Freelancing has become a very popular way of working and is a great option for many people. Freelancers are basically self-employed, and they work for clients with whom they sign contracts and who provide them with projects to work on.
One of the basic tasks of a freelancer is to prepare and deliver an invoice to his client at the end of the completed project or at the end of each month. This way, freelancers enable a continuous flow of money and prevent obstacles that occur due to making invoicing errors.
In this article we are talking about the main invoicing mistakes that freelancers need to avoid. Getting familiar with these mistakes can prevent you from doing the same things in the future and thus make your freelancing job run much smoother.
1. They do not have clear prices and charging methods
One of the main things you need to agree with the client at the very beginning (besides what is expected from you on the project) is your price. Many freelancers skip part of talking about their prices because they are uncomfortable starting that topic or think that the client is already familiar with their price range and, therefore, don’t feel the need to talk about it. Not setting clear price terms can be one of the biggest invoicing mistakes you can make as a freelancer.
How to prevent this?
Always discuss the price with the client at the very beginning and conclude what amount will be on the invoices. Also, determine when invoicing will take place and whether you will send it at the end of the month, after the completion of the project or some part of it. Set clear conditions right away instead of waiting for too long, otherwise you will find yourself in an awkward situation when invoicing.
2. They do not list precisely all the tasks they performed during the project
When it comes to working for a client, it is important to remember that nothing is implied. You may feel that there is no need to list all the small tasks you performed during the project because the client is already familiar with everything, but this cannot be further from the truth.
Just think how many other freelancers your client works with and you can conclude that they probably don’t keep all the information about each freelancer’s job in their head. And especially if your price is high, you will need to justify it and explain to the client through the invoice what they received from you for that amount. Always list all tasks in detail and leave no room for re-examination of your work.
3. They deliver invoices that don’t look professional
For a freelancer, his or her credibility is everything. You can’t afford to prepare and submit invoices that don’t look professional, because that can have a very negative impact on your business in the future.
Try to do your best to make invoices that will reflect your seriousness, reputation and dedication to work. If you have a logo, put it on the invoice. Write your first and last name, design the invoice according to the job you are doing and choose the template that will fit.
It is important that your invoice gives the impression that you are a professional, because its appearance tells a lot to the client about you as a collaborator. If you need help creating professional invoices, click here for more information.
4. They’re sending the invoice to the wrong place
Another common invoicing mistake that freelancers make is that they don’t send the invoice to a good place. When you are at the beginning of a project with a new client, it is important that you discuss with them how their company is organized and who makes the payment before sending the first invoice.
Some companies have several different departments, and only one of them does the invoice paying part of the job. Ask where and to whom you send your invoices to avoid embarrassing situations.
Why is this important?
Sending invoices to the wrong place can result in a long delay in payment, as invoices can be lost or even completely ignored. This can lead to some unpleasant conversations with the client, and in some cases even lead to obstacles in cooperation. Inquiries about important information such as where to send your invoices at the beginning can be of great importance in the long run.
5. They do not specify deadlines
If you want to be paid by the client in the foreseeable future, it often does not just mean sending an invoice. It also includes specifying the payment deadline and sending a payment reminder every few days when the deadline is breached.
You would be surprised how much setting open payment deadlines can lead to unpleasant scenarios. Sometimes a client really has no bad intentions, but when they have all the time in the world to pay you off, freelancers often find themselves waiting for weeks (sometimes even months) for their payment.
To prevent this set of events, we suggest that you specify a payment deadline on your invoices. If the client does not meet the deadline, use applications that allow you to send automatic emails every few days.
These emails will serve as reminders and give the client little time to hurry with the payment, because they are already late. These tips and tricks can be very helpful for your business and prevent payment delays that no freelancer likes, for good reason.
Conclusion: Freelancing has become a very popular way of doing business in the last few decades. Freelancers are practically self-employed, and they earn their income by cooperating with various clients. In order to receive your freelancing earnings on time, it is necessary to prepare and send invoices at the beginning, during, or at the end of each project.
However, some freelancers tend to avoid discussing prices at the beginning of cooperation, deliver invoices that look unprofessional, send them in the wrong place, or make some other invoicing mistakes. Avoiding frequent mistakes that freelancers make can prevent unpleasant situations and allow your freelancing business to run much more smoothly.