If you are working in the cleaning business, then you have probably experienced that your work can be very seasonal dependant.
You might find that the demand for your cleaning services can become very hectic at times during the summer months, and rather quiet during other periods.
As a result, it is important that you have a solid invoicing and accounting system in place to effectively manage your business finances all year round! Don't let your cleaning business fall into a messy system... that would just be ironic...
Working in the cleaning business
The cleaning business is a tough industry to work in - you have many things you need to organise, arrange, and focus on. It could be anything from always making sure you have the right type of products and correct amount of equipment available, to arranging transport times to and from different work locations.
However, the most important (and best) part about working is getting paid! The only real way for any business to get paid is to bill your customers somehow, typically invoicing.
Getting paid is a crucial part of running a business, you need the incoming cash flow to continue operating and running your business and get the job done. To some extent, the ball is in your court - in order to get paid on time you need to send your invoices on time!
Tips for getting paid
Depending on the type of cleaning business you are working in, you can either get paid up front right at the time of service, or you can issue an invoice for your customers to pay you on a agreed date.
Either way you do it, there are certain things you can do and be aware of, to increase your business efficiency:
Getting paid on the spot After you have finished a job, if your customer is willing to pay you right there and then you still need to create an official invoice that can be documented in the records of your business - for legal reasons. Keep in mind that your invoice serves as a type of ‘receipt’ for the service that you have provided.
Thanks to online invoicing softwares like Debitoor, you can invoice on the go straight from your mobile!
Invoicing after completion In these cases, you need to remember exactly what services you did and what you will charge for. When invoicing your customer, you will also need to decide on a payment due date to be stated on the invoice.
Keep in mind, whether you are invoicing manually or automatically with invoicing software, there are various elements you need to include in order for your invoice to be considered a legal document.
An invoice needs to have the following details:
- Invoice title
- Invoice number
- Invoice date
- Your company details (name, address, VAT number)
- Customer details (name, address, VAT number)
- Payment terms & payment due date
- Description of products or services (name, description, quantity, unit price, total amount)
- Total Net Value (before VAT)
- Total invoice amount due (including VAT%)
If you use invoicing software such as Debitoor then you can relax, as all this information will automatically be included!
Using a cloud-based invoicing software
If you’re running a cleaning business, make sure you keep a clean bookkeeping system too!
By using a cloud based invoicing software, you will be able to store your invoices, payment receipts, customer details, prices etc. all in one place.
This way you don't need to be ramaging around your house or digging in your jean pockets looking for receipts and client details, rather you can store and access all this information online, anywhere, anytime.
Be clear, and precise, about your terms & conditions
Before you attend to your customers, you need to make a few important decisions, which should all be publicly accessible for all current and/or potential clients.
You need to decide on a detailed and respective price list, namely how much you are going to charge for your services. In order to do so, there are a number of things you should take into account (such as your level of experience, availability, location etc.).
With a detailed price list you will be able to quote your customers on jobs before carrying them out. An additional tip to attract more customers would be to keep your prices flexible (every now and then you might charge a little less (or extra) for a job, depending on the situation).
In terms of the payment due date, you need to decide on the invoice payment due date. Typically, payment terms are usually around 14 days. This should be clearly indicated to your customers, as well as the penalty (if any) should they exceed this period - for example, charging interest on late payments.
Use your invoices to market your cleaning business
One of the benefits to using invoicing software is that you can change the invoice design to create a personalised invoice template. You can customise your invoices to reflect your business brand, and create professional-looking invoices.
With Debitoor invoicing and accounting software you can upload your own company logo, change fonts, and add your own personal touch to your invoices. Keep your invoicing and accounting clean - just like your business!
The cleaning business industry has grown immensely over the years, and it continues to get more and more competitive. Technology has also had a huge impact on the management and operations of cleaning businesses - which is why it is important for you to find ways to make your cleaning business more visible than your competitors!