Spending your night and weekends invoicing? Invoicing whenever you can find your desk? Waiting to get paid for a job that you finished weeks ago? Technology just handed self employed awesome, easy profit capture tools. You can now quote, invoice, provide evidence, and get paid with your iPhone. Even if you are not a technology wiz, these are easy.
Email quotes and proposals before you get home. No more time waiting to get back to the office, or using you weekend time to write up quotes or proposals. These applications let you enter common products and units in a couple keystrokes. So if you are a plumber, electrician, or contractor think about those standard materials you use frequently. The quote and invoicing apps also with Google Contacts so that your customer names, addresses and emails are easily used without fat finger typos causing misspellings and frustration. Several examples to choose from include Omni Invoice, Invoice2go, or GetPaid.
Quickly turn quotes into invoices before you leave the customer. The biggest loss of profit dollars I see in my self employed clients is not billing for extra work done while they’re being to darn helpful. Many contractors don’t have an easy, professional, instant way to modify customer invoices to capture that last minute extra work. iPhone invoicing lets you add materials and hours to the original quote. You can then show it to and email the customer before leaving their home, lawn, office, or worksite. The apps I just mentioned above let you do that.
What if you have backup receipts or other documents? If you have purchased items for your projects and have receipts that you need to justify your invoice, either to forward to the customer or just for you’re your own memory, try Genius Scan. This app automatically sizes the picture size to the paper size, re-squares the image (can you get your camera to line up with the paper in less than 3 seconds, I can’t), and makes that picture bright and clear so it’s easier to see.
Now, just take a credit card payment. No more chasing the client or waiting for your money when you can take credit card payments from your iPhone. Using an application such as Square, you can swipe a card, process the payment instantly and send the receipt to the customer.
Don’t have an iPhone yet? Verizon is expected to get the iPhone by January. Also, many of these apps are available for the iPad if you were looking for a business excuse to have one in your life.
Too busy to research for yourself? What if you want this ease of quoting, invoicing, and taking payment but fear it will mess up your already hectic schedule? I’ll hook you up to the local technology guys that can set up and support you. Call, email, or see me and I’ll get you started.
Hey, my sole priority in life is to help make you profitable and happy so you can work to reach your financial goals. These tools can reduce the stress of collecting from customers so you have more time to build your business. These apps can help to improve your cash flow so much, it’ll feel like magic!
Now stop reading about iPhone Invoicing and start doing! Let’s create your personal profit strategies for growing profit. Call small business profitability coach Merra Lee Moffitt, CFP®. She can be reached at, 888-920-2030 or by email at email@example.com.
In this new era of difficult credit, cash is the life blood of your business. In this series of articles, we’ll look at bringing in cash faster, keeping cash longer, and increasing cash holdings.
Bringing in Cash Faster
- Have orders faxed to you, that way you’ll deliver and bill sooner.
- Send your invoice the same day the product is shipped or the service is delivered. You can prepare it ahead of time. Just date it and mail it on that date if you want to batch your invoices to save time.
- You can also email rather than mail your invoices. That will speed collections. But beware that many business owners are trained to handle the mail. An email invoice could be missed because it’s not part of the normal flow.
- Indicate clearly on the invoice when the payment is due. You can indicate when the payment is considered late and state what the late interest is. But make sure you can back that up.
- Know how the customer pays. When you began working with this customer, you can ask them what their normal pay cycle is. Some pay once a week, others on a certain day of the month. If you note that in the file, you’ll have a better expectation.
- Don’t let invoices get too old. If you’ve forgotten about an invoice, chances are the client has too. When sending a second invoice, include the note, “courtesy copy. This invoice is past due. Please pay promptly if you haven’t already.”
- Establish a regular procedure. Mail invoice copies at 30 days, 60 days, and 90 days. Call at 45 days, 65 days and one last time at 90 days before going to collections.
- Check customer satisfaction. Make sure they are happy with your work. If you do this early in the payment process, they’ll be more likely to remember that 99% of the work was satisfactory rather than dwell on that minute item.
- Put their phone number on the invoice. Statistically, that has improved the collection rate and speed.
- Follow up with a phone call. Call after 45 days. Find out if the payment was missed, by them, lost in the mail, or maybe even by you. When possible, give them the benefit of the doubt.
- Take a portion at the start of the project. Invoicing for part of the project at the start will cover the cost of materials as well as make cash come in faster.
- Accept credit cards. If you don’t already, begin taking credit cards. You generally get your money in 24 hours at a nominal cost of about 2%.
- Keep your Accounts Receivable report up to date and review it weekly. QuickBooks produces these with a few clicks.
- Beware of subcontracting. Sometimes working for someone who works for someone just seems too remote. Review their payment terms and yours at the start of the relationship and again at any time there seems to be a delay. Just letting them know you are on top of it can be the key to having your work paid on time.
Creating a system, watching the details, and maintaining good relationships with your customers will help collect cash faster, speed dollars to you, and improve overall cash flow.
A very good article for improving cash flow for contractors can be found at:http://www.contractingbusiness.com/25/Issue/Article/False/8882/Issue
Merra Lee Moffitt, AWMA, CMFC, CFP® spends all day, everyday helping business owners reach their financial dreams and goals by capturing business profits. She can be found at, 888-920-2030 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.