Throughout much of the U.S., snow plowing companies are vital to the safety and prosperity of American families. Homeowners and small businesses count on snow removal services in critical times, avoiding hours of labor in potentially hazardous conditions.
While the need for snow removal is clear, the process of invoicing for this service can be more convoluted. Snow plowing companies use a variety of pricing schemes and frequently offer different options for business owners and residential customers.
If you own a snow removal business, you need a streamlined invoicing process that can accommodate all the snow plowing services you provide – while keeping bills simple for customers. Thankfully, our invoice template tool can help you get started, with all the features you need to create a professional snow plowing invoice.
Below, we'll provide step-by-step instructions for using our editable invoice template to bill for snow removal services. We'll also offer several expert invoicing tips for your snow removal business.
When writing invoices for your snow plowing customers, it's wise to prioritize clarity. Customers will appreciate understanding your bill completely rather than puzzling over aspects of your pricing.
By following the steps below, you can use our editable template to create a straightforward service invoice – and hopefully receive payment more promptly as a result.
In the upper-left portion of the invoice, enter your business name and full address. If you have a separate address that you use for administrative correspondence (such as an office or P.O. box), provide that here instead of the physical location of your snow plowing operation.
Below your own information, enter the name and address of your customer. If you are invoicing a commercial client, enter the formal name of the business, not the name of your contact person at that company.
No matter the industry, any service invoice should include a uniquely identifying invoice number to assist you and your customers in maintaining accurate records. Ideally, your business will eventually utilize an invoicing platform that automatically creates distinct invoice numbers. In the meantime, you can use our editable invoice template to enter any combination of numbers you choose.
Next, enter the invoice date (typically the day the invoice was created or sent by your snow plowing company). After that, enter a due date before which your customer must submit payment.
Snow plowing businesses have different payment time frames; many set due dates that are seven, 15, or 30 days from the invoice date (these billing periods are sometimes called "net 7," "net 15," or "net 30"). Whichever method you choose, ensure that your due date corresponds accurately with the customer agreement.
Snow removal companies calculate their rates in several different ways and often use different pricing schemes for different kinds of customers. Thankfully, our invoice template can accommodate any method you use to charge your customers.
Many companies, for example, charge hourly rates for snow removal services, billing customers for the time spent plowing their property. To list such a charge on your bill, select the "hours" option in the "item" column, then enter a description for your service. Enter your hourly rate under "unit price" and the number of hours under "quantity."
You can also charge a flat fee, such as a set price for a single job or a monthly rate for plowing services. To do this, select "service" in the "item" column, then enter a description, the flat fee, and the number of times you performed the service.
Our customizable invoice template also allows you to enter any discount you may have offered to customers, subtracting the amount from your overall total. For example, many snow plowing companies offer discounts for commercial clients that hire them to plow more than one business location. Other snow removal businesses require a deposit at the beginning of the season, then subtract that amount from subsequent bills.
From a customer service perspective, clearly specifying these discounts on invoices is critical. Without adding these savings as specific line items, your customers may wonder if you forgot to follow through on the deal you promised.
In the template's "notes" section, it can be helpful to explain certain aspects of your pricing, especially if this invoice differs significantly from previous bills you've sent. Ideally, you'll already have discussed payment details with your customers, but adding a brief note can help jog their memories.
Providing additional contact information is another good use of this "notes" section: In case your customers have questions about the invoice, whom should they contact and how? It's also an opportunity to remind customers of how they can pay their bill, whether with a check or credit card payment via your online payment system.
Aside from the actual contents of your invoice, there are several important aspects of billing in the snow plow business. The following recommendations can help you avoid invoicing headaches while keeping your customers content.
Most snow plow companies charge at least some customers using hourly rates, so keeping track of your time is crucial. It's best to complete a detailed timesheet at the conclusion of each day, if not at the end of each job you complete.
It's easy to slack in this regard: After a long day operating a snow plow in inclement weather, you may not be in the mood to document your efforts. But if you wait even a week, you may struggle to recall exact time frames for specific jobs — which can cause big invoicing issues.
Larger snow plow companies sometimes use sophisticated tracking software to record workers' efforts in real time. Thankfully, your approach can be far simpler: Just use Excel or Google Docs to maintain a .xls spreadsheet that you update each day.
In the snow removal industry, it's common practice to charge a higher hourly rate after severe snowstorms. This pricing has practical justifications: The work may require additional snow plows and employees, and demand for snow plowing naturally spikes during these times.
Customers, however, may be frustrated to see an unexpectedly large total on their next invoice. For this reason, we highly recommend providing a detailed explanation of your pricing practices to all new customers, and even to longtime customers who may need a reminder. By explaining when and why your rates may rise, you can mitigate the risk of hard feelings.
Many landscaping companies perform snow removal services during the warmer months, generating revenue through all four seasons. This business approach may be savvy, but it's important to clearly indicate which service you're providing on each and every invoice.
For example, some businesses may just write "standard rate, residential customer" as the description for a service on an invoice. But is that work lawn care, snow removal, or some combination of the two? In the spring or fall when both may be occurring, label your invoices clearly to avoid confusing customers.
Paperwork can consume a small business owner's hours, and operating a growing business can get complicated quickly. By investing in invoicing and accounting software, you can automate many of your snow removal company's most time-consuming tasks, from sending payment reminders to processing various payment methods. With the right platform in place, the benefits for your business will far outweigh the costs.
With the instructions and suggestions provided above, you'll be prepared to craft invoices for your snow plowing customers. However, you'll still need to implement functional systems for countless core business tasks, from managing invoices to processing credit card payments.
Skynova's software solutions simplify these processes, saving time for small businesses and large corporations alike. From our accounting software to our invoicing platform, our products streamline operational essentials, allowing you to grow your business with fewer paperwork headaches. To learn how we can help your snow removal company, explore our full range of business software products.
Because snow removal businesses differ significantly, the suggestions provided in this article may not apply directly to your particular company. Additionally, this article is intended as purely informational and should not be construed as formal business or accounting guidance. For invoicing recommendations tailored specifically to your business, we recommend consulting with a qualified accounting professional.