Creating polished, professional, comprehensive invoices is a crucial aspect of running a successful landscaping business. Most importantly and most obviously, invoices are your primary means of requesting payment. But a well-crafted invoice also reflects your professionalism and attention to detail. The right invoice will ensure not only that you get paid promptly but will help cement good customer relationships and set expectations for future interactions. Here’s what you need to know to create professional-looking, complete invoices that will streamline your billing process and elevate the image of your landscaping business.
Why Landscaping Businesses Should Use Professional Invoices
Having a professional-looking invoice is important for any landscaping business – the right invoice will help you look more credible, establish trust with your clients and even help you get paid faster. A clearly organized invoice with clear details and payment terms will eliminate confusion over pricing and give customers a better understanding of the services they are being billed for. Plus, the right invoice will ensure that your landscaping business is taken seriously by your clients and competitors alike, helping you stand out in a crowded field.
Methods to Make a Landscaping Invoice – Software and Tools
There are a few different ways to go about creating a landscaping invoice. There’s the old-fashioned pen-and-paper process, but that is time-consuming, sloppy, difficult to organize, and makes record-keeping a major challenge. Fortunately, there are other methods that make creating invoices easier.
One way is to create an editable document using accounting software such as QuickBooks. The benefit of this approach is that you can customize the document however you prefer, making it easier to record data and the services provided. Another method is to use landscape invoicing software. These programs are designed specifically for landscapers, which makes them an excellent option to make creating invoices easier. They’ll have features built in such as price estimation, inventory tracking, recurring payment options, and other landscape business-specific features that will make managing your accounts and finances easier.
Things to Include in Your Landscaping Invoice
Creating a comprehensive landscaping invoice means including all of the relevant information your customer needs to see to understand the payment process. Here’s what you should include:
- Business name and contact information: This should go without saying, but include your correct business name and contact information and make sure that it is prominently featured and easy to find on the invoice
- Customer name and contact information: Include the name of your customer and their contact information including address, phone number, and/or email address
- Invoice date and payment due date: Make sure to note when the invoice was created and when it is due for payment, including any potential late fees or interest charges
- Accepted payment methods and payment instructions: List all payment methods you accept – cash, check, credit cards, and even online payment services like PayPal or Apple Pay; be sure to provide clear instructions on how to pay via each method you accept
- Invoice number: Give each invoice a unique number for your records so that your customers can easily reference specific invoices if necessary
- Services provided: Include a detailed, specific list of services provided so that it is clear what the customer is being asked to pay for with this invoice
- Rate for services: If the invoice includes labor costs, clearly indicate the hourly or flat fee you are charging along with the hours worked
- Applicable taxes: Include any taxes that will need to be paid by the customer
- Subtotal and total: Include a subtotal of all services provided as well as a total after taxes and fees are applicable
- Payment terms: Clearly state your expected payment terms, including interest or fees for late payments, cancellation policies, etc.
- Any other policies: If your landscaping business has additional policies such as discounts, referrals, or guarantees, it’s a good idea to include them on the invoice as well
Including all of these items ensures that your customer will have all of the information they need to understand the payment they owe and pave the way for a smooth transaction.
Landscaping Invoice Example:
When to Send a Landscaping Invoice to Your Customers
Making sure your customers pay on time is essential to the ongoing health of your business. It can be hard to keep track of when invoices are due and to follow up with customers, but there are ways to smooth the process and keep those payments coming in. Start by creating and sending invoices as soon as possible after service. This helps ensure that your work is top-of-mind and that customers understand what they owe and when it is due. Offering multiple ways to pay will also increase the likelihood that you’ll get paid promptly. When it comes to overdue payments, don’t hesitate to reach out to delinquent customers – resend the invoice and follow up with a phone call, email, or text as payment reminders.
More Landscape Invoicing Tips
Here are a few more suggestions to help make your landscape business invoices the best they can be!
List the services you provided, as well as the corresponding prices
Include a detailed list of all the landscaping services you provided along with their hourly prices and materials costs so that the customer can see exactly what was done.
Include any professional landscaping recommendations
Do you have some recommendations to share with your customer about how to properly care for their new landscaping? Include those professional tips as well.
Use a timesheet
Keeping an accurate tabulation of your hourly prices is essential. Be sure to use a timesheet to track those labor hours so that you can correctly calculate those costs.
Be flexible on payment methods
Offer multiple payment options so that your customers have a choice of methods to pay you, and include clear payment instructions for each one. You’re less likely to experience late or overdue payments and get paid promptly when customers can choose the payment method they’re most comfortable with.
Always include a payment due date
Avoid late payments by always including a due date! This might seem obvious, but it is important. Without a due date, customers might set your invoice aside and simply pay at their convenience – or they might forget to pay entirely.
Make better, accurate estimates
When you start with an in-depth, accurate estimate, the final invoice won’t come as an unwelcome surprise. Accurate estimating shows customers what they will receive and sets expectations from the outset. Using estimating software designed for landscapers can help with this while also saving time and effort.
Make it easy for clients to pay you
Avoid overdue and missed payments by meeting your customers where they are – do they want to write a check? Great. Pay in cash? No problem. Pay via credit card on your website? Sounds great. The easier you make it for clients to pay you, the more likely they are to pay promptly.
Grow Your Business with RealGreen’s Landscape Invoicing Software
RealGreen’s landscaping software offers an easy, effective solution to create professional invoices – and so much more, from marketing to payments and everything in between. Find out more about how RealGreen’s suite of solutions can help your landscaping business thrive and schedule a free demo today!