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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 17, 2019

10 Essential Soft Skills That Will Help Advance Your Career

10 Essential Soft Skills That Will Help Advance Your Career

What’s the secret of professional success? Some of it lies in the mastery of your discipline and all the technical skills you have to carry out your job; but a much bigger part lies in the soft skills list you possess.

Soft skills are your people or relationship skills—how well you get along with others and your ability to communicate and collaborate—as well as the personal characteristics you bring to the job, such as optimism, a can-do attitude and the motivation to work hard. These skills are not always easy to point out, but their absence can cause serious problems and negatively affect the whole work atmosphere.

They say that hard skills will help you get the job, but soft skills will help you get along—and get ahead. With that in mind, here’s the top-10 essential soft skills list to help you advance your career.

1. Communication Skills

Communication skills are hands-down the most sought-after soft skill that bosses want, and this one ability covers a lot of ground.

To communicate well, you have to listen carefully, interpret the context of the conversation, express yourself clearly, persuade others of your point of view, check your body language and use an engaging presentation style that won’t intimidate or bore your audience. That’s a big ask!

Your personality traits can influence the way you communicate with others. For instance, some people get straight to the point and center their arguments around facts and logic; others are cooperative and sensitive to how others feel. Both these approaches are equally valuable but there can be misunderstandings if you don’t understand where the other person is coming from.

Taking a comprehensive personality test can help you understand why you communicate the way you do and where your blind spots are. It can also help you understand other communication styles is so you can tailor your communication to the person you’re dealing with.

After all, connecting with your conversation partner is the hallmark of good communication.

2. Flexibility

Change is an essential part of any business. Companies need employees who are flexible enough to work with new initiatives, open to new ideas, and generally are able to tough it out when things don’t go as planned.

Research has found a link between job performance and flexibility over the long term because there will be times when you have to step outside your routine and rise to fresh challenges that didn’t exist before.

Being flexible doesn’t mean you have to hop into a new task or job role like an expert. Rather, it’s about showing you’re willing to accept new responsibility and learn different things.

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Bosses look for people who are prepared to step outside their comfort zones and are open to alternative solutions when their first idea doesn’t work.

3. Being a Team Player

Working on a team can be challenging but learning to do it well can definitely help you get ahead in your career. Employers look for people who can negotiate, cooperate and manage conflicts with other people to achieve a common goal. That includes the ability to build lasting relationships with customers and clients.

What makes a good team player? Essentially, it’s someone who knows the goal and knows her role. Employers look for evidence that you know your strengths, your responsibilities and how you can best contribute to the team, then put those skills into action by sharing ideas and communicating in a respectful manner. That’s the definition of being a good team player.

This is another area where taking a personality test can help you get ahead. When teams work together, each member brings a unique set of skills and qualities to the group. Research has shown that different combinations of personalities affect how teams collaborate and how productive they are.

Knowing who you are, and how you work on a team, can drive new insights and open the door to better teamwork.

4. Positive Mental Attitude

There are plenty of things you can’t change at work, like the people you work with or the fact that the printer is broken again. The one thing you can change is how much you let these things bother you.

Bosses like people who are calm, rational and upbeat—those who diffuse tensions in the workplace, not get all grouchy and go around slamming doors.

Studies show that people who maintain a sunny disposition have better relationships at work, are happier in their jobs and make better decisions than those who whine and complain. Some suggest that a positive mental attitude can also make you live longer—which means it’s beneficial for every area of your life![1]

It’s not always easy to keep a “glass half full” mentality when work is stressful and the deadlines are piling up. But there are some things you can do to help maintain a positive attitude. Laughing at your unfortunate circumstances keeps the work environment positive, and taking “sanity” breaks can help you keep your cool in high-pressure situations.

Managers look for positive mental attitude in a team member that is ready for a promotion, so it really does pay to keep your cool in challenging situations.

5. A Strong Work Ethic

People with a strong work ethic are committed to the role, persevere when things get tough and are inspired by challenge. These people are ambassadors for the organization, and will always be seen as top talent and ideal candidates.

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If you can exhibit this skill, then expect to be seen as a great candidate, eligible for new opportunities and positions throughout your career.

Since a strong work ethic can mean different things to different people, it helps to show specific examples of your exceptional work ethic during a performance appraisal or interview. For instance, you might talk about:

  • A time when you persisted in the face of challenges and did not shy away from hard work.
  • How you volunteered to help with projects even though these tasks did not form part of your job description.
  • The networking, workplace learning and skills betterment you’ve undertaken, which shows ambition and drive (people with a strong work ethic have those qualities in spades).
  • How you own your mistakes and never, ever point the finger of blame at others.

