Exactly what do you include in an invoice?
When I started my business, the most daunting thing was billing clients. The thought of having to figure out what to bill them for and how to do it without looking like a noob was a foreign idea to me. After all, I always did the design work and seldom handled clients, let alone managed billing. I started out with Word and Excel. As quickly as I learned to use Excel, I found out just as quickly that it wasn’t enough for me.
At the beginning, though, it was a simple enough way to get the job done. The biggest mistake I made was not charging for all of my services on the invoice. I would only bill for my time and not take into account stock images, sales tax (on “real” goods) or other expenses that I might incur related to their projects.
Enter Freshbooks. A fellow freelancer turned me on to Freshbooks pretty early on in my career. Thank goodness! Because tracking my expenses and remembering to put them all on my invoices was a literal nightmare once things got rolling. The more projects I had, the more complicated invoicing seemed to become. I suddenly had multiple spreadsheets to track mileage, billable expenses, non-billable expenses and other little things I had to keep track of somewhere. Freshbooks gave me the ability to not only track my time and enter it into invoices with a few clicks, but track my expenses, tax, non-billable hours, etc. It made my life SO much easier. I spent less time fiddling with spreadsheets and more time working … or chilling.
I would love it if no business owner ever had to worry about whether or not they were invoicing effectively. So, here’s a little video to help explain exactly how to create your first invoice whether you’re using Freshbooks, Excel or some other app.