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View Full Version : Telling them to "PAY UP"


proenterprises
05-12-2005, 11:28 PM
I have this customer, new this year, and I am already sensing a problem coming on. If any had read the thread I posted last week about the mulch mishap, this is the same customer.

So far this season-I have done: Spring Cleanup, Fert. App., 2 mowings, Mulchin delivery. I have invoiced all of these services, but received payment thus far only for the cleanup.

On the last invoice, I stated the the balance must be paid prior to further services ($250.00). I have yet to receive a check and the was invoiced at the start of the week. I will be calling her tomorrow.

First and foremost, I want what I am owed. But for the future, I want her placed on weekly payment, meaning, that when I come and mow, I want a check that time, that day. I can see this unraveling into a massive bill overtime, and want to stop it now.

How do I approach telling her that she needs to pay every week. I dont want to insult her (having herself think she is a "credit risk"), but at the same time, I know she may be?

Any suggestions?

QualityLawnCare4u
05-12-2005, 11:36 PM
Is this the same person that put out the mulch theirselves? If so they are stingy tightwads who will cause you nothing but stress and aggravation. If you want to keep them like you said get your money BEFORE you even drop the tailgate. I personally think you would be much happier without this one. Best to end it right now. I know I put up with a lot but I have learned to spot these kind real fast. Did you read about my client that wanted to pay me cost on all material? She is GONE!! Still owes me 87 bucks and I wont think one second about slapping a lien on her house. I aint taking no crap this season.

SodKing
05-12-2005, 11:53 PM
I have this customer, new this year, and I am already sensing a problem coming on. If any had read the thread I posted last week about the mulch mishap, this is the same customer.

So far this season-I have done: Spring Cleanup, Fert. App., 2 mowings, Mulchin delivery. I have invoiced all of these services, but received payment thus far only for the cleanup.

On the last invoice, I stated the the balance must be paid prior to further services ($250.00). I have yet to receive a check and the was invoiced at the start of the week. I will be calling her tomorrow.

First and foremost, I want what I am owed. But for the future, I want her placed on weekly payment, meaning, that when I come and mow, I want a check that time, that day. I can see this unraveling into a massive bill overtime, and want to stop it now.

How do I approach telling her that she needs to pay every week. I dont want to insult her (having herself think she is a "credit risk"), but at the same time, I know she may be?

Any suggestions?


..are you the neighborhood kid or something? When you sign up a client they expect a 30 day line of credit. Collect every week??? Please! Is this a legitimate business or a fly by night deal, every respectable company I know of gives a 30 day grace period from the date of receipt of the invoice. If you can't live with that find a new line of work.

oh I just read your bio...17...you are the neighborhood kid...

QualityLawnCare4u
05-13-2005, 12:37 AM
Hey, lighten up on the young folks. I see a lot of critisizing on this site toward the young folks. I admire any 15-17 year old trying to get off thier butts and go to work instead of laying around the house all day watching tv and playing video games. And just like anyone else, they have to learn like us older folks do and I learn something new everyday. I was 17 one time and had a lot to ask/learn.

Brianj
05-13-2005, 12:46 AM
..are you the neighborhood kid or something? When you sign up a client they expect a 30 day line of credit. Collect every week??? Please! Is this a legitimate business or a fly by night deal, every respectable company I know of gives a 30 day grace period from the date of receipt of the invoice. If you can't live with that find a new line of work.

oh I just read your bio...17...you are the neighborhood kid...
then if they dont pay after 30 days, now they are into you for 2 months,and that hurts if they dont pay, if u think they are a risk get your money weekly

DFW Area Landscaper
05-13-2005, 12:58 AM
I'm telling you guys...next day credit cards are the way to go.

You give up 3%, plus a monthly fee of $20. That's cheap compared to the benefits of cash flow and not having to manage accounts receivable. The most you'll get stiffed on is one mow. If you get a decline for a cut, take them off the schedule immidiately. There is no guessing game with next day credit cards.

Yes, you can always get stiffed on larger dollar shrub trims and clean-ups. No one has figured out a solution for that yet. But we have figured out a solution for getting stiffed on several months worth of cuts. The solution is next day credit cards.

Mowing lawns, you'll get stiffed on at least 3% anyway. Collecting money is work. No other way to describe it. Large corporations have entire departments dedicated to managing only accounts receivable. So why extend credit when you don't have to? Let the banks do it.

