Printing and mailing statements to your clients will help accelerate the payment cycle and make it easier for your business to achieve its long-term goals. While it may not be the most “glamorous” component of running a business, statement printing and mailing play a critical role that business owner should not overlook.
Better invoicing practices, inevitably, leads to better performance and improved communications. Whether the invoices being generated are for suppliers, customers, or anyone else, making sure that you are adhering to invoicing best practices will continue to pay dividends over time.
1. Hire a Statement Printing and Mailing Expert
The most obvious way to improve statement printing and mailing is to hire an expert that knows exactly what they are doing. Statement printing is one of the first functions that business owners—both large and small—will choose to outsource.
Many benefits come with choosing to outsource statement printing and mailing. Reduced costs, increased efficiency, better security, and higher quality are just a few of the reasons that thousands of millions make this important switch every year. Additionally, most outsourced statement printing services are scalable, making it easy for your business to adapt as it grows.
2. Print Statements in Bulk
Several costs come with printing and mailing statements (like invoices), including the costs of paper, envelopes, ink, and postage. As is the case with most consumable items, paying for or purchasing these expenses in bulk can help reduce the average cost of delivering a single unit.
While a “forever” stamp currently costs 55 cents (as of 2021), using a postal meter can help significantly reduce this expense. Statement processing companies, who typically mail in bulk, can access the most affordable postage rates available. By operating via an economy of scale, businesses can directly improve their bottom line.
3. Confirm HIPAA Compliance
HIPAA was first legislated in the 1990s, helping to protect an individual’s health information and create a greater sense of privacy. If your business is currently operating within the healthcare industry (or any related industries), it will be necessary to ensure that this highly personal information is protected to the greatest extent possible.
Violations of HIPAA can result in fines and even criminal penalties. To ensure that medical information is protected, the government has created a set of statement printing and mailing standards that apply to all businesses. Businesses that deal with other types of personal information, such as financial information, may also want to increase privacy protection.
4. Incorporate Additional Security Features
Whether your business is printing and mailing a single statement or a million statements, it remains up to you to ensure that valuable information does not ever get into the wrong hands. Even in the digital era, postal fraud and theft are still active problems.
Fortunately, today’s industry leaders have added many invoicing security features to help decrease the risk of personal information becoming compromised. Features such as blackout envelopes, thermochromatic ink, and others help increase security with minimal marginal costs. Be sure to choose a printing partner that is compliant with SOC 1 Type 2 and SOC 2 Type 2.
5. Blend Digital and Physical Statement Delivery
These days, many business owners utilize both paper and digital invoicing practices to help improve access to information and increase the likelihood of obtaining a timely payment. However, while this blended practice has become incredibly common, some business owners are using a “two-pronged” system that is not nearly as efficiently as it could be.
With a centralized invoicing system, it becomes easier for all parties involved to track communications and monitor incoming (and outgoing) payments. Working with an invoicing expert will make it much easier to integrate multiple systems into one. Additionally, with better digital infrastructure, your business can generate new statements automatically.
6. Don’t Forget About Your Brand
As a business owner, every form of communication you engage in represents a potential branding opportunity. The statements you print and mail to your partners are not an exception to this general rule.
There are many different ways to incorporate branding into the statements that you print and mail. Large-font incorporations of the company name, use of a standardized font, and ample inclusion of the company logo are just a few of the ways you can improve your brand image. These branding features not only help build your brand but also help build trust.
7. Include a Return Envelope
Naturally, the primary reason people choose to issue invoices is to generate some sort of response. Usually, this response requires some form of payment (such as a check), making it crucial for a business’s bottom line. The question that remains: does including a return envelope with an invoice increase the likelihood of getting a response?
According to a study published by the University of Mississippi, including a return envelope does increase the probability of receiving a response. In a lengthy publication called “Confirmation of Accounts Receivable”, it becomes clear that the easier it becomes to make a payment, the more likely the payment will be made. Usually, the benefit (collection) will be greater than the cost (envelopes), deciding to include a return envelope an easy one.
8. Create a Backup Plan
For running a business, there are a few things that will inevitably go wrong. If a server were to crash or weather were to prevent the mail from being delivered, for example, any statement issuer needs to have a “comprehensive disaster recovery plan.” Having extra materials, backups of all digital materials, and separated supplies can help reduce the fallout from facing a sudden emergency. With a good disaster recovery plan in place, your business should be operating without interruption in less than 48 hours.
Statement printing and mailing play an important role in running a business. As long as your business needs statements to be printed and mailed, it will be important to pay attention to the industry’s best practices. By keeping these eight tips in mind, your business can achieve operational excellence and move closer to achieving its mission.