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Tip of the Week: How to Improve Your Invoicing Processes

Tip of the Week: How to Improve Your Invoicing Processes

One of the most important considerations in any business is to ensure that payments are properly received and processed. Otherwise, you may as well not be in business at all. To help expedite this, we’re dedicating this week’s tip to creating a better, more effective invoice. Let’s get into it.


How to Create Your Invoice
First, you need to have some way to actually construct the invoice document itself. For this, you have some options. If you use Microsoft Office products, both Excel and Word have templates you can use to put it together, and G Suite users can leverage any number of integrations to do the same. Alternatively, there are many software titles out there that offer more specific functions based on need and preference.

Once you have selected your software, you can start to put your invoice together. You will want to be sure that your invoice includes the following information:

  • Description - You want to be crystal clear on your invoices about what you are billing for, especially if part of it refers to time spent rendering a service. This will allow you to properly bill your clients while allowing them to understand exactly what they are being billed for, cutting back on how often your invoices are contested. Overall, every invoice should include the order number it refers to, the total amount owed, how the invoice can be paid, and when payment is due.
  • Discount Details - If you are offering any discounts, you will also want to make sure these are clearly annotated on your invoices as well - especially for those who are first signing on to your services. Otherwise, these discounts may confuse your clients and instill a false expectation for the future - creating surprise and frustration when the discounts are gone later.
  • Schedules and Policies - Just as you were held to a schedule to deliver your service, your client needs to be held to a schedule to pay for it. Consistency will also help your client prepare their payments on time. On a related note, your invoice should thoroughly explain your company policies on discounts, late payments and associated fines, and due dates to make your expectations of the client very clear.

Of course, this isn’t everything that can, or should, go on your invoices. However, these aspects are crucial enough to be mentioned and detailed separately. You should also consider other elements to include on your invoice, making use of what would otherwise be blank space. You may consider adding a more personalized touch and suggesting the next steps that a client should take, based on the services you are billing them for.

Furthermore, add some more of a personal touch by including some kind of thank-you message on the invoice. Write up a brief piece thanking your client for their business and have it printed on the invoice. Not only is this a visible way to earnestly say thank you, the appreciation you show may help to expedite payments and encourage repeat business.

When and How to Distribute Your Invoice
If you want to receive your payments on time, how you send your invoices is just as important as how they look. First and foremost, they need to be sent much sooner than later.

If yours is like many businesses, you may have found that your invoices go unpaid for long stretches of time. Estimates put the total of unpaid invoices to small businesses at well over $800 billion, and that was back in January of this year. This is why it is crucial that your invoices are distributed efficiently - it may be a long time before you get them back.

This is another reason that technology solutions are useful tools to assist you in managing your invoices digitally. Most invoicing software will likely enable you to track the status of the invoices you’ve sent.

If you want more assistance in managing your invoices, reach out to Infradapt. We’d be happy to assist you, all you have to do is call 800.394.2301. In the meantime, don’t forget to subscribe to our blog for more useful technology tips and advice!

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Tip of the Week: Changing a PDF in Microsoft Word

Tip of the Week: Changing a PDF in Microsoft Word

Did you know that Microsoft Word can actually edit PDF files? Well… the most recent version of it can, anyway. Since Adobe Acrobat can be a considerable investment for each and every one of your employees, you can instead turn to the tried and true Microsoft Word for this purpose. We’ll show you how you can do this (as long as you have the most recent version of MS Word).


Open the PDF
First, you’ll need to open the PDF. To do this, open up Microsoft Word and select Open Other Documents from the left-hand menu.

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This brings up the Open menu. Next, you want to click on Browse.

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Another message will appear telling you that Word will convert the PDF to an editable Word document. If this sounds fine, click on OK.

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Your PDF should open up in Word now, but you might notice that there is still a yellow bar at the top of the screen that says PROTECTED VIEW. This is meant to secure your software from opening anything dangerous. If you can trust the document, click the Enable Editing button.

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Once you press the button, another notification will show you that Word will convert the PDF to an editable Word document. To close this message, just click on the checkboxor click OK.

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You can now edit your PDF.

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Once you’re done, you can save the file back to a PDF format. To do this, select File > Save As and set the type to PDF from the dropdown menu under the assigned file name. You will have to rename the document slightly to save it to a file folder.