Later,
DFW Area Landscaper

olderthandirt
05-13-2005, 01:19 AM
MECHANIC LIEN, 10 min. of your time and if your lucky they WON"T pay for yrs. Cha Ching.

jt5019
05-13-2005, 01:32 AM
I bill at the end of each month and give a due date as the 15th.Most people pay by the tenth.Theres always a couple who wait until the 15th.If i have no payment by the 15th i send out a past due notice. I normally wont cut them off unti afterl the second past due notice.

pagefault
05-13-2005, 01:38 AM
every respectable company I know of gives a 30 day grace period from the date of receipt of the invoice.

Nope. Most respectable companies I know of require a credit app for net 30 terms.

Buying a car? Pay when you pick it up or apply for credit.

Buying a computer? Checkout: aisle 5.

Plumbing emergency? Payment due when services are rendered.

Oil change? Pay me now.

Going out to eat? Here's the bill, I'll take that whenever you're ready.

I pay for compost when I place my order and I pay the delivery guy when he drops it off. I can't think of many businesses that let everyone pay in 30 days. The utility company wants theirs in 14 days and they make you pay a deposit when you first sign up. After a few years of timely payments, they refund the deposit, but that is because they have done the equivalent of a credit check.

This is how it worked when I was at a large company whether I was buying or selling.

turfinator
05-13-2005, 02:02 AM
Back when I cut residential lawns I had several new customers for the first couple years that would drive me crazy trying to get them to pay up. I came up with a plan that worked well for me. I told all customers new and old that they were required to pay at the 1st of the month for thats months service. So basically the first cut of that month there would be a cheque waiting for me and if there wasnt I would presume they did not require my services for that month. Old customers understood after I told them how I got "burnt" by nonpayers and new customers have a choice they can pay you for your services or not but if they dont pay, you dont lose.

YardPro
05-13-2005, 07:32 AM
Nope. Most respectable companies I know of require a credit app for net 30 terms.

Buying a car? Pay when you pick it up or apply for credit.

Buying a computer? Checkout: aisle 5.

Plumbing emergency? Payment due when services are rendered.

Oil change? Pay me now.

Going out to eat? Here's the bill, I'll take that whenever you're ready.

I pay for compost when I place my order and I pay the delivery guy when he drops it off. I can't think of many businesses that let everyone pay in 30 days. The utility company wants theirs in 14 days and they make you pay a deposit when you first sign up. After a few years of timely payments, they refund the deposit, but that is because they have done the equivalent of a credit check.

This is how it worked when I was at a large company whether I was buying or selling.


the services you listed are not recurring services......
when i buy anything i get 30 days or i will not do business with them...

SCAG POWER
05-13-2005, 07:39 AM
There are some companies that because of paying history , get put on do not sell, or payup COD. Customers that run late all the either get dropped, or pay after services are done .It is just like going to the doctor pay when finished.

stumper1620
05-13-2005, 07:54 AM
bill on the 15th, due on the 30th. I give 2 mows on credit, they give 2 mows on advance payment, fair in my opinion, they want me to give credit, why shouldn't they be willing to give 2 mows credit to their account?

marko
05-13-2005, 09:23 AM
.... If you want to keep them like you said get your money BEFORE you even drop the tailgate..


That is what I would do. 1 week in advance. No payment no service.

proenterprises
05-13-2005, 09:27 AM
..are you the neighborhood kid or something? When you sign up a client they expect a 30 day line of credit. Collect every week??? Please! Is this a legitimate business or a fly by night deal, every respectable company I know of gives a 30 day grace period from the date of receipt of the invoice. If you can't live with that find a new line of work.

oh I just read your bio...17...you are the neighborhood kid...

Moron, If you read what I wrote, you would see that I do bill montlhy, 30 days. But these people are a risk, thats why I am requesting weekly payment.

sheshovel
05-13-2005, 09:53 AM
I pay for my compost,rock,sand,whatever once a month when my supplier sends me the bill,including orders that are delivered..I also pay my nursery bill and irrigation supplier once a month when I get their bills.I woulden't even bother with reqesting weekly payment.Just get your 250 and head for the door.You invoiced her on mon..this is fri,give her tell fri of next week then go knocking on the door,intell then deliver a stop service notice with another invoice marked overdue.

Davis Lawn Mowing, LLC
05-13-2005, 10:09 AM
I had a lot of problems with monthly billing in the past. It would take 30-60 days before I would get any payment, and some people only felt like paying a little of what they owed. So now I bill every week or every other week, depending on the vibe I get from the customer.

PROCUT1
05-13-2005, 10:09 AM
Like DFW CREDIT CARDS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

All new clients are put on auto pay with a credit card..... Mow on monday. run card tuesday, money in bank on wednesday..

