Any app or software you recommend for sending/tracking invoices?
In thirds spread throughout the project. E.g., given a $3,000 fee:
- Before start: $1,000
- Middle: $1,000
- Before deliver: $1,000 (ALWAYS GET PAID BEFORE YOU HAND OVER FILES/DEPLOY).
Set the terms clearly in a contract and don't cower, otherwise you risk your business' cash flow (even if it's just you).
This is what I do as well. Always have every contingency in a legally-binding contract signed by your client beforehand. It protects both of you.
How do you clearly define "middle"?
Take the estimated duration of the project (e.g., 3 months) and divide by two. Set the billing date +/- the business day closest to that date.
So, say we started a project today that was three months long (ending on Saturday June 10th, technically Monday June 12th), we'd divide that in half and find a date of roughly Monday, April 24th. That's when we'd send out the invoice for the 2/3 payment.
In respect to keeping the project going, set a due date window on each payment. If that payment isn't received, either add a late fee or stop the project. Both are incredible deterrents to non-payment.
Most of the time, I invoice at the cadence the client is comfortable with. For most businesses, that's once a month. One of my clients currently has a system set up to pay me weekly, and I am sure not objecting to that.
It does depend on the type of work you're doing, by which I mean "ongoing project" (as with this weekly-pay client) or "one time [large or small] task." For writing a white paper, for instance, I only invoice when the work is handed in, no matter how long it took me to write it (a factor I work into pricing calculations). For a one-off ghost-written blog post, I charge 50% up-front and then at the end of the project after everything is signed off.
I've been using Freshbooks for several years, but in truth the software is a far secondary consideration. You can track your invoices with a spreadsheet, and I used to do that. Freshbooks (and its ilk) simply are better at reminding you, "Ya know it's been 8 weeks and those dudes have not paid yet...?"
Most of my freelance work is one-time projects, so I invoice half up front and half on completion.
I used Freshbooks in the past and really liked it, but am currently switching to PayPal as my invoicing tool. It's free (compared to $20/mo for Freshbooks), and does everything I need it to. tbh, I'm wondering why more freelancers don't use PayPal?
PayPal will absolutely fuck you on a dispute.
Did you consider Paypal's transaction fees?
I recently switched from FreshBooks (used for ~1 year) to Cushion, and am loving it.
I send invoices out at the end of the month or the end of a project depending on the circumstances.
For me, it is important to fix a date with clients when to send him/her invoice. Another matter need to be in mind that to choose the right invoicing tool so that it can match the need & demand accordingly. This is a very nice tool https://www.excel-accounting-budget-analysis.com for invoicing.
I generally invoice 50% upfront and 50% upon completion.
Usually I bill clients at the end of the month. For invoicing I use https://www.actitime.com/ , It's free for the personal use.
Most of my work is ongoing with the same clients each month. Most are billed once per month at the end of the month, but one is invoiced weekly at their request. (Which isn’t a problem - I work onsite at their location every Monday so I just bring it in with me and take home a check that day.) With my other clients, if payment is direct-deposited I receive that within a week of invoicing; those who pay via paper check may take 10-14 days.
If I’m working on a one-time project with someone, the details of the timing of payment are hashed out and agreed upon beforehand. I try to be as flexible as possible. Knocking on all of the wood in my general vicinity, I’ve never had a problem (yet).
I’ve debated on getting an “official” invoicing program but I admit I haven’t done much research on them. As it stands, I keep invoice folders for each client and create a new invoice from a template I put together in Pages. Probably not the best system, but it works well enough for now.
Half up front, half on completion/launch. Or 1/3 up front, 2/3 on completion. For my last client I did ongoing work from Aug 2016 until Feb 2017 and I invoiced at the end of every month. I was lucky and had a client who paid me within the week of me invoicing. This isn't too common. Most invoices are NET 15 or 30 days.
30/30/40 for flat rate projects otherwise hourly. I used to use Ballpark but have since gone back to manual invoice creation. In reality I don't need all the fancy stuff associated with invoicing software. Up to you if you want to pay for the bells and whistles really.
It seems like every single app you might use as a freelancer has invoicing built in. My advice is to find a tool you need anyway and use its invoicing system.
I'd recommend Cushion (forecasting/invoicing/time tracking) or Bonsai (contracts/invoicing). FreeAgent (accounting/invoicing/etc) is also great. I use all three of these apps.
With regards to invoicing, I do 50% up front on fixed fee projects, and 50% at the end. On a longer project, I might do 25% at a midpoint milestone and 25% on completion.
For longterm projects, I try to invoice every two weeks. As Esther said, though, find what the client is comfortable with and try for as often as you can get away with.
I tend to bill every two weeks depending on the length ofthe project. Smaller projects tend to be 30-50% upfront and the rest at completion. Be Careful with this though Ive got >100K i'll never collect on. I use Officetime, it works great and meets my needs. but i dont send more then 5-6 invoices a month.
https://harvestapp.com 's free account
I love Harvest (http://harvestapp.com). I've been using for the last 3 years. I usually take half up front and then the remaining after I've finished the work.
I've been using Freshbooks for the past 2 months and I really like it. A nice thing about it is you can accept credit card payments directly on the invoice if you want.
I recently wrote about the tools I use at my design studio if you're interested: Freelancer to Design Studio Owner: Here is What I’ve Learned