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What Is An Order Form?
An order form, also known as a purchase order, is a document that buyers submit to sellers when requesting products or services. They are typically used for all service businesses and on high-priced products. An order form also shows a quoted price for products or services to be rendered by the seller.
Key Parts Of An Order Form
There are no standardized requirements when it comes to what should be included on an order form. However, this document’s objective is to capture relevant customer details while providing an agreed-upon price. A perfectly drafted order form can accomplish this goal efficiently and effectively.
These are the key parts of an order form:
- Your company’s name and business address
- Customer’s name and billing address
- Customer’s shipping address
- Date of Purchase Order
- Sales Order Number
- Customer number
- Purchase order number
- Name of the salesperson
- Shipping method
- Shipping date
- Delivery date
- Item number or SKU
- Item description
- Unit price
- Line, sub-, tax, and grand totals
- Note to customer
- Pricing disclaimers
Several vital parts are included in order form fields. However, every field is not necessary for every business. Reduce waste and inefficiencies by hiring a small business lawyer to draft an order form customized for your organization.
Customer Order Forms
Customer order forms initiate the sales process. However, the communication and documentation process does not stop there. A customer order form plays a critical role, but it is not the only document you need.
After a company receives a customer order form, they may provide a Statement of Work , depending upon the industry. The seller will provide a customer with an invoice for payment when work is complete. When the exchange is complete, it also signifies that the sales process has concluded.
Having the right customer order forms for your business starts by understanding the differences between an order form vs. a Statement of Work and an Order Form vs. invoices.
Order Form vs. Statement of Work
Statements of Work (SOW) establish formalized guidelines for a given project. It has several key parts like a customer order form, including terms, conditions, project details, and schedules.
These are the differences between an Order Form vs. a Statement of Work:
- Difference #1: Order forms capture customer requests for a quoted price and Statements of Work record project details.
- Difference #2: Customers complete order forms, and the seller produces Statements of Work.
- Difference #3: Order forms are not legally binding documents, and Statements of Work can eventually become a sales contract or service contract .
- Difference #4: Order forms initiate the sale, and Statements of Work are provided before work begins.
- Difference #5: Order forms contain a quoted price while Statements of Work confirm them.
Since Statements of Work can become legally-binding documents, you should speak with a small business lawyer when using them in business. Your attorney will help you meet your business’ goals while protecting your rights. This benefit will provide peace-of-mind to both you and your customers.
Image via Pexels by LinkedIn Sales Navigator
Order Form vs. Invoices
Invoices are bills sent to customers as a request for payment. They imply that services have been rendered and that payment, partially or entirely, is due. An invoice also creates a legal record that verifies an exchange between the seller and buyer occurred.
These are the differences between an Order Form vs. invoices:
- Difference #1: Customers send order forms to the seller, and sellers send invoices to the customer.
- Difference #2: Order forms are work requests, and invoices confirm that work has been completed.
- Difference #3: An order form is not a receipt. However, you can mark up an invoice to function as one.
- Difference #4: Order forms focus on capturing client needs. Invoices focus on getting paid.
- Difference #5: Order forms include price quotes, while invoices identify the actual cost of services or products.
As you can see, it is essential to ensure that you have the proper documents in place for the job at hand. Your customers anticipate these documents for their record-keeping purposes. Deliver on expectations every time by having an invoice template readily available throughout the sales process.
Online Order Forms
Online order forms are necessary to sell your products and services online. They reduce paper waste and the amount of time it takes to collect orders. By embedding a snippet of code on your website, you can be on your way to selling directly to customers through it.
Several programs handle the technical backend for you. Unless you are a programmer, these tools are helpful. Once you sign up for an online order form provider, you can work with your web designer or webmaster to embed the snippet or script necessary to get up and running.
Typically, these tools cost you a monthly or yearly fee to use, and pricing may be contingent upon the number of forms you use or users you have. An online form for an online shop will help you streamline your ordering process while delivering on functionality, such as payment processing.
Creating A Customer Order Form
Creating a customer order form begins with the end in mind: your goals. What types of information do you want to capture? Are there any disclaimers you want to include? How can you make the process easier for your customers?
Many businesses overlook the importance of a well thought out customer order form. You can enhance customer service and reduce errors by creating a customer order form that makes sense for your business’ and clients’ needs. Plus, it will create a digital or paper record that the transaction was initiated.
Order Form Examples
You can quickly access order form examples through Microsoft Word and Excel applications and Google Docs and Sheets. These applications offer various order form examples, including an invoice template, order form template, and Statement of Work template. Take a look through these programs to see if they meet your initial needs.
You can also find order form examples through these websites:
- Order form example #1: 123 Form Builder
- Order form example #2: Typeform
- Order form example #3: Smartsheet
- Order form example #4: HubSpot
Your last resort is doing a Google search for an order form sample, sales order form template, or product order form template. Take the time to vet your options carefully. You want to ensure that you have the right order form for the job and industry.
Make Sure You Have The Right Order Form
Having the right order form is critical to your success as a business. If you look at the role that an order form plays, you can understand why it is imperative to draft a document that makes sense to your customers. There will be fewer questions and miscommunications when you invest in this key document.
Specific industries, like technology, transportation, and other high-ticket sellers, must create order forms that meet industry standards. Not only will you look competent in front of your clients, but you will also legally protect yourself with compliance. However, it is critical that you work with a small business lawyer to ensure that you have the proper sales documents.
Need the Right Sales Documents?
A small business lawyer will help you create the perfect order form for your business. Consider posting your first project to ContractsCounsel for free and start receiving proposals today.
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