If you've just started your arts and crafts business, it's easy to become overwhelmed with all the details. I know when I first started my business everything was stressful. I'd get one business situation under control and another problem would come to take its place.
One of my major concerns in the start-up phase of my business was making sure my products and business correspondence was totally professional. It's always best to maintain an atmosphere of being in business for an extended length of time. Customers usually feel more comfortable purchasing from an established business. The last thing you want is to make it obvious that you're an inexperienced businessperson by putting out awkwardly-formed documents to either customers or vendors.
Don't get me wrong - everyone at one point or another is a newbie. And there is nothing wrong with that. You just don't want to come across as obviously being an inexperienced arts and crafts business owner. To that end, this article describes out how to prepare a customer invoice.
Preparing the Top Section of an Arts and Crafts Business Invoice
Whether you own some sort of boxed accounting software with the ability to prepare invoices or you plan on creating invoices using word processing or spreadsheet software, here's an example of how to prepare an invoice for a sales made by your arts and crafts business using my fictitious business Metropolitan Arts and Crafts as an example.
First let's talk about what information goes in the top section of the invoice form. Shown on this page is a no-graphics version of an invoice. If you have a logo or some other type of company art, it's nice to have it printed on your invoice too. But you always have to weigh price versus appearance. If it's going to cost too much, an alternative is to have your company name in some sort of cool type font.
Tips on Numbering Customer Invoices
Check out the fields of information on the top of the invoice. They are self-explanatory. The invoice number is personal preference. You can have them sequentially numbered, they can be tied to a year such as 2010-100 (the 100th invoice for the year 2010) or maybe associated with the customer's name. For example, Baldwin-10 (this is the 10th invoice for Lisa Baldwin).
Ok, what about the Not Paid, printed on the top? I'm totally indifferent about this addition to an invoice. I think most customers assume an invoice isn't paid when they receive it, but you may have some customers who pay prior to your shipping the product. Certainly all my retail/website clients are paid in full before they get their order. In that case, my invoicing program prints Paid.