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Service-oriented businesses often have their service invoice template based on which they raise invoices to the customers who have availed those services.
An invoice prepared and issued by a service-oriented business for its services is called a service invoice. Service invoices help in keeping the business organised and help keep track of services rendered to various clients.
The customer first places a service order for a one-time purpose or an ongoing engagement, i.e. a project. Service orders may contain lines for both materials as well as service items.
The next step is the order confirmation, wherein the intimation is given to the customer that the business shall work towards fulfilling the service order so placed.
Once the order confirmation is received, the field contractor (who fulfils the service requirements) shall draw up a service sheet. This shall contain all the information relevant to that particular service order. The details will include-
The service sheets will help fill up the necessary information in the invoice about the services offered and the fee payable for the services provided. This service invoice is then sent to the customer based on the template designed by the organisation.
For long-term projects, especially, requesting a certain percentage of the fee in advance would be a sensible move. It protects the seller against non-payment while also ensuring that some of the project’s costs are set off against the received amount. The deposit payment also ensures that the business can maintain a steady cash flow to pay certain business expenses.
The design of the service has to be simple yet professional. All the relevant information that is necessary to facilitate quick payment must be included in the invoice. For instance, details regarding the bank account number and the IFSC Code must mandatorily form part of the invoice to make the payment at the earliest.
The sooner the invoice is sent to the client, the better your chances of receiving your payment on time. As soon as the project nears its completion, ensure that the invoice is sent out. This helps since the client will be able to easily recollect the details of the project and drive him to make the payment at the earliest.
The terms of payment must be agreed upon in advance to avoid confusion regarding the same later on. Make it clear to the client that there will be penalties for delays in the payment and ensure that these terms are enforced in the contract. Outlining all the details regarding the payment also helps you build a better rapport with the client.
Clients appreciate flexibility. Flexibility also allows the seller better chances of receiving the payment on time. If the services are being availed by the client every month, it is always advisable to talk to the clients and find out what their preferred modes of payment are for convenience. Once this is decided upon, one can also consider the option of recurring billing, wherein payment is automated to a specific date every month. This ensures timely payments to the seller.
It bodes well for the business when they make the customer feel appreciated. If a customer makes an early payment, offering them incentives and discounts would go a long way towards building a healthy relationship with them. Moreover, to avail the discount, they will make sure that the bills are paid early every month, thus easing the seller’s burden.
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