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WoodBrothersLC
04-06-2005, 07:09 PM
We have 29 residential yards that we mow. For these lawns, at the end of every month, we drive to all the houses with the invoices. We go to the door and ring the bell. If they are not home, then we drop the bill in the mailbox with a self addressed envelope inside, but if they are home we hand them the invoice (still with the self adressed envelope inside). I have always thought that we should do this since we are on first name basis' with our customers and know a lot of them outside of cutting grass. Today, my brother asked me if I thought this was unprofessional. I thought to myself, and said that if we were on a larger scale of business with say, 80-100 yards, then we would probably send the bills to them through the mail (since we wouldn't have time to go door to door). For the amount of yards that we have, I think that what we are doing isn't unprofessional at all. What do you guys think? Should we continue to bring them the invoices personally ringing the doorbells, or should we just send them through the mail? Thanks for the help.

lawnandplow42
04-06-2005, 07:28 PM
For the sake of time (and gas), I wouldn't drive around delivering. Once your done with the small talk to the customers, i'd imagine its very time consuming.
:dizzy:

But I still think what you are doing is great. Thats terrific you know your customers that well. They probably like seeing you deliver it, so they can ask you any questions about work around their home. Along with that, i bet they all pay up on time. payup payup

IMO, i don't think its unproffessional as long as your customers don't mind it.
Having said that, I myself would still mail them.

dvmcmrhp52
04-06-2005, 07:29 PM
Send them out in the mail.
Personally I don't want to be bothered with someone ringing my doorbell every month to drop off a bill and then have that obligatory small talk in the process.
I suspect others are just as busy and would welcome the bill in the mail to deal with at their own convenience.

Just my opinion.

dvmcmrhp52
04-06-2005, 07:30 PM
Just one more thought, putting invoices in the mailbox is a no no according to the postal service. Sooner or later you will hear about it.

BryantLandscape
04-06-2005, 07:35 PM
I cannot imagine driving to all my customers at $2.30 a gallon, just to deliver a bill, 37 cents versus $2.30.... I would waste half a day, I save the small talk during their weekly service :dizzy:

1MajorTom
04-06-2005, 07:36 PM
Send them out in the mail.
Personally I don't want to be bothered with someone ringing my doorbell every month to drop off a bill and then have that obligatory small talk in the process.
I suspect others are just as busy and would welcome the bill in the mail to deal with at their own convenience.

Just my opinion.

Well said, those are my thoughts exactly too.

Flex-Deck
04-06-2005, 07:42 PM
I like what you are doing. The only people that are nervous about presenting a bill in person are those that are nervous about the quality of thier work. Yes, if you get to 100 yards, mail them, but also stop and talk to them at least every 3 months or so and just ask if there is anything they want done different. I will bet by the sounds of things, they are going to say " OH! No - you are doing great."

I always like to have a fax # or way to communicate just to let them know what we are doing, or what we will be doing. Thanks, Brad

bobbygedd
04-06-2005, 07:43 PM
back of the bus please

DLCS
04-06-2005, 07:49 PM
The only people that are nervous about presenting a bill in person are those that are nervous about the quality of thier work.

I think it has more to do with being efficient. I don't have time to hand deliver bills and chat with every customer. Not to mention most of my customers are not home during the day.

pjslawncare/landscap
04-06-2005, 07:53 PM
Ask your customers whether they like u delivering the invoices or if they prefer to have it mailed

packerbacker
04-06-2005, 08:24 PM
Woods, I dont know where most of your yards are but my list goes east and west from Ward Parkway to Monticello and north and south from 55th to 145th.

There isnt a snowballs chance in hell I would waste the gas driving to all those houses every month. You will spend a heckuva lot less on postage then you will gas.

If your customers are as good as mine then they will understand you not hand delivering their mail.

Its not unprofessional at all mailing them.

Mark McC
04-06-2005, 08:27 PM
I love the idea of delivering them by hand and talking with the customers. A little face time is always good for a business, but to do this regularly sounds like a real time-eater.

Jpocket
04-06-2005, 08:56 PM
It depends on what type of business your running, and it's sounds like for what you are doing fine. If the system works don't change until it is needed.

