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nwlandscaping
04-25-2007, 09:20 PM
I've always billed my customers at the closure of each month and set a time line of 14 days of when they should be postmarked. My question is regarding whether I should change up this process. It has become hard financially lately because an awful lot of money is going out of the business to purchase fertilizer, bark, etc. As well as the fact that my partner and I are working extremely hard and yet we don't receive our checks until the following month, which is usually sometime during the 3rd week. So in actuality we are working 6 or 7 weeks before we receive payment for the previous month. I thought about billing certain customers on the 15th for the current month and would continue with the others on the 30th. Any recommendations would be great! :confused:

fiveoboy01
04-25-2007, 09:28 PM
I do the monthly billing thing, but only for weekly mowing accounts or plowing.

One-time jobs like mulch installs, aeration, cleanups, etc get billed immediately and the customer has one week to pay.

smcunningham
04-25-2007, 09:36 PM
fiveoboy01
I do the monthly billing thing, but only for weekly mowing accounts or plowing.

One-time jobs like mulch installs, aeration, cleanups, etc get billed immediately and the customer has one week to pay.

nwlandscaping
04-25-2007, 09:47 PM
What day do you usually send out invoices? If they are late do you apply a certain type of fee?

twj721
04-25-2007, 09:47 PM
The city I do work for I bill 2 times a month because it takes them about 3 weeks to pay the school dist I have set up the same way
Then the rest I either get paid or leave a bill hanging on the door in a door hanger envelope self adressed already all they have to do is put a check in it seal it and apply stamp and mail

fiveoboy01
04-25-2007, 09:50 PM
What day do you usually send out invoices? If they are late do you apply a certain type of fee?

My agreements state that I bill between the 1st and the 5th of the month for the previous months' services. This way I can mail invoices whenever I feel like it at the beginning of the month.

I haven't been putting late fees on but I've been thinking about adding them to my agreements. So far, late payers haven't been much of a problem. I have a couple who are chronic late payers, being a week late every time, but they do pay consistently so I usually let it slide.

tjsquickcuts
04-25-2007, 09:57 PM
I bill per visit and monthly. My monthly payments are due by the 10th of the current month. It cost money to operate, and this helps soooo much. I have about 45% of my customer base paying per visit. Some of their bills are paid at the end of the month, but only the ones that have been with me for a while and have establish that trust. All installs are paid half and half, and any work over $200 has to be paid out once work is completed.

ed2hess
04-25-2007, 10:02 PM
How and when you bill hardly matters with some people and as your business grows you need to get a loan to have working capital. It is just another cost of doing business and it will actually give you a little peace of mind in that you won't have to keep hammering the customer to pay. In the new America people are paying slower and slower.

sildoc
04-25-2007, 10:11 PM
Bill the last service of the month. payment due 30 days from that date. the key is to make sure you get paid x amount per month. so after a couple of months of business you can then decide that you should get x per month.
Make your check out first on x date. then pay all the bills you can with what is left over. pay yourself the same date every month. you have to be reasonable on what you get paid and make sure you pay your self first. I pay myself 1000 a month. at the end of the year I stuff the max in my simple ira and then a bonus if there is extra. where you have a partner it might complicate things a bit. good luck.

willretire@40
04-25-2007, 10:32 PM
Check my thread on building business credit in the business management section. Also Lesco has a card that is pretty easy to get without having to put your SSN# on it.

Wells
04-25-2007, 11:45 PM
I use to bill at the end of the month but this year I started billing mid-month on the 15th & payment due by the 1st.

Just-mow-it had the perfect solution to billing clients. They have all their clients credit cards on file and the credit card gets charged on each day the property is serviced. So the average client would see (4) charges from the LCO each month on their cc statment.

