When you start your own business, you’ll realise that there are many expenses that you have to deal with. Without realizing, your business may be incurring quite a few expenses instead of charging your client for it.
If you want to keep your cash-flow up, charge your clients diligently - and that includes these hidden expenses.
The first meeting with a client is considered as an investment; a way to capture the client and get them to pay for your services. And it’s not just the meeting. You have to build the scope of work and set the prices. Before and after the meeting, there are conversations on finalizing the scope and costs. And even after that, the client will contact you for back-and-forth conversations of advice and suggestions.
All this eats into your time, and you have every right to charge a consultation fee.
Have you had to travel out of your way, maybe to the city suburbs or even a sister city to meet a client? Well, you don’t have to bear the costs on your own. Charge the client.
Every business has their forte, but if your client wants you to try something new, wants information and your help, you can charge then for the research.
For example, even though ATS is an accounting firm, we help our clients in all manners possible. So if a client wants to expand to the United States, we’ll do our research so that they stay within the law and tax structure of the country.
If a project requires a purchase of special supplies that your business doesn’t usually need, then it qualifies as a supply cost in your invoice. This especially holds if it’s a one-time purchase and adds no value to your own business.
Almost all work and interaction between clients occur through emails. But in case you have to send a product across to the client through a courier service, you can charge it to the invoice. This also includes any private documents and contracts that your client prefers to receive in-hand instead of via emails.
Credit Card Fees
When your client pays through a credit card, your business will be charged credit card fees. You can decide if you should charge your client the credit card fee.
New Infrastructure Costs
Setting up new infrastructure for your business is definitely a good idea. When you do it because the client has the requirement and you find it’s a good time to expand your business, you can charge the client.
For example, your business does not have print capabilities, but your client wishes you to have it. Of course, you shouldn’t charge the client the whole amount. Instead, plan to incorporate this charge in your fees to all clients who have this need so that you can recover the costs.
Phone calls, conferences, hiring new resources and consulting other experts all qualify as administrative costs that you can invoice your clients for.
Should you go ahead and charge your client all of these costs? No. Only a large business can afford to do so. They have the brand name and won’t risk losing the client.
However, you can’t take the risk. So charge your clients expenses they can afford and are willing to pay. If you maintain records in a timely method along with proper bookkeeping, you will be able to identify these expenses. Don’t bury yourself and your business with each and every one of these costs but choose the ones that make sense to your business.