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10 Popular Invoicing Templates For Freelancers And Small Businesses

10 Popular Invoicing Templates For Freelancers And Small Businesses

Being a freelancer is not an easy job — it’s a hardcore career when it comes to the many tasks. You have to be on your toes always in order to satisfy clients as markets change drastically. You need to handle many complicated tasks on your own, starting from client discovery, tax compliance, and getting paid for the work you have done. One of the most important tasks that freelancers have to deal with is invoicing. Though it is quite hectic, it can also be satisfying if done right.

You have to prepare invoices to charge for the work you’ve done, which is a tedious job. But nowadays, with the help of invoice templates, you can do this in a series of steps at a much faster pace. You just need to download the template in the format required — PDF, Excel, etc. — and fill in the required details to complete it, including invoice number, reference, payment due by, PO number, tax details, items worked on, etc. There are a number of invoicing templates available on the market today to make your life as a freelancer easier. Here are just a few.

1. Invoice For Hours Worked Template

Once you are running any consulting business or service, it is a requirement to make a good impression on your clients. You want to keep the invoicing template as simple as possible so the client can best understand it.

This template is the simplest design which lets you calculate the total by entering the number of hours worked and hourly rate. You can also use this as an invoice for items that are not based on an hourly rate. There is option to add your PayPal ID so that your client can opt to pay by that method.

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2. Blank Invoice Template

There are number of small businesses that use blank invoice templates to bill customers. You can easily modify these invoice templates.

This blank invoice template is beautifully minimalist. It can be used for providing receipts and billing customers. This is ink-friendly design saves printing costs — that means it contains no formula and can be printed and filled out easily. You can customize blank invoice templates according to your needs by editing the header with the name of your business and inserting your logo.

3. Proforma Invoice Template

This template is basically used for defining the actual completion of a sale or the value of the trade prior to shipping. The pro forma is used to indicate a planned statement or transaction.

This Proforma Invoice Template will help your company to generate professional invoices. These templates can be designed for both international and domestic trade. You just need to download and fill out your customer and business information. This template has detailed transaction information so that the customer knows exactly what they are being charged for, leaving no chance of surprises.

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4. Sales Invoice Template

This template is professional, clean, and simple, designed for the small business owner. With this template, you can calculate shipping charges and tax. It consists of a single Excel sheet with multiple tabs, including basic sale invoice, Sales Invoice with Remittance, and Price List Option. You just need to save your customized spreadsheet as a template. You can also fill in Company Name, Bill To, Ship To, Salesperson, Ship Via, F.O.B, Terms. It is recommended to send this invoice to customers as a PDF by converting the invoice worksheet.

5. Consulting Template

This template has separate sections for defining hourly rates and other fees, like setup fees or fees for equipment. It has light and bold themes included in one download.

This template is specifically designed for IT consulting services. You can change the color of the layout to best suit your needs. Since different states have different tax rates, you can enter tax rates for hourly rate. Purchase order or Work order can be added in the header of the template.

6. Billing Invoice Template

This template allows the creation of quotes, invoices, receipts, estimates, and accounting statements. You can change the color scheme as well. In the table, you can mention QTY and UNIT PRICE, as well as defining the labor charges as rate and hours. You can include discounts in the UNIT PRICE column by giving them a negative value. In the second worksheet, you can add tax details. You can also send the invoice your to customer as a PDF.

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7. Basic Invoice Template

This template is extremely easy to use. It has one formula for calculating the sum, but that doesn’t mean you can’t add new formulas. To use the same template as a receipt, you just need to change the word in the header from Invoice to Receipt.

8. Invoice Tracker

This template makes the tracking of invoices easy as it maintains a list of all the invoices and customers. It lets you see billing statements from a single customer by using Excel features.

This template has number of features, including filtering and sorting invoices, displaying data on an aging basis, highlighting due dates for overdue payments in red, as well as the ability to mark invoice status as draft, paid, or closed. You can even send the invoice as a PDF to your customer.

9. Invoice Assistant

This template shows you a list of invoices and an overview of customers at the same time in the Excel form. It has the capability to generate invoices and maintain the tracker at the same time. You just need to select the particular customer and template and then give the defined values and mark the status for further tracking. You can generate an aging report as well. The main features include tracking invoice generated by any tool, customizable templates, etc.

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10. Service Invoice Template

This template is designed with freelancers and consultants in mind. It is useful when your business is more about offering services and not about shipping or parts. Its A4 size means it can be printed on a single page. You can also send the invoice to your customer through email as a PDF. You can also change the currency format in the invoice template by changing the cell formatting.

Featured photo credit: pixabay.com via pixabay.com

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Abhay Jeet Mishra

Writer at Lifehack & Enterested.com

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Last Updated on April 9, 2020

5 Types of Leadership Styles (And Which Is Best for You)

5 Types of Leadership Styles (And Which Is Best for You)

It takes great leadership skills to build great teams.

The best leaders have distinctive leadership styles and are not afraid to make the difficult decisions. They course-correct when mistakes happen, manage the egos of team members and set performance standards that are constantly being met and improved upon.

With a population of more than 327 million, there are literally scores of leadership styles in the world today. In this article, I will talk about the most common types of leadership and how you can determine which works best for you.

5 Types of Leadership Styles

I will focus on 5 common styles that I’ve encountered in my career: democratic, autocratic, transformational, transactional and laissez-faire leadership.

The Democratic Style

The democratic style seeks collaboration and consensus. Team members are a part of decision-making processes and communication flows up, down and across the organizational chart.

The democratic style is collaborative. Author and motivational speaker Simon Sinek is an example of a leader who appears to have a democratic leadership style.

