Invoicing

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Invoicing is how you get paid. Invoice accuracy and completeness is important! A neat and accurate invoice communicates to the customer that your business is well run and professional. Invoice requirements varied from company to company interviewed. Some of the grocers and wholesale buyers had very simple invoice requirements such as a hand written, numbered invoice with the sellers name and address on it. Others required use of a company specific electronic form of invoicing and payment. Most of the grocers and wholesalers required paper invoices to be either mailed or delivered with the product. Both chefs and successful farm-to-restaurant marketers will tell you that direct marketing to restaurants is all about building a relationship of mutual trust and product quality. But that doesn’t mean that you can ignore good business basics—one of the most frequent concerns chefs had about buying local produce and meat was the difficulty many farm producers seem to have in providing clear, timely invoices and tracking the amount purchased by a restaurant. 

 

Tools

Here, we have some example/fill-able invoices. To edit them and make it your own: click the link, download the file, open the file in Adobe, right click in the document, and choose the "Edit Text & Images" option.  

Example 1, blue

Example 2, red

Farm to School Invoice from the Kentucky Horticulture Council.

Visit shopify.com for a fill-able form which generates an invoice.  

 

Best Practices

  • Have a blank invoice form with your farm name, address, phone number, email address, and other contact information. You can create your own or use a template in Microsoft Word. You can also find templates online.  

  • Make sure to discuss invoicing with the buyer -- they may have set invoicing standards they want you to follow. 

  • Prepare to accept payment at a later date. Payment is usually not received at product drop-off. Terms are usually 15 to 30 days after the drop off. 

  • Have a system in place to keep track of how much is owed. It is important to keep track of the product you have delivered and if payment has or has not been received. 

  • Do not get an invoice confused with a Bill of Lading (BOL). BOLs are used by freight services to acknowledge the type, quantity, and destination of the goods being carried. Producers usually do not deal with BOLs as they usually ship their product themselves.