For the majority of businesses, the invoice that you send your customers is the final piece of communication you could have with that customer, which means that it’s so important that you leave things in a positive light. Most importantly, you’ll want to think about your payment terms.
The payment terms section of your invoice will state the number of days in which your customer has to pay their invoice, as well as any other terms and conditions that relate to the sale. By writing effective payment terms, you can ensure that payments aren’t missed, and your business’s capital doesn’t suffer.
Not sure where to begin? Today, we’re going to talk through everything you need to know in order to write these payment terms, minimising the risk of misunderstanding and problems down the line.
#1 – Consider Your Wording
Politeness can go a long way when it comes to your payment terms and invoice. Be friendly with your content, using words like ‘kindly’ and ‘thank you’ and there’s never any harm in saying please.
Using a positive tone in your invoice helps your reader to view your company in a positive light, not only making it more likely that they’ll pay their bill on time but also consider your company as a friendly, welcoming business.
#2 – The Layout of Items
The next aspect you’ll want to consider is the way you format and structure the items on your invoice. In addition to putting them clearly in a list format, you’ll also want to think about the information you include, giving your customer the best and most detailed experience possible. You can perfect your layout by using structuring tools like Resumention, a similar service to those recommended by the HuffPost ‘Write my paper’ article.
Some informative elements you can think about include;
- The date of the receipt
- A brief description of the goods or services purchased
- The price per unit
- The total price of the invoice
- Tax information
- Any other information your customer might need
To take things to the next level, you might want to think about generating order or purchasing numbers, naming the person the invoice is to and your company contact information in case they want to discuss something. When adding personal information, reference it in a professional format using tools like Cite It In.
#3 – Talking About Late Fees
As a business, you’ll need to make sure that your invoices are paid on time and in full. Otherwise, this can be detrimental to your bottom line. Within the content of your invoice, make sure that you’re hinting about a possible late fee.
“You don’t need to make this sound scary to the customer, simply state that late payments will incur a late fee, typically of a certain percentage, which will be added to the bill. This also creates a sense of urgency and will help your payments come in on time” – says Ann Byler, a Financial Manager at Australian help.
#4 – Short & Sweet
Nobody wants to read through essay’s worth of content for something that can be quite simple, so you’ll need to make sure that your payment terms and entire invoice are kept as short as possible.
This also means you’ll need to lay out your invoices in an easy-to-digest format, so the customer can read the relevant information quickly, without being bogged down by unnecessary wording. For this, you can use formatting guides to help, such as Viawriting and Essayroo.
#5 – Using ‘Days or ‘Net.’
When you’re talking about how long a customer has to pay their invoice, there are two approaches you can take. Financially speaking, many businesses will choose to use ‘net’, such as net30 or net60, which refers to 30 or 60 days to pay respectively.
However, if your customer isn’t aware of these terms, this can cause complications. If this is the case, it can be far more beneficial to simply to use ‘days’, to avoid a misunderstanding. When it comes to the rest of the language you’re using, pick a professional style that your audience will understand. You can find tips and ideas on this using guides like Academized or My Writing Way.
#6 – Handling Larger Payments
If you’re a business that typically charges larger invoices, it may not always be possible for a customer to pay back the full amount straight away, so you’ll need to take this into consideration.
If this relates to you, try offering your customers a split-payment plan where they can pay smaller amounts, even if that’s 50% at a time, over a predefined period that you agree, or state in your payment terms.
#7 – Check for Accuracy
After you’ve finished writing up your invoices with your payment terms, it’s vital that you re-read your content to ensure that it’s completely free from mistakes and errors. If your content houses mistakes, such as spelling, punctuation, grammar or, most importantly, incorrect figures, this will reflect badly on your business and cause complications.
As you can see, there are many things you can consider when it comes to writing a professional, credible and comprehensive invoice with payment terms. Of course, it all depends on what suits the nature of your business, but getting it right can make the difference between a happy customer and a lost one.