When Do You Invoice for Your Project Work?

Awesome … you’ve landed a project with a new client! Then the thought creeps into your mind as you’re falling asleep: “When should I send the invoice?”

1. Invoicing at the Beginning of the Project
When undertaking small projects, invoicing at the beginning of the project may make some sense because it formalizes the commitment between you and your client. That said, when the client pays you before the beginning of the project, they expect a lot from you, so you better deliver. The beauty of this kind of invoicing is that you will have some money in your account to pay for expenses while you undertake the project.

2. Invoicing at the End of the Project
This is most common method and it allows you to course correct or discount if the project goes astray. That said, there are some risks involved. For instance, without a past working relationship with a particular client, you don’t have a track record of payments. You also fronted all of costs to undertake the project, so the client will be reimbursing you on the backend rather than funding you on the front end.

3. Invoicing at the Beginning, Middle, and End of the Project
This involves asking for payment when the project is at various stages. The first payment proves that the client is committed to the project and it obtains funds to kick start the project. The middle payment keeps things rolling and provides additional funds for expenses. The final invoice can be sent before or after delivery of the completed project. Before ensures payment; after implies trust.

*An invoice is an itemized bill for goods sold or services provided, containing individual prices, the total charge, and the terms (Dictionary.com). More to the point, it is a demand for payment.


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