Running a small business is hard work. Every hour counts and it’s an ongoing process to find ways to improve your workflow and boost your productivity. If you provide services, then time matters even more, especially when you need to track project work and bill clients by the hour.
Part of your business will involve invoicing clients. If you have many clients then writing, sorting, and sending invoices can soon eat into your work time. There ideally needs to be a way you can gain more clients while at the same time reducing the hours you spend on invoicing tasks each week.
With high quality invoice software, like Invoice Ninja, you can. There are numerous invoice management and time-tracking tools which can be used to automate and quickly categorize various processes and tasks associated with small business invoicing.
All of which allow you save time, reduce hassle, and ultimately get paid a lot faster.
With all these benefits in mind, here are ten of our favorite time-saving invoicing features ideal for freelancers, solopreneurs, and small business owners.
1 Automatic time-tracking and data-to-invoice conversion
Time tracking is also essential if you charge by the hour. Time recording jobs allows you to accurately measure how much you need to bill a client in relation to the hours you’ve worked. The best invoicing software then converts that time data automatically into an invoice, without you having to manually add minutes and prices yourself.
2 Quickly convert quotes to invoices
Writing quotes and invoices may seem like a large part of your weekly routine. They can also seem very repetitive when you have to copy or modify a quote and then write it up separately as an invoice. This extra work can be avoided.
Using Invoice Ninja, you can send quotes in the form of an invoice, with all the relevant details, descriptions, and prices. Then you can swiftly convert that same quote into an invoice without creating a new document.
3 Create recurring invoicing
When you provide on-going services to a client, it’s wise to create a payment plan to suit both your needs. This might include sending an invoice every week or month for services completed during a particular time period.
Setting up automatic recurring invoices allows you to write an invoice document once and then set it to be delivered repeatedly at predetermined timeframes. You could potentially go years without needing to open and modify that recurring invoice.
4 Automatically send late payment reminders
Chasing late paying clients is not only stressful but also wasteful of your precious work time. You only have so many billable hours each day and writing late payment reminders distracts from important client work.
A solution to this common problem among small business owners and freelancers is to set up automatic late payment reminders. These pre-written template emails are sent out at predetermined times after an invoice due date has passed, until the payment is made.
5 Know when clients have viewed invoice
Sometimes invoice emails go unseen. The emails may occasionally land in a spam folder or are just missed by the client in a deluge of incoming work emails. Knowing whether a client has seen your invoice can help you decide whether to resend that invoice.
With Invoice Ninja, you are alerted when a client opens the invoice and then again when a payment has been made. This helps you to clearly see how the client is interacting (or not) with your invoice.
6 Create a library of your most used service and product details
Are you writing the same, or very similar, service or product descriptions over and over again in your invoices? Even copying and pasting descriptions and prices from a separate file can be time-consuming.
An alternative is to invest in invoicing software which allows you to create a library of multiple different service and product details. Then all you need to do is select the entry from a drop-down menu, modify it slightly if needed, and then send it to the client.
7 Send lots of invoices out at exactly the same time
When you have a lot invoices to send each week, it can be a challenge to keep up with what needs to be sent and when. Without a clear system it’s easy to forget an invoice or spend too much time sending out multiple invoices individually.
With Invoice Nina’s invoicing software, you arrange every invoice according to its delivery status. Then you can select every invoice that needs to be delivered, and send them all out in one go. This is very handy if you batch invoice on the same day each week.
8 Take advantage of multiple app integrations
Time-saving invoice software will allow you to speed up invoicing and time-tracking activities by integrating your account with multiple relevant applications. At Invoice Ninja, for example, we provide Zapier integration between your invoicing account and your favorite web apps.
You can connect such apps as Slack, Pipedrive, Bkper, Mailchimp, Typeform, Google Sheets, and hundreds more. All this interconnectivity helps you to manage everything in one place, update in real-time, and boost your productivity.
9 Set up multiple payment gateway options
When you make it extremely easy for your client to pay you, then you also reduce the chances of that client contacting you with a problem or question. Every extra unneeded interaction wastes a little more time and can also negatively impact a client’s impression of your business.
For smooth payment, you need to provide your client with multiple payment gateway options which you can integrate fully into the invoice you send. With our software you can integrate with many gateways including Stripe, WePay, PapPal, Coinbase, and numerous more, worldwide.
10 Attach documents directly to invoices
Often when you send an invoice to your client you want to include various documents related to the payment. These 3rd-party documents might include proposals, contracts, instructions, translations, timesheets, and project files.
Instead of sending these separately in more emails, you can attach the documents directly to the single invoice email. This reduces the time needed to draft a new email thread and makes it faster to quickly upload the relevant documents to the invoice you’re working on.
Invoice Ninja’s time-saving invoicing features
Time-saving invoice features like those described above can potentially reduce your workload considerably, especially when used together. Running a small business is hard enough without wasting precious time on tasks and processes which can be automated, better organized, or done away with entirely.
Invoice Ninja’s suite of invoicing and time-tracking features, includes every single one of the above benefits, and will allow you to streamline the management of your admin tasks, finances, projects, and time. All from one single control panel.