RICHIE K
04-26-2007, 06:25 AM
My wife does our billing she does it once a month for mowing with 15 day to pay all other stuff ( mulch, landscapes etc.)is deposit and pay in full when job is done

causalitist
04-26-2007, 01:45 PM
i bill monthly.. on the first of the month after work was done.

for 1 time jobs under $350 its prepay only
over $350 and its half prepay.

i feel your pain man, im in the same boat working like nuts but no revenue.
its all good though, it will come and then youll also be happy in the fall that you still get checks in the mail a month after you last worked.

i always love that.

if its THAT bad financially for you in the spring, you may want to consider some sort of change.

i felt this really bad last year, so i made sure to sock away an extra bit of cash in savings account for the spring. its bad, the same time of the year i have no income i spend craploads on advertising and new junk.

causalitist
04-26-2007, 01:57 PM
I use to bill at the end of the month but this year I started billing mid-month on the 15th & payment due by the 1st.

Just-mow-it had the perfect solution to billing clients. They have all their clients credit cards on file and the credit card gets charged on each day the property is serviced. So the average client would see (4) charges from the LCO each month on their cc statment.

wow.. thats sweet! i think im getting close to enough accounts to start using credit cards.
it costs $20/month and then 2.5% + $0.30 per transaction.
i really want to, but i think i should wait until i have ~40 accounts (25 now)

topsites
04-26-2007, 02:02 PM
Speaking of credit, I have a Business card through Cap1 and every single expense for the business gets charged... More so because at the end of the year Cap1 sends me a categorized summary of my expenses and there's all my tracking taken care of as far as taxes goes, I can see at a glance what I spent, and where, I rarely have to question where my expenses are going.

The ability to float some money is nice to have as well, but I have to pay it off every month... There's no annual fee but they charge a fairly outrageous rate (I think mine's 24.9% or maybe 19.9% but whatever, pay it off so I don't lose money). In a pinch floating still helps, but I try never to get that far down heh.

The next two steps involve patience and the ability to save, but I find this time of year hard, too...
I personally bill per service, every time, but then I'm a per cut / no contracts guy...
And some of my higher dollar customers can accrue some balances, too, and I can't hardly ask but so loud that they pay when, by the time they do pay, they write out a check for the full amount without a flinch, sometimes extra on top...

So but one thing I am doing already is start saving next winter's money...
Because I learned, the earlier I start, the better the end result and the longer I can hold out (translation: no pita work).
Actually I still got a bunch of bills to pay, but again, start saving :)

jdramr4
04-26-2007, 02:49 PM
I went to auto pay like tj justice just mowing. It has been wonderful. I was worried a little about my customers up in age not going for this but they were some of the first to send thier info in. I love getting paid every day.

Nathan Robinson
04-26-2007, 02:51 PM
pre-pays with a small discount will set you up a little bit. Get a vedor that gives you 90 days same as cash on your products. Most places will work with you!

Patriot Services
04-27-2007, 08:15 PM
I send my invoices out on the 15th, payment is due by the 1st. This gives my customers plenty of heads up to budget. On 1st a courtesy call is placed, if no payment by the 5th service is suspended. This way I never give away more than 1 month service if they decide to flake out. In reality that has only happened 3 times in last 5 years. Big jobs or one times are due at completion. Jobs over 500.00 are 20% down. This cuts down on last minute changes and using my money to purchase materials.:usflag: :usflag: :usflag:

J&R Landscaping
04-27-2007, 09:28 PM
I do the monthly billing thing, but only for weekly mowing accounts or plowing.

One-time jobs like mulch installs, aeration, cleanups, etc get billed immediately and the customer has one week to pay.

Ditto. I send my invoices out at the end of the month and expect the back by the 14th for mowing customers.

MOWEMJEFF
04-27-2007, 10:30 PM
I bill at the end of the month too, for the most part people are good but some customers do slack. Do you guys recomend staitng that a late fee will be charged if its past the 14th or second week which one of you said. One lady still hasnt paid me for snow removal and its been 3 and a half weeks since I sent the bill....She was always good with paying mowing bills and she already said she wants mowing this year, I don't want to start mowing work till she pays me for plowing which is 120$ for march and april....I'm about to call her and see but at the same time shes a single mother who ive never had a problem with in the past....do i wait and have faith or push the issue, i know she knows she owes me money?????