Toy2
04-06-2005, 09:19 PM
I started to try something different, i have a door hanger type envelope, it has a return envelope inside, I write up a bill when I'm done with the job, stick it inside the door hanger and go.........get home log the job on the board as complete/waiting for payment.....customer gets home, sees the door hanger, opens it up, bill, envelope, and stamp ready to go..........when it comes in, I mark it off the board as paid...its working for me right now.... :)

leadarrows
04-06-2005, 09:35 PM
Put a note in with your next billing and ask them. Let them know why you do it the way you do, that you like giving them a chance to comment to you about there yard .....yada, yada there your customers I can't tell you exactly what too say but you get the idea. Then close the letter by giving them the option of continuing as is or offer an e-mail address, fax number for them to use when they have a comment, concern or other information they need to convey to you. That's the only way to be sure.

lawnman_scott
04-06-2005, 09:43 PM
back of the bus pleaseWhy do they get to ride the bus?

Runner
04-07-2005, 02:11 PM
It certainly isn't the most efficient way to do things, but I have some customers that actually prefer that. No special trips, just give them the bill upon the last visit of the month. They write a check out right there. This is only a few that prefer this, though. One positive thing I like about it though, is that you touch base with the customer and ask them how everthing is. I love doing this, even with the customers that are mailed bills. I like to inquire, and I think that they like the concern and personalization. It's all just a quality control issue.

CamLand
04-07-2005, 02:26 PM
Send them out in the mail.
Personally I don't want to be bothered with someone ringing my doorbell every month to drop off a bill and then have that obligatory small talk in the process.
I suspect others are just as busy and would welcome the bill in the mail to deal with at their own convenience.

Just my opinion.

Excellent response and most all of us will agree with your statement...

Davis Lawn Mowing, LLC
04-07-2005, 02:35 PM
That seems like a waste of gas if you ask me. Cheaper for the postage each month and not to mention saves a ton of time. But I guess whatever floats your boat.

greeneakers04
04-07-2005, 02:47 PM
I like the idea, but would not make special trips for it. Do it on the last cut of the month. When you are done, knock on the door (or before you start). Saves gas and time, while still doing what you are doing.

MMLawn
04-07-2005, 02:48 PM
I like what you are doing. The only people that are nervous about presenting a bill in person are those that are nervous about the quality of thier work. Yes, if you get to 100 yards, mail them, but also stop and talk to them at least every 3 months or so and just ask if there is anything they want done different. I will bet by the sounds of things, they are going to say " OH! No - you are doing great."

I always like to have a fax # or way to communicate just to let them know what we are doing, or what we will be doing. Thanks, Brad

Hum....then you really don't mean "Efficiency = Profit" then do ya Brad?

Because:

Efficiency (.37 Stamp) = Profit

NON-Efficiency ($2.30 gal gas) = LESS Profit

:cool2: :cool2: :cool2: :cool2: :cool2: :cool2:

GreenMonster
04-07-2005, 02:57 PM
I haven't read any of the replies, but this seems much more wasteful and inefficient than unprofessional.

IMO, most people hire a lawn service cuz they don't have the time to do it themselves. Do most of your customers really look forward to your "social" visit? I think I would tend to find it a little more of an annoyance. Leave a blank area on your invoice so customers can comment, if necessary, about anything else they want or need done.

I find mail to be someone inefficient as well. If I can get cust's to accept an invoice via email, I do it that way instead.

marko
04-07-2005, 03:00 PM
Worst case, leave the bill on the last visit of the month while you are already there. If you did this, the time saved from making a special trip would allow you to pick up an extra yard or 2. Thats an extra $40 - $60 every week (x 30 weeks mowing = $1200 - $1800 a season!)

Equipguy
04-07-2005, 04:53 PM
Send them in the mail. Enclose a personal note or follow up with a phone call.

MImowerkid
04-07-2005, 05:10 PM
bobbygedd, not to make a fuss or anything , but the cool people sit in the back of the bus!

Mo Green
04-07-2005, 06:09 PM
Worst case, leave the bill on the last visit of the month while you are already there. If you did this, the time saved from making a special trip would allow you to pick up an extra yard or 2. Thats an extra $40 - $60 every week (x 30 weeks mowing = $1200 - $1800 a season!)
I would rather use the day making money rather than spending it.

Kate Butler
04-07-2005, 06:10 PM
If my client is home when the job is completed, the bill is presented and paid. If they're not home, it goes in the mail with a friendly note. Never had a problem.