Over the last few weeks, I have had an increased amount of VA’s ask my advice on how they can get their clients to pay their outstanding invoices. This is a problem that most VA’s face in their business. Non-payment of invoices don’t only affect the VA’s business but their moral too.
In this blog post, we will look at 5 common invoicing mistakes that VA’s make and how you can avoid them.
1. Forgetting to send the invoice.
You get busy and forget to send the invoice to your client, this happens a lot. Days, weeks, sometimes a month goes by and you still haven’t sent the invoice. Very rarely a client will ask you for the invoice or constantly remind you to send it.
2. Not sending the invoice on time.
Again, a client is not going to remind you to send the invoice. It’s not their job. Not sending the invoice on time will very likely result in late or non-payment.
Important to note: You must send the invoice on time if you want to be paid on time.
3. Not following up on outstanding payments.
Sometimes VA’s are scared to follow up on outstanding payments and put it off for as long as possible. It’s important to take the emotion out of business. If you are owed the money for work done then you have every right to get paid.
4. Making mistakes on invoices.
This is unprofessional and can be easily avoided by double and triple checking your invoice before sending it out. Many clients feel that if they are undercharged then they should not have to pay the corrected invoice, whether you agree or not, you need to ensure that you invoice the correct amount.
5. Not charging late fees.
Big mistake. This should be standard in all contract and on specified on all invoices.
Now that we’ve gone through the 5 most common invoicing mistakes that VA’s make, let’s take a look at how you can avoid them.
- Have your processes and systems in place before you start working with the client, this means onboarding, a contract, and an invoice.
- You must have a signed contract with the client before you do any work. Your payment terms and late fees must be included in the contract. Read what Sir Richard Branson says about contracts.
- Have an automated process setup or use CRM like Sage, 17 Hats or Dubasado (I personally love 17 Hats but there are many more so do spend a little time researching them and ask in Facebook Groups what CRM systems other VA’s are using).
- If you are manually sending out invoices then set a reminder on your calendar to send out the invoice and to follow up.
- Setup your contract and invoice templates to avoid making mistakes on them. You can have 1 template per package to simplify your invoicing process. Check out my 30+ Templates, Checklists and Swipe Files pack where I offer various contract and invoice templates that I use in my own business.
- Take the emotion out of following up on your outstanding payments. Refer back to the contract where your payment policy should be clearly laid out as well as your clause about late fees.
Watch this Live I did inside my Facebook Group for new and aspiring VA’s.