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At its heart, an invoice is a bill--an itemized list of the products you sold, or the services you rendered. Usually the invoice lists quantities, prices, and any special fees like shipping charges and taxes.
In previous articles, we’ve looked at the advantages of PDF invoices, generating invoices with Google Docs, and situations where you need a pro forma invoice. However, there may be times where you go out on a job and need to print an invoice on site.
Many industries print their invoices at the job site. Electricians, cable service installers, repair people, house cleaners, plumbers, and computer technicians are just some of the occupations that print on site. The reason is they recognize that a service can change based on the needs of the customer.
For instance, a pest control company might come to your house to do their quarterly spray service. But if you’ve seen holes in your woodwork, you might ask for a termite inspection. If the technician only has a pre-printed invoice brought from the home office, he can’t add the fee for the extra inspection. So printing an invoice on site brings flexibility to a service.
This is fine for a huge pest control company, but how does your small business approach this problem? The answer may be free printable invoice templates.
The alternative to printing your invoice on site is to return to your office, create an invoice and email it to the client. Which is fine, except you’ve already performed the service or delivered the product. There is no rush for the client to pay you. Whereas when you’re on site and you hand them the invoice, they can write you a check immediately.
The longer time that passes between the delivery of goods/services and payment of the invoice, the less chance you have of actually being paid. An invoice can turn into an outstanding invoice, and pretty soon you’re wondering how you’re going to collect on this invoice, and you’re typing up a demand-for-payment letter to your former client.
Don’t get caught up in the collection circus. Find yourself a free printable invoice template that matches your business, and start billing your clients on site. Finish the job with a handshake, a smile and your payment!