When choosing invoice software for your small business, it can be easy to opt for the one that appears to be the most cost-effective on paper or has been recommended by another business owner.
But before you take the leap, here are some questions to consider asking your potential invoice software provider before signing up.
How user-friendly is it?
Sounds obvious, but a user-friendly interface can be the make or break for your choice of invoice software. Clunky and unintuitive UX can add time to tasks that should be much quicker. That’s why you should ask for a demo or sign up for free software to give it a test run before you purchase or decide that this is the software for you.
It can be frustrating to sign up for invoice software with all the bells and whistles only to find it challenging and time-consuming to use. Invoice software is there to save you time (and therefore money), not to make your life more complicated.
You may even want to consider if it has both a desktop version as well as an app for your mobile devices.
What features does it have that I actually need?
In a similar vein to the above, before you decide on your software provider, it makes sense to first list all the features you need to run your specific business. Why pay for features you’ll never use?
A good way of doing this is to make a list and separate the must-haves from the would-like-to-haves and see how many boxes your invoice software ticks. In an ideal world, it would be all of them, but at the minimum should tick all the must-haves.
Must-haves could include:
- Automatic invoice payment reminder emails.
- Professional invoice template designs.
- The ability for clients to pay invoices online with just one click.
Would-like-to-haves might be auto-billing and recurring invoices, the ability to accept partial payments and deposits or to track inventory levels.
What’s on your list will depend on your individual business needs.
How many clients can I invoice?
Some invoicing software limits the number of clients you can add or invoices you can send.
This might not present a major problem if you are a freelancer and only have a small number of clients at any one time. But it can be an issue if you have multiple customers or are looking to scale up in the future, so it’s worth checking out.
Does it support the countries and currencies where I do business?
If you have overseas clients, it’s essential that you are able to invoice them in their own currency, and even better if you can invoice them in their language.
This feature is often part of a paid plan, so it’s worth clarifying before you sign up.
What payment gateways are available?
Online payment gateways allow your client to pay the invoice online with just one click – enabling you to get paid faster.
Examples of online payment gateways include PayPal, Stripe, Apple Pay, Alipay and many more. The more payment gateways your invoice software offers, the better for you and your clients.
What support does it offer?
Good customer support is key for any software provider. The ability to be able to contact support via email or live chat and know you are going to get any issues sorted quickly is paramount in the day-to-day running of your business to ensure it runs as smoothly as possible.
Forums and communities are also great assets when deciding on invoice software because you can discuss features with fellow community members, learn more about what the software can do, and learn about the latest upgrades and new products.
Does it come with professional and customizable invoice templates?
Presenting your clients with professional invoices with your logo and branding can enhance your reputation as a professional and build trust. Gone are the days when a quickly thrown-together DIY Word document would suffice.
Nowadays, the competition is hot, so a professionally designed invoice that presents you and your company in the best light is a no-brainer.
Furthermore, you can be confident that you haven’t left out any vital invoice information that could hinder and hence delay payment.
Is there a free plan?
Free plans are useful, not just because they are free but because if you decide to upgrade later to access the premium features, by this time, you’ll almost certainly know the software much better. Free plans are also handy so that you can enjoy a no-obligation trial period.
To summarize, when choosing invoice software, ensure the features offered (paid or free) are useful for your specific business. Generally speaking, you can’t go wrong with an invoice software provider that provides customizable invoice options, a host of payment gateways and top-notch customer service.
Invoice Ninja offers all the features mentioned above and more.
And the best thing?