With the extremely low profit margin on mowing for a larger company....its almost impossible to extend credit.... A net 15 account is really 45 days....

Mow on may 1st......send bill on may 31st.......due by June 15th......
Youre waiting 45 days to get paid on an account that profits $3-6.

If youre 30 days thats even worse because youre really 60 days....


I like the money in the bank now a lot better.... Sure help at the end of the week!!!

pagefault
05-13-2005, 10:11 AM
the services you listed are not recurring services......
when i buy anything i get 30 days or i will not do business with them...

I don't see what difference recurring service makes. My utilities are recurring and those were prepaid with a deposit until the company was comfortable with my payment history. My local phone service and my cable are both pre-paid too.

I promise you, net 30 terms are typically only given to other companies with a credit app. I know. I've been at the struggling company that couldn't get net 30 terms from any new vendors.

If I walked in off the street with no previous history and started ordering hundreds and thousands of dollars worth of stone and brick and compost and everything else, day after day and was given net 30 terms, there would be something wrong. I'm not saying they don't do it. I'm just saying it's foolish and I don't do it.

You and sheshovel have been in business for 15 years. While I am sure there are some suppliers who might extend you credit just because they don't know any better, most companies are probably extending you credit because of your history with them. They have done a real-world credit check.

proenterprises
05-13-2005, 12:57 PM
Here is the bottom line. Im not running a credit company here, and that is why I want to be paid on service. I can sense this will be a problem now and in the future. I typically give my good customers the option of chosing how they would like to pay: either monthly, weekly, or in advance.

If you earn a good credit rating with me, than you earn the right to choose how you would like to pay.

I dont know why Im getting flack for being young.

PLM-1
05-13-2005, 01:19 PM
bill on the 15th, due on the 30th. I give 2 mows on credit, they give 2 mows on advance payment, fair in my opinion, they want me to give credit, why shouldn't they be willing to give 2 mows credit to their account?

That's how i do it. Except bill on the 1st due on the 20th. I still get people saying they don't want to pay that way because they don't know if I will show up or not on the last two. Then i just tell them, "well, i'm trusting YOU on the first 2"

pagefault
05-13-2005, 01:26 PM
I've been telling people they can pay at the time services are rendered or they can pre-pay every month. So far, about 65% pay as they go and 35% pre-pay. The 65% have indicated that they would like to pre-pay once they are comfortable that I am going to show up and do a good job.

Nobody has asked to pay 30 days after the work is complete. Payment terms don't even enter the discussion until someone signs up, so I know I'm not losing business because of this. Not so far, anyway.

daveintoledo
05-13-2005, 02:59 PM
That's how i do it. Except bill on the 1st due on the 20th. I still get people saying they don't want to pay that way because they don't know if I will show up or not on the last two. Then i just tell them, "well, i'm trusting YOU on the first 2"


seems fair, for the beginning we are both taking a risk, not just me or the customer

PLM-1
05-13-2005, 03:01 PM
seems fair, for the beginning we are both taking a risk, not just me or the customer

That's what I thought. But you know, you can't trust these lawn guys!

Charles
05-13-2005, 03:06 PM
After all these years it still drives me crazy when people are late paying. I mean days late lol. 30 days, you would have to put me in the insane asylum if more than a few customers owed me for that long. True that many businesses allow 30 days. But just as many do not. I want my money after services are rendered. I wouldn't send it to a collection agency until after 30 days though. But I wouldn't do anymore work for them until I have been paid. NOw I will let regulars that i am use to and know pay late(grass cutting route). But rarely do they waite 30 days

stumper1620
05-13-2005, 03:07 PM
That's how i do it. Except bill on the 1st due on the 20th. I still get people saying they don't want to pay that way because they don't know if I will show up or not on the last two. Then i just tell them, "well, i'm trusting YOU on the first 2"
exactly, if they have a problem with paying 2 mows adv. then i require prepay per mow. if they don't trust me to do the job, i don't trust them to pay, mutual respect or no respect, that is the customers choice. not mine.

Jpocket
05-13-2005, 09:31 PM
..are you the neighborhood kid or something? When you sign up a client they expect a 30 day line of credit. Collect every week??? Please! Is this a legitimate business or a fly by night deal, every respectable company I know of gives a 30 day grace period from the date of receipt of the invoice. If you can't live with that find a new line of work.

oh I just read your bio...17...you are the neighborhood kid...

Go easy on him man he is just trying to learn the ropes, Im sure you had to ask someone about these things when you first started.

