An invoice is a brand ambassador for your business and the most representative form of contact that you have with your clients. The important thing that we want to point out is that your invoice, in fact, represents your business, your service and your brand, all at the same time, so why don‘t you make it as professional and appealing as possible? With little bit of effort, each business can achieve a new level of professional invoicing. Go through our do‘s and don‘ts, and see for yourself that a well designed invoice certainly pays off!
The first important thing you have to keep in mind when invoicing is to send a simple invoice. Make sure it contains all the relevant information and that it thoroughly answers all the possible questions that a customer might ask. A good invoice is the one being clear and direct, functional and easy to read. With just a few standard features in logical order that are easy to understand, from the top to the bottom.
All invoices must contain the following components:
- State that the document you are sending is the invoice. Label it with INVOICE at the top
- Full contact info of your company
- Contact info of the customer
- A list of services/products you provide with prices
- The total amount to be charged
- When it is due/overdue, and the penalties to be expected in the case of overdue
- How /where to pay invoice
- Additional notes and /or comments, specific to the customer
The guide is with the assumption that you already have created a company and have completed all the marketing steps to create your personal brand that represents your company and its identity. Unless you are just starting we have created a sample of business bundle and you can directly download it and adjust it according to your needs. Every single detail in the business bundle is customizable and it is very easy to change it the way that it works specifically according to your business needs. You could change colors, fonts and backgrounds etc. Or if you simply need the invoice templates and save yourself the headache of designing one click here and download the templates now.
- Choose the adequate font
Non-traditional fonts may look fun, but keep in mind that reading statements and invoices should not be difficult for users! In addition, the unconventional font may make your business look unprofessional, and that is certainly something that you want to avoid, don‘t you? Simple, well-known fonts will make your documents easy to read and official looking.
- Carefully design your documents
Keep in mind that more information and less white space are not always better! It‘s proven that clients are more likely to respond to statements and invoices, if they are clear and to-the-point. Be careful how you organize your documents – more does not always mean better!
- Alignment is crucial
When it comes to the clarity of an invoice, alignment is everything. The way it is aligned will affect the invoice’s readability and the way the customer will perceive the marked sections. Highlight the sections you want the customer to read, and make sure you use a consistent alignment throughout the invoice.
- Add logo
Your logo will make your corporate invoice template look official and professional. It can also help solidify and strengthen your brand. Add logo to the upper part of the document and a screen of the logo in the body of the invoice.
- Clean colors and sharp shapes
Keep things sleek by using a super simple page layout with a calming block of color to draw attention to the important part of the invoice. By using too much color, and especially colors that do not represent your brand you risk overwhelming them. Aim to use black for all text and use no more than two or three colors to soften its overall appearance. Choose which parts of the design you want to emphasize and make your documents useful and effective.
- Enable an easy contact
When clients receive invoices and they have a question, it‘s necessary that they can easily contact you. Make sure your contact info and customer service info is prominently displayed on your invoice.
- Poor spelling, formatting and accuracy
Spelling errors and incorrectly describing your product or services can leave an impression on the customer. Make sure that the amounts and currencies are accurate The last thing you want is to get paid the wrong amount or receive payment in the wrong currency. This can all add to payment delay.
Describe the most important factors behind the service that will justify the price. Avoid leaving the impression on a customer that you are unprofessional and obstruct your chances to get paid on time. Check the content a couple of times, before you make sure that everything is in its right place, and that your invoice is impeccable!
- Friendly invoice terms
Everyone in the business must know the commonly used payment terms. If you want to accomplish prompt invoice payments, combine the terms with polite ‘thanks‘ and get the best of results. Instead of using cold language, add a human touch to the invoice terms and and let your notes wear a warm and friendly tone!
In some invoices, you can also notice testimonials which are a good way to show your politeness. Keep in mind that wherever money is involved, being polite is utmost important.
- Consider the old fashioned way
If you choose to send out your invoices via regular mail, you should take care where the window will be positioned on the envelope. In the top left of the invoice above the name and address of the recipient has been aligned so as to fit in the window. This is by far more professional (and efficient) approach of addressing invoices than using stickers or printing the recipient’s name on the front of an envelope.
Designing invoice is not easy, although it may seem so. It’s requires a lot of seriousness and thoughtfulness. You can say that it acts as a tool through which your expectations and professionalism is communicated to clients and you get paid.
Keep in mind that your invoice is a hidden marketing tool, and just imagine how great it would be if you could make your document stand out among hundreds of others!
Sure, invoices are business documents, but this doesn’t mean they have to be boring. You have as much room to customize your invoice as you like, whether you choose it to be simple and minimalist, or make it flashy and enhanced to make your brand identity unforgettable. Whichever style you might choose, the key to success is to have a functional invoice, so do your best to make it that way!
AuthorBio: Mark is a biz-dev hero at Invoicebus – a simple invoicing service that gets your invoices paid faster. He passionately blogs on topics that help small biz owners succeed in their business. He is also a lifelong learner who practices mindfulness and enjoys long walks in nature more than anything else.