In this blog, we are going to look at how you can use Paypal Invoices to manage customer payments in your balloon business. We are going to look at how you can take card payments, set up instalments and structure invoices to take deposits and request future payments.
PayPal is a trusted method of taking customer payments especially when taking orders via social media. In a world where unfortunately there are many unscrupulous people PayPal is set up to protect customers and will refund where services paid for are not then delivered. As such lots of customers are more comfortable to use this method of payment than any other. PayPal also offer ways of collecting money which makes it easier for you the business owner.
In this blog I am going to walk you through an amazing feature that you can use to collect payments from your customers. It allows you to
- Collect deposits and final payments
- Deliver your terms and conditions with the payment request
- Set up instalments
- Send reminders
- Take credit card payments when customers don’t have PayPal or need to pay by corporate credit card.
- Have a simple way of managing payments for larger orders and corporate orders
Creating your invoice
PayPal’s terms and conditions state that you should have a business account when using the service as a business for commercial purposes. That being said you can issue an invoice from a personal account using your desktop. Having a business account means you can issue invoices easily from the PayPal business app on mobile. The instructions below are using a desktop but the PayPal business app is very intuitive to use.
Start by logging into your account and navigating the Send and Request screen. The tab is at the top on the blue menu bar.
Here you will see an option on the right to send an invoice.
Setting up your Balloon Business Details
If it is your first time creating an invoice you will need to fill in the details for your business – but don’t worry you can then save all the details as a template for future use at the end.
Start by uploading your business logo
Then click < edit> to complete your business information
Creating a Reference and Payment dates
Next you want to enter your reference for the invoice. I usually write the customers event details and date of the event here.
Setting Up Installments
There is an option to set up the frequency of the payments. You can set up as a one off payment, or weekly, monthly etc.
Note: Instalments are where you have agreed with the customer they are going to make regular payments, eg. £100 per month, up to the date of their event. It needs to be the same amount for each time.
If you would like customers to be able to pay whatever they choose until payment is complete this is set up as once only and we will select partial payments later in the invoice. The same applies if you want them to pay a deposit now and final payment later it’s still once only.
Setting up a deposit payment/partial payments
All businesses should take a non-returnable deposit at booking to protect themselves from losses due to cancellation. You can do this on one invoice by selecting allow partial payment and then selecting the minimum payment due on receipt of the invoice. Your customers can then pay this on receipt of the invoice and come back later to complete payments in differing amounts or in one go before the final payment date.
Choosing the right template for your invoice
There are several templates to choose from when designing your invoice the simplest is amount only where you would just input the agreed amount for the total event. You can split out items in this template but you would need to put the total amount for each item. So for example if you had 5 bouquets you would put the total price of 5 bouquets in this line.
The quantity template is where you can add lines for each item. You put in the item price and the quantity and then it calculates the total price for however many you put in. This is great for invoicing on the go or if you have staff creating the invoices for you, especially if you save your most common pricing, because all the adding up is done for you. This is the template I use for corporate customers as they like the fact everything is broken down into units and totals and looks much more professional.
The final template is hourly invoicing. This is for businesses who charge their services by the hour.
Adding or removing elements from the template
There is additional detail you can add to the invoice such as tax, detailed description, item discount, date, shipping, discount etc
If you have services you are going to deliver on different dates as part of a larger contract this can be detailed on the contract and is great for corporate. For example if you are sorting the balloons for a marketing department for the next quarter each campaign can be detailed with dates on the invoice.
I always add a description of the services because as discussed later I like to include my terms and conditions. Their payment of a deposit then creates the contract between us. Laying out the description of each item makes it transparent and reduces problems later if the customer is unhappy about anything.
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Choosing your currency
There is an option to change the currency of your invoice.
Adding the items to be paid for
When you start entering the items on the invoice you can create a new line for different items. In this invoice I have used the quantity template. I simply enter what it is. The quantity and the unit price and it calculates the item total and brings that down into the invoice total.
You can bespoke the line by entering a detailed description of each item if you like. I usually do this as I use this in my business to double check details when preparing the order.
If the item is something you do regularly at a set price Eg. bouquets of 3 latex, personalised bubbles etc there is the option to save the price for next time and makes invoicing much faster!
Adding delivery, discounts etc to the invoice
In additional detail you can further customise your invoice. You can add a discount to the invoice if you wish. Whilst there is an option for shipping I usually select custom amount and enter delivery. You can also use this to add additional fees like returning to strike down or further visits to replenish displays.
Adding terms and Conditions to the invoice.
There is a section towards the end of the invoice where you can add a note to your customer. You can use it for whatever you like. I usually like to add a note saying thank you for your order etc.
One of things I love the most about Paypal invoices is the ability to add your terms and conditions. I usually attach a pdf with my full terms and conditions but as not all customers notice its there or read it I also add a note in the terms and conditions box explaining they are attached and payment of the deposit assumes they have read an agreed to the terms and conditions and should be viewed as a contract.
Save your template for next time…
One of the biggest time savers ever is to save your first invoice as a template. this means next time you come to send an invoice it will take you minutes to complete. You can find the save as template option by clicking on save as draft at the bottom of the invoice.
Preview your Invoice
Once you have finished entering the details on your invoice it’s always a good idea to preview the invoice and check for any missing information or things that need amending. You can click on edit at the top of the preview if you need to.
Sending your invoice
Once you are happy with your invoice you simply click send. There is the option to send via PayPal which then automatically sends a email to the customer and sends you an email too confirming the invoice has been sent. there is the option if you prefer to create a link which you can then send to the customer either by messenger or in your own email format.
Customer receives email to make payment
When you customer receives the email there is a button they can click on which takes them through to the invoice.
Dependant on the options you set in the invoice they will have the choice of paying the deposit amount, the full amount or another amount of their choosing.
Paying by Card
Once they have gone through to payment they have the option to pay via paypal or by card. if they don’t seethe card option it may be because the device they are using is already logged in to paypal.
Managing invoices and sending reminders
All invoices you send are stored in the invoices manager. You can easily see who has made payment and send reminders to any people still outstanding with payments.
I hope you found this blog useful and it helps you simplify payments in the day to day running of your balloon business. If you liked this blog please comment below and leave me feedback as this encourages me to create more content to help you grow your balloons business.
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