Creative Lawn Care
05-13-2005, 10:20 PM
I am young (27) so maybe I am a kid and dont know any better, but...I have been doing this fulltime for six years. I support a wife and three kids off of this. I bill out on the last cut of the month and it is due back to me by the 5th. If I dont have it they dont get cut. Doesnt matter if they are a new cutomer or one for seven years, either I get paid or they dont get mowed. I like this business, but I am in it for one reason and only one reason and that is for the MONEY. I can stay home in the ac and go broke. I am sure you guys that float your customers for 30-60 keep them very happy. I do have suppliers that we charge too for up to 30 days. I love using someone elses money instead of mine, but I will not let anyone else do that to me. To each his own though.

Precision
05-13-2005, 10:33 PM
..are you the neighborhood kid or something? When you sign up a client they expect a 30 day line of credit. Collect every week??? Please! Is this a legitimate business or a fly by night deal, every respectable company I know of gives a 30 day grace period from the date of receipt of the invoice. If you can't live with that find a new line of work.

oh I just read your bio...17...you are the neighborhood kid...

Respectable company my eye.

ALL of my clients pay me when they sign the contract. One month in advance, then they get billed for the next month 2 weeks later due 2 weeks after that. So they are always one month ahead.
When they are 2 weeks late I still have a cushion of 2 mows. I have only lost 2 accounts for this reason and they were both ones I thought would end up being a problem before I told them my terms. So good riddance.

And as far as being the neighborhood kid or a fly by night. Nope, Age 35. Second year in business and in my first year (as a solo op)I did over $80k in revenue ALL PRE - PAID or paid 40% down and balance on completion for sod and install work. Got rooked out of $130 and $220. The first one went into witness protection, (the mob) the second lein pending.

Just because someone has a better way of doing things you don't need to attack them.

proenterprises
05-13-2005, 10:58 PM
Thank you for those who helped here. SodKing-Sorry I'm 17, but theres not much I can do about it. I have decided that I will notify this client that she must pay either in advance, or at the completion of service for the remainder of the season. No pay=no work for this client. As for the others, this is the only bad apple I can smell yet, so if the rest aint broke, I am not going to fix them yet.

olderthandirt
05-13-2005, 11:42 PM
Take a quite walk around the property with your customer and when no one else can hear tell them what the terms of your contract are, and the difficulties they face if they do not comply. Point out the money they are saving by paying you on time, and you can phrase so that they know you are cheaper than a hospital and 8 weeks on crutches out of work. He!! there actually saving thousands of dollars that a terrific deal that most customers just can't pass up

impactlandscaping
05-13-2005, 11:56 PM
Take a quite walk around the property with your customer and when no one else can hear tell them what the terms of your contract are, and the difficulties they face if they do not comply. Point out the money they are saving by paying you on time, and you can phrase so that they know you are cheaper than a hospital and 8 weeks on crutches out of work. He!! there actually saving thousands of dollars that a terrific deal that most customers just can't pass up


LMAO!!.. :D Also explain to him how difficult it is to eat through a straw for those eight weeks.

Todd's lawncare
06-08-2005, 04:11 PM
I don't see what difference recurring service makes. My utilities are recurring and those were prepaid with a deposit until the company was comfortable with my payment history. My local phone service and my cable are both pre-paid too.

I promise you, net 30 terms are typically only given to other companies with a credit app. I know. I've been at the struggling company that couldn't get net 30 terms from any new vendors.

If I walked in off the street with no previous history and started ordering hundreds and thousands of dollars worth of stone and brick and compost and everything else, day after day and was given net 30 terms, there would be something wrong. I'm not saying they don't do it. I'm just saying it's foolish and I don't do it.

You and sheshovel have been in business for 15 years. While I am sure there are some suppliers who might extend you credit just because they don't know any better, most companies are probably extending you credit because of your history with them. They have done a real-world credit check.
iN MY HOLE LIFE I HAVE NEVER PAID FOR A UTILITY BILL UP FRONT ALWAYS GET BILL AT END OF MONTH

pagefault
06-08-2005, 04:14 PM
The utility company in this town requires a deposit if you are a new customer. The deposit is based on the average bill at that address. You get it back after a year or two of on-time payments.

pagefault
06-08-2005, 04:22 PM
iN MY HOLE LIFE I HAVE NEVER PAID FOR A UTILITY BILL UP FRONT ALWAYS GET BILL AT END OF MONTH

Who do you have your electricity through? Citizen's electric requires a credit check and if they don't like your credit, they require a deposit.

http://www.puc.state.pa.us/general/consumer_ed/pdf/consumer_rights_responsiblities.pdf

You do have electricity, right?