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Once you’re done, your edited PDF will open in Microsoft Edge, or whatever your default PDF viewer happens to be.

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What are some other cool features of Microsoft Word that you would like us to cover? Let us know in the comments, and be sure to subscribe to our blog.

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Tip of the Week: Creating Canned Responses in Gmail

Tip of the Week: Creating Canned Responses in Gmail

If you’re like most business users, you rely on email quite a bit to stay apprised of what is going on, as do most of the people you are likely in communication with. As such, you most likely understand that, while most emails require some kind of response or confirmation of receipt, not all of these messages require a heartfelt message. This is where Gmail’s Canned Responses come in handy.


This week’s tip will go over how to set up your own canned responses to streamline your repetitive, but necessary, communications.

How to Set Up Canned Responses
First, you’ll need to log in to the browser version of Gmail. Once there, click on the Gear icon in the top right under your profile image and select Settings from the menu. From there, you’ll see a horizontal menu that will display Advanced, click into it. You will see the option to enable Canned Responses. Click the radio button to select enable, and then save your changes. You can now create canned responses to use in your correspondence.

Creating and Using Your Canned Responses
To create a canned response to use, open the message composer and write out what you want your message to say. Once you are satisfied with your return message, access the message window options by clicking the button in the bottom-right corner. That menu should now have a Canned responses option, with a sub-menu that allows you to save a New canned response. You will be prompted to give your new response a name, and then it will be saved for future use in that sub-menu.

What kind of messages would you anticipate using canned responses for? Tell us what you think in the comments!

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Tip of the Week: Working from Google Home

Tip of the Week: Working from Google Home

It is no secret that Google can serve a great utility in the office through its many services and applications. However, have you ever considered how the Google Assistant can, well, assist you through devices like your smartphone and the assorted smart speakers that Google has produced? For today’s tip, we’ll review how some of the features of the Google Assistant can lend you a hand in the professional environment.


Basic Automation
Since productivity is one of the top goals in almost any office, it only makes sense to first focus on how using Google Home can boost your productivity through automation. While the device can serve many purposes on its own, it truly blossoms as a productivity tool through integrations with other devices and services.

For example, if you have equipped your office with smart lights or smart thermostats, you can adjust your office’s environment simply by telling Google to make the change you want. As a result, you can take greater control over your business environment without interrupting your productivity. After all, doesn’t it take much less time and effort to simply say, “Hey Google, turn off the lights in the conference room,” or “Hey Google, set temperature to 73 degrees,” than it would to interrupt what you were doing and go manually make the same changes?

More Advanced Automation (Kind Of)
If you’re at all familiar with the web service IFTTT, you can integrate it with your Google Home device to automate a variety of outcomes, based on predetermined triggers. It’s right in IFTTT’s name: If This, Then That.

Using IFTTT, you can connect your Google Home (or whichever Google device you’re using) to design your own commands that require the use of the Google Home. All you have to do is set “this” to be the Google Assistant, and choose the trigger you want your command to use. These triggers will all be of the spoken word variety, and each command can feature a few different variations. Once you’ve assigned the words to the command, click Create Trigger. To add the desired action you want automated, click through “that.”

You can then search through the available channels that you can trigger through your Google Assistant, select the one you want, and fill in the required configuration fields. Once you hit finish, your automated action will be active and ready to go when you are.

Activating More Commands
The Google Home devices have other utilities baked in that can be of some use to you in an office setting, especially if multiple devices are in use.

For instance, if your office is large and you can’t get ahold of someone through message or phone call, your Google Home device can function as an intercom. By accessing the Assistant on your smartphone, you can command the Google Home to “broadcast” and it will replay whatever message you speak into it afterwards to any Home devices connected to your account.

Of course, the Google Home devices are receptive to commands from multiple users, with up to six accounts being able to use the devices in their own way. The Google Home will even customize their answers based on the user making the request through its Voice Match training.

Finally, if a visitor to the office has something to share over the Google Home, the Guest mode allows them to connect directly to the device, without needing to connect to Wi-Fi. This means that you can keep your Wi-Fi password to yourself, and not give it out to every visitor to your office.

How else can you think of to use the Google Home to augment your day-to-day activities in the office? Share your ideas in the comments!

