No matter what field they hail from, independent contractors wear a variety of different hats. Although contractors are often thought to be “their own bosses,” the truth of the matter is that they answer to a plethora of bosses. Additionally, while contractors are technically able to set their own schedules, they still have to meet deadlines or risk drawing the ire of their employers. On top of all this, most contractors have to submit invoices if they wish to collect payment for their work. When sending out their first invoices, people who are relatively new to the world of independent contracting would do well to heed the following tips.
Use a Professional Template
It’s vitally important for independent contractors to maintain an air of professionalism. With that in mind, make sure that any invoices you submit are created with the Aynax.com free online estimate template. An invoice that’s haphazardly thrown together in the body of an invoice is liable to create the impression of unprofessionalism – and possibly even make certain clients think twice before hiring you again. Furthermore, with a professional invoice template, clients will have a detailed list of the services for which they’re being charged, as well as the cost of each individual service. This is a great way to avoid questions about specific costs, since everything will be clearly outlined within the body of the invoice.
Be Prompt in Submitting Your Invoices
As an independent contractor, submitting payment requests is your responsibility – and yours alone. Keeping track of how much work you’ve done and the amount you’re owed is not something you should expect of your clients. That being the case, make a point of submitting your invoices within 24 hours of completing any work for which you were contracted. The faster your invoice is submitted, the faster you can expect to receive payment. Conversely, the longer you wait, the less likely clients will be to submit your payment in a timely manner. Dragging your feet when it comes time to submit invoices also increases the likelihood that you and/or your clients will forget about them.
Give Your Clients a Little Wiggle Room
Don’t despair if a client doesn’t immediately submit payment after an invoice has been sent. It’s possible the email containing the invoice was detected as spam, thus preventing the client from receiving it. There’s also the possibility that a client’s email server is experiencing problems – or your contact at the company is simply out sick. As a rule of thumb, give clients at least 48 hours before contacting them again in regards to your payment. Additionally, take care to avoid a combative tone when doing so. In the vast majority of cases, there’s a perfectly reasonable explanation for late payments and delayed responses.
Despite being held up as objects of envy by people with traditional nine-to-five jobs, most independent contractors work themselves to the bone on a daily basis. As such, it’s only natural that they’d want to receive timely compensation for their work. Fortunately, provided the above-mentioned pointers are put to good use, submitting invoices and collecting payments shouldn’t prove terribly stressful.