As a designer, we know you have the creative bug. Luckily, our templates are fully customizable so you can add your own personality and aesthetics, as well as tailor the design bill format to your exact needs.
The bottom line is: if you want to get paid without hassle, your client has to trust that the work you’re providing is worth the price you’re charging—and that’s not so simple when providing such technical work. At its most basic level, a typical web or graphic design invoice should include the following:
To supplement, you may want to highlight the different aspects of the project within the description of your work—this will ensure your client has an idea of how much each step entails. A lot of work goes into any design, and your clients are only seeing the finished product—so it’s important to show what it took to get there.
As an option, you may want to include any discounts you offer clients on this form to show them the percentage deducted. This discount could apply to first-time customers or customers who are requesting a high volume of work. Making a notation of such a discount is a good way to show its value to your clients.
Since a design project is often negotiated by a set of discussed parameters rather than a simple transaction, it’s common for payment to be received upon completion of the work. A design invoice should be sent along with the finished product you’re providing so the client can see in absolute terms what they’re paying for.
You may be inclined to send your invoice before the work is completed. This is an acceptable option in the case of a long-term project, in which there are phases spread over a number of weeks. For short-term or one-off projects, invoicing before the totality of the work is completed is generally not the best practice, as it doesn’t always foster a sense of trust between you and the client.
A good rule of thumb for most effective billing is to send the invoice any time after you know the client is fully satisfied.
Whether you’re part of a design team or you do it all yourself, professionalism is the key to successful invoicing—that is, the kind that clients take seriously and pay promptly. Check out these pro tips to keep you on the right track.
- Invoice Numbers: you can assign invoice numbers for each invoice you generate, using sequential numbers (1-1,000 and beyond!) to keep track of invoices. This will help you note the chronological order of projects that have been billed.
- Job Codes (or Job Numbers): job codes can be assigned for a particular project (or client) that you're are doing work for in a given period. If a project stretches over multiple months, you may have multiple invoices assigned to a single job code, depending on how your client wants to be billed. Assigning job codes to projects can help you find all invoices associated with a particular project and keep track of billing for each phase, month or period of the project.
If automation sounds like something you'd be interested in, be sure to check out Sage Business Cloud Accounting online invoicing tools and see how they could save you time and money in the long run.
Design work doesn’t stop when the project is completed. Invoicing, while not the most exciting thing, is an important aspect of your job. Here are some tips for success when it comes to playing with the nuances of the process.