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Tip of the Week: Keeping Track of Your Inventory

Tip of the Week: Keeping Track of Your Inventory

Regardless of your organization’s size, there is more than likely a large amount of information technology to keep track of and maintain. As is usually the case when so many moving parts and variables are involved, the task of keeping them organized can quickly become difficult and stressful. This week, we’ll give you a few tips on how a proper inventory can help your business stay apprised of its IT resources.


What Can an Inventory Do?
At its core, an inventory serves the purpose of keeping track of the assets and resources a business has in its possession. This spans from how many cases of burger patties a fast food franchise has to how much water a hydroponic plant has in reserve. Not only does this assist the business with ensuring that it always has the resources necessary to operate, it also assists with insurance claims. By keeping you up-to-date on what you have, an inventory serves as a documented resource that can support your claims if the need arises - such as after a disaster event or theft.

Furthermore, a detailed and up-to-date inventory record can help you to identify how old your resources are, allowing you to prioritize when it needs to be refreshed and/or replaced.

As one would imagine, these are all important factors to consider when technology is involved. In light of this, it becomes especially important to develop and enforce a unified and direct system as a standard during the inventorying process.

What Your Inventory Needs to Account For
As you create this system, you need to make sure it addresses the five key details included in a comprehensive inventory record.

1. What is it that you have?
Of course, the whole point of an inventory is to identify the resources you have on hand. Given the long, detailed names that many technology components have (in addition to the many details a piece of hardware or software will have that need to be addressed), it may make the most sense to develop a shorthand that easily and efficiently communicates what exactly it is that your business has in its possession.

For example, if you utilize differently-sized hard drives for different tasks and purposes, you will likely have a stash of these hard drives squirrelled away for later use. Rather than writing out a comprehensive list, creating an internal shorthand will make the task of inventorying these components much easier.

So, if a company were to have 7 spare hard drives, 1 blue hard disk drive with a 5 terabyte capacity, 3 red solid state drives with 10 terabytes each, 2 black hard disk drives with 10 terabytes each, and one purple hard disk drive with a capacity of 5 terabytes, using shorthand might simplify that list into:

  • 1 HDD - BLUE - 1TB
  • 3 SSD - RED - 10TB
  • 2 HDD - BLACK - 10TB
  • 1 HDD - PURPLE - 10TB

2. Where is it stored?
This consideration is especially important if a company has more than one location or stores their supplies in more than one spot in the building. Your inventory record needs to keep track of where a given component is kept so it may be found quickly if need be. Make sure you mark the building it is in, as well as the room and where specifically in that room it is kept. This adds a little more information to your shorthand list:

  • 1 HDD - BLUE - 1TB (MAIN LOCATION/BASEMENT/SHELF A)
  • 3 SSD - RED - 10TB (MAIN LOCATION/BASEMENT/SHELF E)
  • 2 HDD - BLACK - 10TB (SAT-OFFICE1/ROOM4/SHELF B)
  • 1 HDD - PURPLE - 10TB (SAT-OFFICE2/ROOM2/SHELF D)

3. Additional Details to Include
Finally, there are other pieces of information you should use your inventory process to track. To assist with potential insurance needs and monitoring your solutions for a refresh, it helps to add the date that the technology was acquired, as well as how much it cost to acquire it. As a result, your list becomes:

  • 1 HDD - BLUE - 1TB (MAIN LOCATION/BASEMENT/SHELF A) - $95 (May 9, 2017)
  • 3 SSD - RED - 1TB (MAIN LOCATION/BASEMENT/SHELF E) - $250 (June 30, 2017)
  • 2 HDD - BLACK - 1.5TB (SAT-OFFICE1/ROOM4/SHELF B) - $160 (August 18, 2017)
  • 1 HDD - PURPLE - 10TB (SAT-OFFICE2/ROOM2/SHELF D) - $355 (February 2, 2018)

Other Considerations for Your Inventory
Maintaining an up-to-date set of totals for your inventory is an essential process. After all, what’s the point of keeping track of your inventory if it isn’t going to be accurate anyway? This means that, in addition to ensuring that you start off with the right numbers, you need some sort of system to help you keep a running total. Whether this system is manually keeping totals on a clipboard, updating a spreadsheet, or leveraging asset management, is up to you.

Reach out to us here at Infradapt by calling 800.394.2301 to see how we can help. In the meantime, keep checking back for more helpful tips and tricks.

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