Traditionally, a business creates an invoice at the end of each billing period. The invoice is then printed and mailed out. Even though it’s been this way for decades, it’s inefficient.
Thanks to online invoices, you can generate and send your invoices faster. As a result of sending invoices electronically, you don’t have to wait for a check to arrive via snail mail. It’s emailed to the client and paid with just one-click of a button.
Not only does online invoicing improve your cash flow, it’s also more convenient for both parties. better for the environment, and allows you to track all of your invoices. But, did you also know that online invoices can make you money as well?
Online Invoices Save You Time and Money
By saving money, you end-up having more money in the bank. And, that’s the main perk of online invoices. It eliminates costs for stamps, printer ink, and envelopes, as well as someone to handle them.
Online invoices can:
- Keep track and improve of your company’s cash flow since invoices can be sent on a specific schedule.
- Create new invoices in a matter of minutes since you can recreate similar ones or reuse an old template.
- Assign each invoice a unique client number or a sequential numbering system.
- Having too many mistakes can delay a payment — it’s also expensive to correct. With online invoice, you can reduce errors because online invoicing solutions calculate totals, VAT, or currency rates. They also can pick-up any typos.
Remember, your time is money. When you spend less time spent invoicing, you can focus on other areas of your business that can help bring-in more cash.
The Wonderful World of Automation
Online invoices have another incredible perk — the ability to automate.
This means that you can send out automated payment reminders, late payment notifications, or set-up recurring payments. As a result, you’re reducing the amount of work needed to create traditional invoices like capturing expenses, billable hours, and processing client’s’ data. There’s also the bookkeeping components such as business intelligence, taxes, and data storage.
Automation also keeps the cash flowing into your business. This is because instead of waiting for a client to approve an invoice, funds are automatically withdrawn from their bank account account or credit card.
In fact, according to Concur, automation “delivers an average of 29 percent reduction in invoice processing costs, which can translate to $300,000 per year for an organization that processes up to 10,000 invoices per month.”
Moving On Up…to the Cloud
In the past, all relevant invoicing documents, like expenses and copies of the invoice, we kept in a filing cabinet. This was a necessity in case you client had a question or your business get audited. The problem that keeping and organizing paper documents costs both time and money.
It’s been found that on average it costs a company $122 to find a lost document. Additionally, companies spend around $25,000 to fill one file cabinet, with an additional $2,100 annually to maintain. And, searching for documents consume 20 percent of an employee’s time.
With online invoices, everything is stored on the cloud securely. Not only does this eliminate the cost of purchasing filing cabinets. It also reduces the costs of maintaining and searching for documents. In fact, if you need to pull-up a previously sent invoice, you can quickly locate it by typing in the invoice number.
Considering that we live in a global economy, it’s completely possible that you have clients from all over the world. That’s great for business only if you are able to accept multiple currencies. After all, it takes time and pricey transaction fees to exchange currencies.
With platforms like Due, we charge an industry low 2.8 percent for every transaction. So, if you have clients in China, Germany, or Brazil, you’ll be charged that same rate. Better yet, funds are available within one to two business day.
Simply put, when you have online invoicing, you can expand your global reach since it’s affordable and convenient for clients to pay for your products or services. To get started with global payments, however, I suggest you check out this previous Due post from Angela Ruth.
Online Invoices as a Lean, Mean Marketing Machine
Finally, you can use your online invoices as marketing tools. Doing so will help you make additional revenue the next time you send out bills. Here’s a couple of suggestions on how to do so.
- Offer a discounts or coupons. For example, in the message section of the invoice, mention that you’re offering a five percent discount on the client’s next invoice towards your writing services.
- Launch a referral program where you offer the client and their referral a discount on an upcoming project. You could give them a gift card, free 30-day trial, or free products that your company manufacturers. Since 65 percent of new business generally comes from referrals, this is a slam dunk.
- Provide additional products or services that are related to your business. If you’re a web designer, for example, then you could also offer related products or services like web hosting. This way your clients are doing one-stop shopping.
- Highlight other products or services you provide. Do your clients even know that you offer a service like web hosting? The only way they will is if you let them. Attach a PDF file containing a flyer, brochure, or catalog of all the products or services your company offers.
- Include an invitation. Do you have an upcoming sale, webinar, or customer event on the horizon? Include a link to the landing page of the event so that they attend. It may not result in immediate sales, but it will strengthen the relationship with your customers.