    The Autocratic Style

    The autocratic style, on the other hand, centers the preferences, comfort and direction of the organization’s leader. In many instances, the leader makes decisions without soliciting agreement or input from their team.

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    The autocratic style is not appropriate in all situations at all times, but it can be especially useful in certain careers, such as military service, and in certain instances, such as times of crisis. Steve Jobs was said to have had an autocratic leadership style.

    While the democratic style seeks consensus, the autocratic style is less interested in consensus and more interested in adherence to orders. The latter advises what needs to be done and expects close adherence to orders.

      The Transformational Style

      Transformational leaders drive change. They are either brought into organizations to turn things around, restore profitability or improve the culture.

      Alternatively, transformational leaders may have a vision for what customers, stakeholders or constituents may need in the future and work to achieve those goals. They are change agents who are focused on the future.

      Examples of transformational leader are Oprah and Robert C. Smith, the billionaire hedge fund manager who has offered to pay off the student loan debt of the entire 2019 graduating class of Morehouse College.

        The Transactional Style

        Transactional leaders further the immediate agenda. They are concerned about accomplishing a task and doing what they’ve said they’d do. They are less interested in changing the status quo and more focused on ensuring that people do the specific task they have been hired to do.

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        The transactional leadership style is centered on short-term planning. This style can stifle creativity and keep employees stuck in their present roles.

        The Laissez-Faire Style

        The fifth common leadership style is laissez-faire, where team members are invited to help lead the organization.

        In companies with a laissez-faire leadership style, the management structure tends to be flat, meaning it lacks hierarchy. With laissez-faire leadership, team members might wonder who the final decision maker is or can complain about a lack of leadership, which can translate to lack of direction.

        Which Leadership Style do You Practice?

        You can learn a lot about your leadership style by observing your family of origin and your formative working experiences.

        Whether you realize it, from the time you were born up until the time you went to school, you were receiving information on how to lead yourself and others. From the way your parents and siblings interacted with one another, to unspoken and spoken communication norms, you were a sponge for learning what constitutes leadership.

        The same is true of our formative work experiences. When I started my communications career, I worked for a faith-based organization and then a labor union. The style of communication varied from one organization to the other. The leadership required to be successful in each organization was also miles apart. At Lutheran social services, we used language such as “supporting people in need.” At the labor union, we used language such as “supporting the leadership of workers” as they fought for what they needed.

        Many in the media were more than happy to accept my pitch calls when I worked for the faith-based organization, but the same was not true when I worked for a labor union. The quest for media attention that was fair and balanced became more difficult and my approach and style changed from being light-hearted to being more direct with the labor union.

        I didn’t realize the impact those experiences had on how I thought about my leadership until much later in my career.

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        In my early experience, it was not uncommon for team members to have direct, brash and tough conversations with one another as a matter of course. It was the norm, not the exception. I learned to challenge people, boldly state my desires and preferences, and give tough feedback, but I didn’t account for the actions of others fit for me, as a black woman. I didn’t account for gender biases and racial biases.

        What worked well for my white male bosses, did not work well for me as an African American woman. People experienced my directness as being rude and insensitive. While I needed to be more forceful in advancing the organization’s agenda when I worked for labor, that style did not bode well for faith-based social justice organizations who wanted to use the love of Christ to challenge injustice.

        Whereas I received feedback that I needed to develop more gravitas in the workplace when I worked for labor, when I worked for other organizations after the labor union, I was often told to dial it back. This taught me two important lessons about leadership:

        1. Context Matters

        Your leadership style must adjust to each workplace you are employed. The challenges and norms of an organization will shape your leadership style significantly.

        2. Not All Leadership Styles Are Appropriate for the Teams You’re Leading

        When I worked on political campaigns, we worked nonstop. We started at dawn and worked late into the evening. I couldn’t expect that level of round-the-clock work for people at the average nonprofit. Not only couldn’t I expect it, it was actually unhealthy. My habit of consistently waking up at 4 am to work was profoundly unhealthy for me and harmful for the teams I was leading.

        As life coach and spiritual healer Iyanla Vanzant has said,

        “We learn a lot from what is seen, sensed and shared.”

        The message I was sending to my team was ‘I will value you if you work the way that I work, and if you respond to my 4 am, 5 am and 6 am emails.’ I was essentially telling my employees that I expect you to follow my process and practice.

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        As I advanced in my career and began managing more people, I questioned everything I thought I knew about leadership. It was tough. What worked for me in one professional setting did not work in other settings. What worked at one phase of my life didn’t necessarily serve me at later stages.

        When I began managing millennials, I learned that while committed to the work, they had active interests and passions outside of the office. They were not willing to abandon their lives and happiness for the work, regardless of how fulfilling it might have been.

        The Way Forward

        To be an effective leader, you must know yourself incredibly well. You must be self-reflective and also receptive to feedback.

        As fellow Lifehack contributor Mike Bundrant wrote in the article 10 Essential Leadership Qualities That Make a Great Leader:

        “Those who lead must understand human nature, and they start by fully understanding themselves…They know their strengths, and are equally aware of their weaknesses and thus understand the need for team work and the sharing of responsibility.”

        The way to determine your leadership style is to get to know yourself and to be mindful of the feedback you receive from others. Think about the leadership lessons that were seen, sensed and shared in your family of origin. Then think about what feels right for you. Where do you gravitate and what do you tend to avoid in the context of leadership styles?

        If you are really stuck, think about using a personality assessment to shed light on your work patterns and preferences.

        Finally, the path for determining your leadership style is to think about not only what you need, or what your company values, but also what your team needs. They will give you cues on what works for them and you need to respond accordingly.

        Leadership requires flexibility and attentiveness. Contrary to unrealistic notions of leadership, being a leader is less about being served and more about being of service.

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        Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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