Every business needs a system for billing and processing payments, well, any business interested in getting paid…
Over the years I have tried different methods for billing my customers. I spent hours creating a fancy invoice I could hand, mail, fax, and email to the customer (which I might add had to be filled out uniquely for every client – more time!). I spent hours creating individual PayPal invoices for each purchase so my customers could easily pay their bills from their email. And there were other methods that proved to be less effective and overly time-consuming.
It wasn’t until I got frustrated and behind on bills, because my invoices weren’t being paid, that I got serious about a solution!
I have used WordPress for several years, and discovered that you can do almost anything you can imagine with WordPress…so I figured I could find a way to use WordPress to automate and simplify my billing and payment process!
Here’s the FREE WordPress plugin I use for this system
How it works: you create an invoice from you WordPress installation’s admin section, an email with a brief invoice description and a unique link is sent to your client. Your client follows the special link to your blog’s where their invoice is automatically displayed for them. After reviewing the invoice, your client pays their bill using a credit card or PayPal account, and you are immediately notified.
Please note: This plugin is packed with tons of great features and is so easy to use.
Other tools you will need
- A merchant account, PayPal is a simple option that works great, but the plugin can integrate with others
Here’s how I implemented it into my business processes
- First, I installed, activated, and configured the plugin (very easy to do with this plugin interface)
- Second, I played with the plugin. Created some test invoice and processed some invoices to make sure it all worked! (PayPal Sandbox Enabled!)
- Third, I made a few policy changes and notified my clients:
- No longer accept checks from out-of-state clients
- Must use the new billing system for all payments
- Late fees apply after 5 days
- A service fee of 3% would be applied to every transaction (covers my PayPal processing fees)
With this new system, I no-longer forget to remind my clients to pay their bills…I don’t have to spend hours creating invoices and wondering if I every mailed them…I have a structured system for creating, sending, reviewing, reminding, and processing payments.
Another great thing about this web-based billing system, clients can pay anytime from almost anywhere (as long as there is an Internet connection). I can also, with my handy iPad, have the client pay their bill while I am meeting with them.
For help setting up your billing system with the WordPress plugin, WP-Invoice, please contact me!
Another great FREE tool for businesses on the go, Square. This is a nifty iPhone/iPad and Android credit card reader! This product does not integrate or work with WP-Invoice.