What does your invoice say?
Does your invoice simply list the products or services and the invoice amount? What about the application fee you waive? …or the extra hours you don’t bill your client? My invoice used to simply list the products and services billed to my client and the rate. But, since I revamped my billing system, I’ve added the various products and services that I normally provide my client without charge. I list the retail rate and note “no charge” next to the rate. My client might have no idea I was providing products and services others would normally charge for unless I specifically list the various items. Just to give you a few ideas… We have an application fee others would charge anywhere from $20 to $50. We choose not to pass this fee on to our clients, but instead note it as “no charge.” If you process credit cards at your retail location, a backup imprinter (aka a ‘knuckle buster’) is an item that some businesses may charge anywhere from $45 to $75. We simply provide this to our clients, listing it on the invoice as “no charge.” If you provide a professional service, you may have made a conscious decision not to nickel and dime your client with lots of little fees. But unless you list those phone calls, mailings, or extra hours you provided at no cost, your client won’t have a true picture of the real value you provide. Your invoice is one piece of communication your client is sure to read line by line, so use it to build value for your business and improve your cash flow.
Cheryl Cook works to develop business relationships where her experience, knowledge, and ideas can help improve the small business owner’s cash flow. As the Executive Director of Pro Money Inc., Cheryl conducts workshops with the Chamber of Commerce and teaches adult education classes on topics related to cash flow. Cheryl publishes an ezine every other week titled “Cash Flow Tips for Your Business.