When to invoice in the Netherlands?
In the business world, the question “When to send an invoice?” is one that occupies almost every entrepreneur’s mind from time to time. An invoice is an important business document, and the right time to send it can make the difference between smooth cash flow and unnecessary tension between supplier and customer. In this article, we dive deep into this topic to discover when is the ideal time to send an invoice.
The psychology behind invoicing
It may sound strange, but sending an invoice is not just an administrative task; it also has a psychological aspect. If you send an invoice too early, it can come across as intrusive or even desperate. But if you wait too long, the customer may wonder if something has gone wrong or that you are not serious about the service or product provided.
Therefore, it is important to strike the right balance. The key is to stay in line with customer expectations and ensure transparency in the invoicing process.
Best practices for sending invoices
- Clear agreements upfront: Before you start an assignment or deliver a product, you should make clear agreements on payment terms. This could include payment terms, possible discounts for early payment or surcharges for late payment.
- Send soon after completion: Do not wait too long to send the invoice after completion of a service or delivery of a product. This ensures that the services or products delivered are still fresh in the customer’s mind.
- Use a clear invoicing system: This makes things easier for both you and the customer. It reduces errors, facilitates the follow-up process and ensures you get paid faster.
- Communicate: If you expect there will be a delay in sending the invoice, inform the client about it. Communication is the key to a good business relationship.
: What if the customer doesn’t pay on time?
It is a scenario any entrepreneur or freelancer can face: a client who does not pay on time. This can be stressful, especially if you depend on that income to pay your own bills:
- Send reminder: If a client does not pay by the agreed deadline, send a friendly reminder. Sometimes people simply forget to pay or the invoice has been overlooked.
- Contact in person: Does a reminder not help? Call the customer or send a personal e-mail. Try to find out the reason and whether there might be problems you can solve together.
- Consider a collection agency: If all attempts to get the customer to pay fail, consider using a collection agency. This is often a last resort, but sometimes necessary to get your hard earned money.
Innovations in the invoicing process
Technology is also affecting how and when we invoice. With the rise of digital invoicing and automation tools, the process is streamlined and entrepreneurs can work faster and more efficiently.
- Electronic invoicing: Sending invoices via email or specialised platforms speeds up the process and reduces the risk of errors. Customers can also respond and pay faster.
- Automation: There are numerous tools that help automate the invoicing process. These tools automatically send reminders to customers, track payments and can even integrate with your accounting system.
- Instant payment: More and more companies offer the option for customers to pay immediately upon receipt of the invoice via, for example, iDeal, PayPal or credit card.
In the dynamic world of business, it is essential to remain flexible and adaptable.
remain, especially when it comes to something as crucial as invoicing. By staying abreast of the latest trends and best practices, you ensure your business keeps running smoothly and your customers happy.