Earning one’s livelihood as a contractor isn’t always easy. In the absence of a steady stream of repeat business, many contractors find themselves grappling with financial uncertainty and anxiety about the future. Since most contractors are unable to rely on regular paychecks, it’s only natural for them to expect payment for their services at a client’s earliest possible convenience. However, when it comes to submitting invoices, newer contractors sometimes have trouble learning to odds and ends. Contractors looking for effective ways to avoid invoicing mishaps can benefit from the following pointers.
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1. Don’t Be Shy
When they’re just getting their start, many contractors are hesitant to submit their invoices until a client directly requests that they do so. In some respects, this approach is understandable. After all, if you’re trying to make a positive impression on a new client, forcefulness is unlikely to accomplish this goal. However, it’s important to keep in mind that there’s nothing wrong with wanting to be paid for your services in a timely manner. Furthermore, many clients become frustrated with contractors who drag their feet when it comes time to send out invoices. You may think you’re being polite, but all waiting accomplishes is drawing the ire of clients and ensuring that your payments are processed late. To nip this problem in the bud, make a point of sending out each invoice within 48 of completing your work. Additionally, take care to assure your clients that they’re free to contact you regarding any revisions your work may require.
2. Learn Each Client’s Policy on Invoicing
As any seasoned contractor can attest, not every client is going to have the same policies when it comes to invoices. While some clients require contractors to keep track of their own hours and assignments and create their own invoices, others are happy to carry out this task for you. Before beginning work for a new client, it pays to learn which of these camps they fall into. This will help prevent any invoice-related misunderstandings down the line and ensure that neither party expends more effort than needed. When dealing with clients who require contractors to put together their own invoices, why not create your invoices online at Aynax.com?
3. Provide Clients with Some Wiggle Room
Every contractor has to deal with a late payment at some point. In some instances, this is because of invoices being submitted late. In others, late payments are the result of errors on the part of clients. More often than not, there’s a perfectly reasonable explanation for why your payment is late – and it almost never entails a client deliberately withholding money you’re owed. As such, it’s a good idea to avoid flying off the handle and adopting a combative attitude when a payment isn’t submitted by an agreed-upon date – especially if you hope to retain clients.
Supporting oneself as a full-time contractor can be equal parts challenging and rewarding. While finding repeat business is liable to cause the occasional headache, the satisfaction you’ll derive from bolstering your client roster is incomparable. At the end of the day, however, contracting is still a job – and a job entails receiving compensation. With this in mind, all fledgling contractors would be wise to learn the ins and outs of creating and submitting invoices.