When you operate in the cleaning industry, you have a lot of things on which to focus your attention. It might be the equipment, the clients, the vehicles, or your business’s financial health.
However, there is something else you must prioritize: making sure your invoices are paid on time.
With the typical business waiting 72 days for payment, getting your invoices paid is more crucial than ever. This is especially true given that paid invoices are the best method to enhance cash flow, which is frequently the lifeblood of any business.
Today, we'll look at several tested methods for cleaning businesses to improve their invoicing efficiency and get paid faster.
The most crucial thing that cleaning service owners can do is manage their funds. It would be ridiculous if a cleaning service had a sloppy system.
Keeping copies of your invoices, client information, and multiple receipts and financial records around the office or at home is asking for trouble.
They might be lost, damaged, or any number of other things that could happen to them.
However, if you utilized an online invoicing system like Blinksale, you would never have to hunt for customer contacts or save receipts in a huge folder. Everything is in the cloud, and you can access it from anywhere at any time.
Price List Flexibility
You may have gone over your planned pricing list when creating your business strategy. However, before you begin working, you must first iron out the specifics.
Remember that your pricing list should include:
- Knowledge & Experience
- Business Address
- Business Employee Size
- Workload Speed
- Other Services
Once you've determined your pricing range, keep it as flexible as possible.
Price flexibility means more prospects for bigger contracts, which means more money in the end. A solid pricing list will make it easy for you to produce quotations and refer to the costs if there are any disagreements.
Terms and Conditions
Before you even start getting clients, you need to have your exact terms and conditions in place. As a cleaning business, you'll need to have your credentials and insurance ready.
Aside from that, you should establish certain terms and conditions to avoid any misunderstandings for you or your clients. Specifically:
- establish a payment deadline (15 days is recommended)
- assess if late payments may incur interest
- choose how they will pay you: after the work, before the work, or partially after the task
- if the client is dissatisfied with the work, establish any discount rules
You'll have clear terms that won't startle your client and that you can return to if an issue occurs.
Be creative with Invoices
You can settle using standard black and white invoices. You may also pick an invoice that is appropriate for your business.
Using an invoice template is OK, although as previously said, there may be some issues. You may customize your invoices using an invoicing system like Blinksale.
You will become unforgettable to your clients if you submit an interesting invoice. One of the reasons clients pay late is because they just forget, but if you follow these other procedures and produce an appealing invoice, your client will pay you much sooner.
Send a precise quotation before the work starts
Even though you've set your terms and conditions, you still need to work out the details of the task.
What will the cost be per room, per square foot, or other metrics? How long will you need to clean it? What are the specifics of the service you'll be offering?
Although it is fine to state house cleaning services, would you also clean the toilet, mattress, and windows? Make your quote specific. This will allow you to clearly outline all expectations and avoid any confusion.
Even better, once your client has agreed and you have completed the project, you can easily transform your quote into an invoice with Blinksale.
Invoices must be sent on time
In order to be paid on time, you must send out your invoices on time.
This implies you'll need to have your invoices ready before or shortly after finishing your cleaning service.
You may do this on a per-job or monthly basis. You don't even need to produce an invoice if you're doing it on a monthly basis and for a fixed charge.
You can utilize your invoicing system's recurring invoice feature. You may choose the date and the amount, and the service will send out the invoice on that specific day for that price, with no more action required.
Create accurate invoices
When sending out bills, be sure to include all relevant information. If you've previously prepared a comprehensive quotation, you may simply turn that quote into an invoice.
If you haven't done a quotation, you must answer the following questions:
- the specifics of the service (what you cleaned and where)
- the time (if applicable).
- the payment conditions (due date of no more than 15 days).
- the late payment penalty, if any.
- your financial details
- payment methods
- Include a thank you message as well. According to research, including a thank you letter on your invoice will help you get paid faster.
Utilize your invoices for marketing purposes.
Your invoices do not have to be strictly for payment. It may be used as a marketing tool.
Consider this: one of the challenges for marketers is delivering their message to their consumers and potential customers. When it comes to invoicing, you can almost always count on a 100% open rate.
As a result, it's an excellent marketing tool.
Include details about new services, sneak peeks, free downloads, and much more.
Promotion and referral
You may inform your clients about excellent discounts and referral possibilities immediately on your bills or as part of the email sent with the invoice.
Discounts can range from the standard "12% off your next purchase" to a sales promotion like "25% off holiday cleaning."
You may also rely on recommendations by incentivizing your present clients to pass on your contact information to others. For example, you may give $20 off their next cleaning if they suggest someone who becomes a client.
Finally, it is critical that you constantly follow up with late payers.
As previously said, cash flow is critical for every business, including your cleaning business. You'll get the necessary cash inflow with invoices. However, if your customers fail to pay for any reason, you are denied that inflow to match all of your cash outflows.
Send a friendly reminder to your customer via email the day after the 15-day deadline has expired. This is non-intrusive, and courtesy will enhance your professional image. If the client has not paid after a week (21 days after you delivered the invoice), you can write another courteous email or even call.
Whatever you decide, make sure to follow up. If you implement these measures, your customer will be reminded not to be late on payments in the future.
These are some of the best invoicing methods we've seen work for our cleaning company clients at Blinksale. With these suggestions, you'll be able to optimize your invoicing process and get paid much faster.