For help with building a strong work ethic, check out these tips: How to Build a Reliable Work Ethic

6. Public Speaking

Who’s terrified of public speaking? Pretty much everyone, since public speaking is America’s number one fear, ahead of death at number five and loneliness at number seven.

Yet, according to Warren Buffett, mastering this one skill you could increase your personal value by 50 percent.[2] That’s huge!

If you’re not natural at public speaking, you’re in good company. Buffett had to work hard to overcome his stage fright and once dropped out of a public-speaking course before it started—because he was afraid of public speaking! He eventually realized that he needed to build up his confidence by just doing it; over and over in front of small groups.

For a more structured approach, Toastmasters International teaches public speaking and leadership skills through a variety of pathways. Membership of this non-profit looks good on your resume but the real payoff will come when you can put your newfound skills to use on the job or in the interview room.

Or, you can check out this advice: The Ultimate Public Speaking Tips to Hook and Impress Any Audience

7. Integrity

From a manager’s point of view, the two integrity skills that will set you apart are:

  • Always doing what you say you will do
  • Owning an error instead of minimizing or hiding it

…even when no one is around to check up on you.

There are lots of people who have climbed the ladder without scruples, but they are not the people who others trust, respect and support when promotion time comes around.

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Behaving with integrity is a safe and consistent way to enhance your reputation and achieve your professional goals.

8. Managing Your Time

Phone calls, texts, Slack pings, meetings, huddles, side projects, multitasking—we are busier today than any generation before us. There’s no denying the workplace is an incredibly distracting place to be.

A lot of us have traded effectiveness for busyness which we wear as a badge of honor, both as a proxy for productivity and to show our value to the company. But what bosses want, what they really, really want, is someone who actually gets stuff done on time.

Time management is not merely the art of being on time, but of managing your time so you focus on the projects that really matter and add value to the business. This means prioritizing well, sticking to schedules, delegating, and not getting distracted by tasks that are easier to perform or less important. It means planning ahead and learning when it’s appropriate to say no.

Time management can be a tough skill to maintain, but not a difficult one to pick up. Monitor your actions for a few days—how long do your tasks take to finish? What’s interrupting you? What causes you to lose focus? Once you have the answers to these questions, you can set a schedule for yourself to make sure you’re spending your time wisely and this valuable asset is never wasted.

These 20 Quick Time Management Tips to Super Boost Your Productivity are also great to try.

9. Assertiveness

In any workplace, you typically will find people with the following conflict styles:

  • Passive: Those who go out of their way to avoid conflict.
  • Passive-aggressive: Those who express their negative feelings through actions rather than words.
  • Aggressive: Those who respond to conflict in a hostile and rude manner. These people get their opinion heard but they won’t make any friends in the process.
  • Assertive: People who stick up for their rights while still respecting the rights of others.

Managers look for assertiveness above all other styles because it allows decisions to be made without conflict or alienating people.

How do you use this information for yourself?

It starts with understanding your personality so you can anticipate how you will react when conflict arises and address your own shortcomings. Then, you can start influencing the team for top results, and securing your own career advancement in the process.

Learn how to be assertive and gain respect:

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How to Be Assertive and Stand up for Yourself the Smart Way

10. Creative Thinking

LinkedIn recently analyzed over 50,000 skills that employers search for when looking for candidates to find out what skills are currently in demand.[3] Taking the number-one slot on the 2019 soft skills list was creativity: the ability to solve problems and think outside the box.

Creativity is about bringing fresh, and sometimes unorthodox, ideas to the table. This helps companies to innovate, and companies that do not innovate will not survive very long.

How do you showcase your creative thinking skills? The golden rule is to participate.

Be brave and share your ideas during group brainstorming sessions. Volunteer to run a society, networking event or recruitment drive. Ask “what if” questions: “What if we add this information to the client welcome pack?” “What if we eliminate step 3 from the process?”

These activities demonstrate that you’re prepared to go beyond “business as usual” towards creative problem solving—an ability that will serve you every day, all throughout your career.

You can learn to unleash your creativity power:

What Is Creativity? We All Have It, and Need It

Final Thoughts

The good news? Every item on this soft skills list can be learned. Although you may feel lacking in certain areas, taking an inventory of your strengths and weaknesses will allow you to focus in on the areas that you’ll benefit from developing.

So take an inventory of your personality, skills, and talents. This will give you a baseline for your communication style, attitude to change, conscientiousness and more. You can then identify your weak areas and develop strategies for improving your team-building, assertiveness and conflict skills.

The better news? The effort is worth it. Developing your soft skills opens the door to a new job or a promotion, and helps you succeed once you get there.

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Featured photo credit: Rachael Gorjestani via unsplash.com

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