It’s the end of the month and time to sit down to invoice my clients. Many small business owners dread this ritual but for me, it is pretty simple. I have an app on my phone that I use to track my hours on each client’s project. At the end of the day, I transfer those hours to a spreadsheet which keeps a running tally of each project’s hours. I have an invoice template so it is quick and easy to to create an invoice for each client. The amount of each invoice is transferred to a spreadsheet where I track payments along with all my expenses. A quick glance at the spreadsheet reveals who’s paid, who hasn’t and whether I made a profit that month. If my list of active clients gets long, I can easily automate more of these processes.
So, for me, invoicing is a simple task that I don’t avoid. I love creating systems that minimize unnecessary effort and eliminate duplication. As a small business owner, it’s easy to tell which skills come naturally to you and which ones don’t by doing a quick assessment of the things you put off each month. That list of procrastinations will reveal the areas of your business you’ve been neglecting or the skills you need to enhance or purchase. For me, that list of procrastinations has been in the realm of branding and marketing:
- Revisit website and refine my brand – start next week
- Develop a tagline – to do after website review
- Perfect elevator speech – after tagline is done
- Attend networking events – wait for elevator speech to be perfected
Get the idea?
What about you? What parts of operating a small business cause you the most pain? What have you done to enhance your skills in the areas you avoid? Or are you paying someone to address these areas for you? Which option works best for you?