I don’t know about you, but for me the best part about the cleaning business is “getting paid” for all that work.
To get paid you will need to bill the customer somehow. This is normally done by creating an invoice and delivering it to them one way or another.
The invoice serves as a receipt for the service you provided. Depending upon what type of work you perform, you will either get paid right away or within an agreed upon time frame.
For instance, in the house cleaning market many of you will get paid at time of service. This means you’ll leave an invoice when finished and the customer will pay you right then and there.
This type of arrangement is real nice as you won’t have any collection issues, other than the occasional time a customer forgets to leave you a check (which hopefully doesn’t happen all that often).
Over in the commercial market you generally don’t get paid at time of service. In this scenario you will perform the work and mail the customer an invoice that will be payable in a set time-frame. I’ll cover that in more detail in a moment. For now lets start building a cleaning invoice…
Cleaning Invoice Example
I’m going to start at the top of the invoice and work my way down to the bottom. I’ll explain each section in detail, then at the very end you will get to view it all as a finished invoice. I will also make a template available for you to download if you need one.
1 – The upper section of the invoice will have your company name and slogan, address and other contact info. Look at the image below to get a feel for how it lays out…
2 – Next up comes a few more bits of information. First, take notice of the “date”. This will be the date the invoice is printed. Then comes the “PO” (purchase order). Many times this will be left blank.
The purchase order is normally how large companies approve expenditures. For instance lets say you bid a big construction clean-up for an office building. If you were to get the job, they would give you a PO in many cases.
This PO number is usually some combination of numbers and even letters sometimes. This PO would need to be on the invoice in order for you to get paid. You generally won’t run into these when you first get started in the cleaning business.
Next up is the “terms”. This just spells out how soon the customer must make payment after the work is compete. The most common ranges are below…
- Due upon receipt – This means due immediately.
- Net 15 – This means they have 15 days to submit payment.
- Net 30 – They have 30 days to pay.
3 – The “Bill To” section is easy. This is the section that spells out who is paying for the work to be performed and their address. Take a look at the image below to get a feel for it.
4 – The description part of the invoice just boils down to creating a brief summery of what service you performed, then just add a price for that service. Do this as many times as needed to describe the work performed. See the example below…
5 – Now you need to total all this so that the customer (and you for that matter) know how much is owed. This really just involves adding everything up and calculating in the sales tax (if any) for your location.
6 – The next area is for promoting a special offer of some kind for your business. This is not required by any means, just a suggestion. I have used this area for offering all types of specials every now and then.
At other times I just created a separate flyer and inserted it into the envelope. What you do is your call! This is how it would look if you added it to the invoice.
7 – The last section is used to THANK the customer for their business. This is highly recommended, as without them you would be out of luck. You could just say just about anything here to thank them for their business (the more personal the better).
It’s not as big a deal as you thought huh? Like I said earlier, it’s nothing fancy! Anyway… let’s take a look at how this invoice appears in its entirety…
What you just saw was a run of the mill invoice in the cleaning business. The ones I use in my company look very similar. If you wanted to spruce them up a little you could add your logo (either in color or black and white).
I am making this template available as a download below. As usual it will be in OpenOffice format (.odt). If you don’t have the free program you can find it at www.openoffice.org
This download will give you something to work with if you are just starting out. Keep in mind an accounting program such as Quickbooks will automatically create invoices for you once you set up the program.
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