You’ve started your own transportation business — Congratulations!
You’ve got a truck and a driver; you’ve even secured your first load! The truck is loaded and ready to roll. But the hard work doesn’t end when the truck leaves the yard, or even when the freight is delivered – in fact, it’s just begun. You still need to get paid! So how do you tackle invoicing?
1. Keep invoices professional.
As a business owner, you have several options when it comes to invoicing a customer. Choose the most efficient and cost-effective option for your business (that doesn’t necessarily mean the cheapest). Spending hours manually creating invoices can take time, and that’s time you could use finding loads and increasing profits. Keep invoices clear and professional, and include detailed, accurate information. Remember, clients won’t pay an invoice that doesn’t makes sense to them. If you’re not quite ready to invest in a trucking management system (TMS), create a template that you can use over and over again. Include:
- Your business name, address, and phone number in the header. (And your logo, if you have one.)
- The invoice number and date you’re sending the invoice.
- The name and address of the person or company being billed.
- Details of the job that was completed:
- From (shipper, city, state)
- To (consignee, city, state)
- The name of the driver
- The truck number and trip number (if applicable)
- The activity completed (what type of load if was) and the rate
- Where checks payable should be sent (name and address).
- Total amount due and date it should be paid by (typically within 30 days of receipt of invoice).
- Any notes relevant to the job that was completed.
- A message thanking them for their business.
2. Invoice on time.
An invoice should be sent as soon as a job is completed. Many companies have issues with billing times and outstanding receivables that they don’t have time to chase. Timely invoicing is key to receiving steady payments, but it’s possible to overlook this essential task in the flurry of daily activity. You’d be amazed at the amount of dollars unaccounted for, possibly in your own business, due to human error and overworked employees. Tens of thousands of dollars disappear through the cracks in many companies. Invoicing clients promptly and accurately is just as important as calculating pay rates. If an invoice isn’t paid within 30 days of receipt, send the invoice again adding a note that payment is now late, and change the due date to “Immediately.”
3. Invoice accurately.
You’ll increase the likelihood you’re paid on time and correctly when you bill accurately. You might discover it makes more sense to use a software program that can automatically generate invoices and track payments. With the right software, you can quickly create a professional, easy to understand, and detailed invoice with just a few clicks.
The best software should offer you time-saving features, such as the ability to link invoices to specific loads, include special charges for stop-offs, lumper fees, accessories, and easy to read payment terms. It should also make it incredibly easy to track unpaid invoices and identify loads that have not yet been invoiced.
Save 18 hours a week with Truckstop.com.
Truckstop.com’s powerful TMS is designed to simplify your business. Our average ITS Dispatch customer makes 12% more profits and saves 18 hours a week managing their business with our trucking management software. Let’s get you started.