If you’re a freelancer, invoice day is definitely a happy day. It’s basically like payday so long as your clients pay on time. It’s unfortunate, but many freelancers struggle with late payments from clients of even non-payment.
To avoid this, you definitely need to carefully vet your clients ahead of time, but the day and time that you choose to send an invoice can also play a significant role.
So what’s the best time to send invoices? Here are a few popular options to consider.
The first/last invoicing method is pretty standard. It ideally means that you’ll send clients a invoice at the beginning of the month (first day) or at the end of the month (last day).
Either option is a good one because at the end of the month, clients are often tying up lose ends and checking off their to-do lists. The first day of the month often represents a fresh start for clients. They may get paid from their sources, coordinate a fresh new list of projects, or set up a new business budget and take care of your invoice quickly to continue working with you.
Sending your invoices on the 15th isn’t a bad idea either. If you’d rather get paid on a bi-weekly basis, sending invoices on the 1st and 15th can help regulate your income as well.
You won’t have to wait 30 days to receive payment if you don’t want to. Just let your clients know about this invoicing schedule upfront first.
When the Client Wants
When does the client prefer to receive an invoice? You don’t have to cater solely to their needs and wants, but the client may have a preference based on their cashflow.
For example, if your client is getting paid on the 1st of the month and reconciling other accounts, you may see a delay in your payment. However, if you mutually agree to invoice on the 5th of every month, that may be a smoother process all along.
See if you can compromise if this applies but don’t feel the need to push past your comfort zone. Clients should still be paying you regularly and in a timely manner.
As Soon As You Turn the Project In
Sometimes it’s just best to send an invoice as soon as you complete the project. This is helpful if you have several clients and could potentially forget to send an invoice. Believe it or not, this has happened to me before and it’s not fun trying to backtrack.
Another thing I see some people do is send an invoice in advance at the start of the project. Asking for all or even just 50% of the money upfront is a definite way to make sure you get your invoice paid on time.
Morning vs. Evening
If you’re wondering, what’s the best time to send invoices? you may want to consider the time of day carefully. While this may not seem like a huge factor, it still plays a role in when you can get paid. I’ve been sending invoices for several years now and have concluded that the best times of day at in the morning or the evening.
This isn’t to say that your invoice won’t get paid if you send it at 3 p.m. It probably will, but there’s a higher chance that your client won’t be near their computer or may be caught up in another project at the time – thus delaying your payment.
I find that it’s best to send invoices first thing in the morning when people are often checking their email and crossing off short tasks. You can also send invoices in the evening after you complete your work for the day. That way, your clients can see them first thing in the morning when they check their email.
Sending invoices often means payday is near, but be care to consider when and how often you send invoices if you want to get paid quickly. Try some of these strategies out and see how they make a difference.
You may want to try to automate your invoices as well each month to make it easier on yourself.