Wherever you are in the life of your electrical business, one of the key things to understand is the value of a good electrical invoice.
Even if you’ve been in the business for a few years, it’s always good to re-look at your invoice presentation. Keep this in mind: no matter how well you do your work, improper electrician invoicing could cause you to lose customers. And, return customers are important for any contractor. Not only do repeat clients give you more work themselves, but they are also the ones who are most likely to recommend you to others through online reviews and referrals — the bread and butter of growing an electrical business.
Many electrical contractors underestimate the importance of invoices in getting repeat customers. The truth is that your invoices are actually the most important factor, besides your work. That’s because a well-crafted invoice shows that you’re a professional business. Keep in mind, though, that your invoices should also be user-friendly. That means that they should be easy to read and understand. So, when you’re creating your invoices, make sure they are detailed, but simple enough for your customers to understand what they are paying for.
Whether you own a small business with employees or work alone, you should know that a quickly-written generic bill doesn’t fit the expectations of the modern market. Tech-savvy customers expect professionally-made, clear invoices. If you want them to come back to you for repeat jobs, you’ll want to make sure your bills are typed, formatted well, and include all details of your work.
Clear electrical invoicing will also help you avoid customer complaints and disputes. With the charges clearly listed, your clients will understand exactly what they’re paying for. Also, keeping track of invoices and sending them out on time will minimize the chance of any conflicts.
Some Basic Guidelines for Your Electrical Invoice
Keep track of your invoices to avoid leaving them unpaid for too long. If you aren’t well organized with your invoices, you might lose both time and money. Also, your customers won’t be satisfied if they are unsure about how and when they should pay you.
Prepare your bills according to the contract terms, and always invoice promptly. It’s best to send your invoice no later than one week after you complete services. Also, provide the exact price before starting your work whenever possible, and stick to it. You’ll not only get paid sooner but will also gain your customers’ trust.
Be sure to include all the necessary paperwork, lien releases, and cost breakdowns with your invoices.
Here’s what every electrician invoice should include in their invoices.
- “Invoice” title at the top of the document
This might seem obvious, but it indicates that it is not just an estimate, but a final bill.
- Your name or your company’s name, including any license numbers and regulated details that must be included.
- Detailed contact information
Include your address, phone number, email address, and your website if you have one.
- Date of the invoice and a unique invoice number
Including this information is necessary for ensuring easy and reliable invoice tracking. The billing date will help make sure your customers pay you on time. Clear instructions also give you a more professional persona and will minimize the chance of confusion or conflict.
- Materials you’ve used and services and work you’ve completed
To avoid any inconveniences and customer concerns, put all the details of your services on the invoice. Keep the proof of the supplies you’ve bought and the work you’ve done. You don’t need to include it in the invoice, but it could be useful to resolve any possible disputes.
- Total amount including sales tax and VAT if your company is VAT-registered
Make use of Electronic Invoicing and Electrician Apps
There is a variety of free electronic invoicing websites for electricians online (here’s a great one). Check out the different possibilities and find those that suit your needs best. They not only simplify the invoicing process, but also give your documents a more professional look. They will also save you a lot of time and help you keep a record of customer payments.
As accurate as you or your bookkeeper might be, human error is unavoidable in traditional systems. Electronic invoicing using template software, on the other hand, will make sure you don’t forget any important details. Complete accuracy gives you more credibility, helping you gain your clients’ trust.
Meanwhile, contractor invoicing apps allow you to create and send invoices directly via text or email. But they will not only help you invoice more quickly.Because many electrical jobs have common charges, you’ll be able to create material and services templates. You’ll spend much less time on paperwork as you won’t have to write everything from scratch for every invoice. As a result, you’ll be able to create and send your invoices much more efficiently.
Modern apps also have options for creating estimates/quotes, scheduling jobs, and tracking your team. So, you’ll have everything you need on the go. This is very practical as it will be much more difficult to forget any details. These apps also allow you to schedule payment reminders so you won’t forget to send out second notices.
In the end, by keeping up with the trends, you’ll gain more business from customers with modern interests and needs.
Use Electrical Templates
If you prefer traditional bookkeeping, you could make use of invoice templates. They will allow you to take care of your bills the old-fashioned way. At the same time, you’ll still get the professional look your customers will love – just without the added benefits of service and parts list or the other features of electrical contractor apps. Here is a link to an invoice template Excel version for download. High-quality electrician invoice templates include everything you need for a standard electrical job.
Avoid These Common Mistakes on Your Electrician Invoice
These common electrician invoice mistakes are easy to avoid once you’re aware of them.
Inconsistent Electrical Invoice Formats
Avoid listing things in a different order for individual jobs. Keep the format and listing of charges the same to avoid customer confusion.
You should always track labor hours and your work consistently. If the price of your services fluctuates heavily across invoices, your customers will become confused about the rates you’re charging.
Unprofessional Employee Training
If you have employees, make sure they follow the same protocols that you do. This applies to both their work and the invoicing process. Even if you do everything flawlessly yourself, your employees could make things unclear for the customer.
Not Disclosing the Payment Terms and Conditions of Time
You should always note your accepted payment types and terms. This is necessary to avoid all inconveniences when it’s time to charge your electrician invoice. This method protects both you and your customers.