Some of you, and you know who you are, tend to put off one of the single most important business tasks: invoicing. You probably beat yourself up over it, too.
But there is a simple reason you procrastinate on invoicing: it’s not fun.
We like to work on the parts of our business that are fun to us. Even the prospect of, “I have to do this to get paid” isn’t usually enough to keep us from putting off our invoicing.
Does this make us bad business people? No. It’s normal. Here’s a little bit of proof: a professional gardener shared his feelings in a Flickr photo that tells the story, “Dog and I just realized: invoicing is the worst part of the job.”(Click through to read his caption and notes.)
So what do you do about it?
Build a system. Set up the steps that need to be taken throughout the process to make it as easy as possible to figure and send those invoices. And the first step is to create and record some standards of what you charge, whether by the hour or by the finished product or whatever method works best for your business.The second step is a system that makes it easy to record your work just as soon as you do it.
Delegate. If you’re bad enough about procrastinating, pay someone else create invoices from your work records. That could be an employee, a virtual assistant, or your local bookkeeping service.
How do you keep from putting off invoicing? Have any great tricks or stories to share? Or just want to admit that you, too, are human?
This article is part of the Small Biz 100, a series of 100 practical hands-on posts for small business people and solo entrepreneurs. If you have questions you’d like us to address in this series, leave a comment or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. This is a community project!
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Becky started Small Biz Survival in 2006 to share rural business and community building stories and ideas with other small town business people. She and her husband have a small cattle ranch and are lifelong entrepreneurs. Becky is an international speaker on small business and rural topics.