Jun 26, 2020

When Should You Set Up Recurring Invoices?

As a small business owner, you know that slow payments and unpaid invoices are an unfortunate norm. You complete a regular service or send a product—and then you have to wait for who-knows-how-long before you finally get paid. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could just do your work and then get paid in consistent, predictable intervals?

Of course it would. That’s why small businesses like yours often use recurring invoices. To better understand when you should—and shouldn’t—use them, you should be familiar with how they’re used, why you might want to use a recurring invoice, and who it would benefit in the first place. Those 3 key pieces of information can help to educate and prepare you for the exciting jump into automation and easy billing with recurring invoices.

What Is a Recurring Invoice?

Recurring invoices are handy tools that enable small business owners like you to automatically send invoices to customers for repeat purchases or services. They’re incredibly useful if you’re short on time and energy—which, let’s face it, most small business owners are.

The Benefits of Using Recurring Invoices

While time and energy savings are great motivators to set up recurring invoices with your customers. There are also many other reasons to consider it. Here are 3 additional reasons you should consider making recurring invoices part of your business operations.

1. Payment Process Automation

If you use recurring invoices, you can focus on providing your product or service rather than fussing over on-time payments or billing. If a customer subscribes to a service or purchases the same product at regular intervals, these invoices allow you to automate the entire payment process. That means consistent and predictable income without extra effort.

2. It Makes Bookkeeping a Breeze

When you don’t have to worry about sending the exact same invoice to the exact same customer at the exact same time over and over, bookkeeping becomes a little easier. With recurring invoices, you know what to expect each month and can simplify your bookkeeping process. Plus, with the predictability of recurring payments, you can make more accurate cash flow projections and clearer plans for the future.

3. It Builds Customer Confidence

We live in a digital era where everything is streamlined and moves at the speed of internet. When you have to send out individual invoices manually—whether printed or digital—for scheduled purchases, it makes you look dated. Customers want simple and straightforward payment experiences that require very little thought and effort. If you leverage recurring invoices to provide this to them, your choice can go a long way to building a trusting relationship between you and your customer base.

Who Should Use Recurring Invoices?

As awesome as it would be to have every business utilizing the wonders of recurring invoices, it’s not always feasible— but many businesses are especially suited for them. 

Does your business have a product or service you feel could be subscription-based? Whether it’s a meal kit, pest control, lawn care, or any other commodity, you likely can set up repeat business with recurring invoices. From consultants and rental companies to subscription services for food, razors, and makeup, if you can schedule any sort of regular service, you can implement recurring invoices.

So When Should I Set Up a Recurring Invoice?

When it comes right down to it, the when of this important question largely depends on all of the factors listed above. It doesn’t matter if you’re a plumber or a beautician—if you have a product or service you provide on a regular basis to specific customers, you can automate part of your bookkeeping with recurring invoices. 

If you want to make the automation process even easier, you may consider investing in some bookkeeping software for your small business.

Sunrise: Easy Bookkeeping for Busy Business Owners

If you’re serious about setting your business up for success and introducing recurring invoices, then it’s time you find a bookkeeping system to make the process easier.

Sunrise is a free bookkeeping software that allows you to create custom invoices, establish recurring invoices, and take your business to the next level. With just a couple of clicks, you can build your perfect invoice and set it to automatically bill your repeat customers at the intervals you choose. Whether it’s 4 times a month, yearly, or on some other timeline, you can set your chosen schedule and leave the software to do its thing.

Take the stress out of invoicing. Make your free account with Sunrise and simplify your bookkeeping experience.

About the author

Bjólan Holyoak
Bjólan Holyoak
Bjólan Holyoak is a small business finance writer based in Utah who believes that with the right panache, financial information can be as much of a "breath of fresh air" as a hike in the Utah mountains.

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