5 Steps to Banishing Invoicing Stress Forever
Is there anything worse than the horrible guilty feeling you get when you’re invoicing the clients for work you’ve actually done? Do you find yourself writing off time because you feel bad for invoicing clients or following up bad debts? Banishing invoicing stress is an essential part of helping your business to run successfully, and take away anxiety from your thought life.
Your guilt and fear around invoicing and chasing owed monies, doesn’t just cost you financially! Yes, it costs you in a loss of profit, but even worse is the negative effect on your self-respect.
In this blog post, you’ll learn the five best things YOU can do to overcome invoicing guilt and fear and help you step into being the self-respecting, courageous business owner you were meant to be.
In fact, if you’re looking for even more details on this topic, then I highly suggest taking a look at this month’s episode of The Bookkeeper’s Voice, where I cover invoicing, time-tracking and so much more (with a few personal insights too!) >>> Click here to listen to Episode #032 5 Ways Bookkeepers Can Overcome Invoicing-Day Guilt & Fear Mindset
So, to start with, I want to ask you a question: how much is hourly billing REALLY costing you?
Now, this might not make sense at first. After all, when you’re billing someone, that means you’re being paid…doesn’t it?
Well, here is where it gets a bit tricky. If you’re anything like me, you probably have a few habits that contribute to your losing money through your billing!
For example, you probably end up with a fair amount of lost time, that slips through the cracks when you’re working. Maybe it’s five minutes before you pick up your kids or checking in on client work during your weekend….it can sneak up on you, but we’re all guilty of it at some point!
You’re also probably spending a fair amount of time on invoicing your clients! Maybe you spend a day invoicing every week, or just a few hours, but most bookkeepers have a dedicated amount of time that they spend invoicing their clients.
Now, that doesn’t even begin to cover the stress of sending through invoices and chasing up clients for your fees.
I feel stressed just thinking about it!
Through trial and error, I’ve determined the five best ways to start banishing invoicing stress (hopefully you find them helpful!). Let’s jump straight in!
1. Banishing invoicing stress – Track Your Time
This one might seem obvious, but we often neglect to track our time properly.
As business owners, we find ourselves doing a lot of tasks that we might not automatically track and bill. Like I mentioned before, it’s not uncommon to lose a few minutes here and there, when it comes to work. These can really add up, and so tracking your time is really beneficial.
An ideal option is to run a tracker in the background, that works automatically. This way, you have a complete and accurate reference of how you’re spending your time, and it makes the whole process much easier.
It’s also pretty helpful in managing your guilt levels. After all, if there is clear evidence of the hours you have put in, and the work that you’ve done, then it can help put that nagging feeling of guilt and worry to rest.
2. Set Expectations for Client
When you enter into a working relationship with a client, it can be really helpful to make sure that you have a formal engagement letter, with a proper scope.
By making sure that you’ve set really clear expectations for your client, you can reduce your guilt, as well as the likelihood of confrontations with your clients.
If your client is aware of potential fluctuations in price, and how this might work in terms of their business, they will be far less likely to respond in anger to an invoice.
It also helps to protect YOU, and your mental health, and I can’t recommend this step enough.
3. Respect Yourself
Phew! This is a big one. It can be so easy for bookkeepers to not respect themselves as a professional business owner.
You need to see yourself as someone who is providing a valuable service to your client. You are not an employee of that business, you are an equal, a business owner, and a professional who is helping within the scope of the business.
This mindset shift allows you to better respect your time, your profession, and creates a balanced and positive working relationship. Your clients will respect you more, and you’ll feel better about yourself and your invoicing. This is probably the key to banishing invoicing stress – if you have no regard for yourself, will others? Once you hold yourself as valuable, it is easier for others to see that value for themselves.
4. Treat Others with Respect
This is a point that is often neglected, but I really can’t stress it enough. We need to make sure that we are treating others with respect.
It can be easy to think less of a business owner who hasn’t been doing a great job with their books… and it can be even easier to get frustrated at clients for not understanding the industry, or paying on time.
That said, it’s important to approach these relationships with compassion and respect. Through creating a better understanding of the business owner and their problems, you’ll have more success in the business, and both you and your client will probably be a lot happier with the outcome!
5. Package Pricing
The last suggestion that I have is this: consider transitioning to package pricing.
Now, this doesn’t work for everyone, but it is certainly something that you should consider if you are having issues with billing.
Package pricing removes a few of the above issues, and streamlines your processes and your income. Your clients won't worry about fluctuating prices (since there are none!), and you won’t have to dedicate precious hours of your time to generate invoices every week. Additionally, that guilt pretty much disappears!
We've covered our tips to banishing invoicing stress – Over to You…
Who knew billing could be such a drain? Hopefully you’ve learnt a few tricks to reduce the stress and burnout that you probably feel about invoicing (I know I have!).
If you have any insight into this topic, I would absolutely love to hear from you on Facebook >>> Click here to Join our Facebook Group!
Again, if you want to hear more about this, feel free to come and listen to The Bookkeeper’s Voice Podcast >>>>>> Click here to listen to Episode #032 5 Ways Bookkeepers Can Overcome Invoicing-Day Guilt & Fear Mindset
P.S. If you want to learn more about reducing client stress, I highly recommend checking out our Bookkeeping Health Check and Report >>> Register for Job Scope & Bookkeeping Health Check training!
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