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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
If You Sell Your Services, You’re Getting Paid Too Little
If you sell services, you may be working for free. When I’m working with self employed business owners who sell services, I nearly always find that they are not billing for some part of their work. That is, their invoices are missing what they could get paid. These lost billings can be the difference between making a living and having money for business and family security, expansion, and retirement.
Here are the major ways self employed professionals and contractors are losing money in their invoices:
Not writing down your worked hours daily. Lax time tracking leads to missing dollars on your invoices. If you are charging time and materials, your customer has already agreed to pay for this time.
Not billing quickly for work completed. When you wait a couple weeks to invoice, the ‘newness’ has already worn off of the wonderful job you did. This leads to customers questioning the invoice more often, leading to slower pay and sometimes challenging the invoice. Either way you’ve lost money.
Missed additional services. When you hear your customer say, “hey, could you fix this thing over here…”, that’s the sound of appreciation and opportunity. If you discuss the additional cost as soon as the customer makes the request, their most likely response will be “That’s fine.” If you wait till you later invoice, or worse yet miss it, you may be losing money on your invoices. Extras clients most likely knew they would pay for but now assume they won’t because you didn’t mention it at the time.
Multiplying these issues with employees. If you miss invoicing opportunities on our own work, I guarantee your employees are too. They follow your example, pay less attention to the money than you do, and generally get paid by the hour (sometimes even if the customer did not get billed for that hour.)
When my clients find, systematically reduce, and capture these lost billings they find the money to build operating reserves, pay themselves more, build expansion funds, and increase their retirement savings. This often happens without working extra hours. In many cases it also saves time.
So how do you do it? That’s the part that takes a little time, thought, and process. Here’s one new solution that I’ve seen work well. There’s an iphone application that allows contractors to quickly build quotes either while on the customer site or shortly thereafter, such as during a coffee break. This application quickly turns the quote in to an invoice after adjusting for the actual hours worked and materials used. Thus both the quote and invoice can be done quickly, usually the same day as the job. Since it is easy to add hours on the go, it can be quickly adjusted to reflect actual time spent. Finally, since it is simple to use as well as economical, employees can use it as well.
If you’d like to discuss profits through better invoicing or to find other ways to build your own profits without working harder so you can build a healthier financial future, give me a call.
Now stop reading about Your Invoices 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.