, a professional looking invoice sets the right tone and shows that you mean business. More than this, invoices are a legal document between you and your client/s so it’s more important than ever that yours is correct in order to make it a binding agreement and ultimately, get paid.
What do I need to include?
The key to a professional invoice is clarity. Make it as simple as possible for your clients to pay you by including:
- Invoice date and number
- Payment date and payment terms
- Total payable (including VAT if applicable)
- Client name
- Details of services rendered
- Your bank details
It is always wise to keep copies of invoices you have raised so that you can refer back if you need to. This is the case even if you cancel an invoice.
What happens after I submit my invoice?
So, you’ve created your invoice and sent it to your client. In an ideal world, you’ll receive payment as per the terms set out in the invoice.
However, latest figures estimate that a whopping £34 billion is owed in late payments to UK SMEs. The average late payment now stands at 23 days behind schedule compared to 12 days the year before.
To help get paid on time, be clear from the start and set your expectations by displaying your payment terms and any penalties on your invoice. A gentle reminder just before payment is due can also help to speed payment along or open up a conversation if there is an issue with payment. It is important to remember that there may be a genuine reason for non-payment and to always keep dialogue open with your clients. At the very least, you should ensure that it is easy for your customers to pay you – complicated log ins, long waits on the telephone to pay and payment by cheque can seriously slow down your cash flow and create friction from a client perspective.
Discover more hints and tips to get your customers to actually pay you.
Could Direct Debit be your self employed invoicing solution?
Suitable for one off, variable and recurring payments, Direct Debit is a trusted, popular payment collection method. With convenience at its core, Direct Debit offers simplicity, allowing you to automatically collect payments on the agreed date.
No more chasing outstanding invoices; no more missed payments.
Getting started with Direct Debit couldn’t be easier when you choose FastPay’s Direct Debit solutions. For businesses without a SUN (service user number), or those unable to get a SUN, our Managed service does it all for you, allowing you to collect payment quickly and efficiently. For those who already have a SUN, our direct debit bureau service will get you up and collecting without the need for expensive Bacs software and maintenance. Both our managed and bureau services can be set up in as little as 24 hours with all paperwork branded in your company’s logo for a seamless customer experience.
Start your journey to better cash flow by calling FastPay on 0161 737 5290. Our Direct Debit experts will talk you through your options to find the best solution for your needs.
Alternatively, you can request a bespoke quote by filling in our easy contact form.