It’s great to have an idea and a dream. It’s great to make your first sale. But nothing smells “amateur” and “unprofessional” like bad invoicing. I recently purchased an item online, from a fledgling part-time business owner. The payment site had a different name, the email address had a different name and the email I received had yet a different name.
These things make you look unprofessional and decrease the chances of repeat purchases.
Take the time to a) get a professional email address to use for all your business communication. You can do this VERY easily with GoDaddy (to get a domain name) and Microsoft Office 365 and Google Apps to power your email and other communication and collaboration.
Most business owners use one of several dozen great invoicing tools, but some don’t. Using an invoicing tool, instead of sending an invoice via an email message does a few things.
- It looks professional
- You can see what has been paid and what has not been paid
- You can often get paid faster as it’s easier for your customer to pay you. Many of the invoice tools have built in payment options and/or links to PayPal
Some invoicing options include (and many of these options include a nice suite of options for solo entrepreneurs such as time tracking as well):
Quickbooks and Xero both offer full-fledged accounting software which includes invoicing as well.