If your arts and crafts business is small or you sell just a few high-price items each month, you may feel it's not worth the effort or expense to buy accounting software or spreadsheet software to prepare computerized invoices. In addition, if you are at a craft show or a similar type of venue, you probably won't want to go through the hassle of bringing along your printer so you can prepare a computerized invoice for each sale.
It's very easy to prepare manual customer invoices if you establish a procedure to accomplish this task. This includes knowing what information arts and crafts businesses normally include on customer invoices and what information is important to you as the owner . You should also have the appropriate type of paper stock on which to prepare your customer invoice.
Here are tips for preparing manual customer invoices:
Paper Stock for Preparing Arts and Crafts Manual Customer Invoice
Letterhead either professionally prepared by a printer or that you make yourself is appropriate for customer invoices especially if your business contact information and logo are compactly located at the top, bottom or side of the sheet paper. Many arts and crafts businesses also buy generic multi-part invoices in booklet or pad form that is available at any office supply store or online. If you go this route, make sure you buy forms with at least one copy. Give the customer the original and keep the copy for your accounting records.
Since it's so easy to hand-write sales information on these multi-part forms, they are a big favorite at craft shows where the objective is to complete sales as quickly as possible so you can move onto your next arts or crafts customer. The downside to using generic forms is they don't look as professional as invoices you prepare using letterhead. They also won't contain your company or contact information. To work around this issue, have a stamp made with your business information and stamp the original of each form in your spare time.
Preparing a Handwritten Invoice on Multi-Part Form
If handwriting sales information on a multi-part invoice, add enough information so that days later when you are going back through your forms you can figure out exactly what you sold. This is important since you need the figures to remove sold arts and crafts items from your inventory, figure out how much sales tax you need to remit and calculate your gross sales amount.
At a minimum, include the date, a brief description and price of the item sold, sales tax collected and the total amount paid by the customer. If relevant, add customer information and method of payment. You can ask your customer to fill in their name and address on the multi-part invoice form while you are bagging their purchase. After the craft show, add this contact information to your mailing list.
Preparing a Handwritten Invoice on Letterhead
Alternatively, use a word processor to create an invoice form like the one shown on this page. The info I show in this example is very basic. Tailor it to your business, adding to it as need be. Perhaps add a customer contact information section. If you shipped the order, add a box for 'Date Shipped' and 'Shipping Method' information.
Make sure you set up sections on your word processing invoice template that fit in around what's already printed on your letterhead. Load your letterhead into your printer and print the template onto your letterhead. You could also copy the invoice template onto your letterhead. If you use a copier rather than your printer, make sure you give the glass on the copier a good cleaning before you start so you won't have any annoying specks on the copies.
As you sell items, you can hand write all the details of the sale on the forms. If you have access to a computer and printer, you can also just key the info directly onto the template and print to your letterhead.
See all my tips for preparing customer invoices.