Running a small business takes time, dedication, and money, not to mention the never-ending paperwork that seems to come with managing your own business. Companies that provide services like HVAC, plumbing, or electrical maintenance and repair—may face unique challenges that other larger businesses will never understand.
When you are running a small business or start-up, you’ll often be short on time, employees, and money and this can lead to a whole range of issues. From trying to juggle marketing your business to scheduling jobs and invoicing customers, these everyday tasks can take up a whole chunk of your day, leaving you with little room to carry out competitor research, develop your business or take time to reflect and plan ahead.
But, there is light at the end of the tunnel. Thanks to innovative online invoice management and field service management software—that have been designed to help small businesses grow, you can become more time-efficient, independent, and economical.
In this article, we’re going to discuss the importance of invoice management for service contractors and why having options when it comes to invoicing customers is key.
Why Invoice Management is Now Essential
Whether you manage an international corporation or a family run business, online invoice software is becoming an essential part of the business world. As we rapidly move towards a more digital-first world, with online scheduling and dispatching, online payment platforms, and AI call tracker solutions, the need to offer online services and communication has never been more important.
Let’s say you’re a plumbing company and have launched a couple of Google ads to increase awareness and online sales. When a customer lands on your website, they will now expect to be able to contact a member of your team to chat live about their needs. They might also expect to see a free quote generator and a call back request form.
Automate your billing process
When it comes to payment, once your team has completed work, they might assume that they can pay via online banking, and invoicing will be automated. In order to get ahead of your competition, you need to move with the times and develop your business, by offering these online services and using HVAC service software.
Why Paper Invoices are Problematic
Going digital in relation to scheduling jobs and payment transactions just make sense! Imagine having to keep paper invoices for every single job you completed. Paper invoicing can be problematic and time-consuming too. Here are just a few things that can go wrong when using a traditional invoice as a small business.
- Difficult to read handwriting
- Invoices getting lost or misplaced wasting valuable time
- Human errors when creating an invoice leading to late payments
- Failing to confirm receipt of invoice
- Duplicate invoices
- Forgetting to add basic invoice elements such as time, date, company name, payment due date
This is why Service Fusion has developed HVAC service software to help transform the way small businesses invoice and manage daily tasks. Run your HVAC business from anywhere and take advantage of invoice software and instant online payment capabilities.
What is a Digital Invoice?
A digital invoice gives small businesses and contractors peace of mind when it comes to setting up payments. By using field service management software, you’ll be able to process jobs, schedule and dispatch technicians to jobs, give customers highly accurate and professional invoices, quickly collect payments, and more.
It's made to get you paid
The beauty of online invoice management is that it helps to modernize and transform the way you work and will help to eliminate errors in invoices, meaning you’ll always be paid on time. Rather than have to manually create and fill out an invoice and send it to your customer, a field service management software will empower you to send invoices instantly, making your business cost and time-efficient.
Types of Invoice Options Available
There are a number of different types of invoices that you can create as a small business, depending on the type of service you’re providing.
Options to handle invoicing
- Proposals and bids cover an approximate cost for services you will provide, should your proposal be accepted by a new customer. This is not necessarily the final invoice but is created to give a potential customer an idea of how much they might pay.
- Progressive billing is the process of invoicing a job/quote in multiple stages and helps service contractors get paid for work completed during a long-term project. Let’s say you are installing air conditioning in a hotel and the job will take several weeks to complete. You might send out an invoice that asks for payment for the work completed today while allowing your customer to pay the invoice in full over time.
- A recurring invoice is used for established and long-term customers. Ideal for those using invoice software, these types of invoices won’t change much, apart from the payment date.
- Last, there is a final invoice, which is usually sent at the end of a job or project and includes the final bill.
Online invoice software will help you to simplify this process and ensure you don’t make any mistakes which could lead to missed payments, delays, customer complaints, and miscommunication.
How to Simplify Your Invoicing Process
To optimize the way you work, provide excellent customer service, and simplify your invoice process, it’s best to invest in field service management software. To get peace of mind that your customer invoices are professional, kept in one place, and completely organized—start with downloading this free e-book, How Field Service Management Helps Grow Your Business.