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MeadowsLawnCare
05-22-2007, 11:59 PM
Do you guys get a deposit, or first months service fees before you start service on an account? Or do u just trust the person to pay after you have already mowed for a month?

Thanks,
Andy Meadows

HOOLIE
05-23-2007, 01:03 AM
Now I ask (demand actually...) the first month's payment up front, via credit card. If they choose they can pay by check but its at a higher rate.

When I first started I just collected a deposit equal to one cut, and then billed monthly for the previous month's work. A lot of customers pay on-time, but as the years went on, more and more began to pay later and later.

lawnman_scott
05-23-2007, 07:03 AM
I also charge in advance. I accept credit cards, but its their choice. I just know in the past people who not pay, so everyone pays in advance unless its a big commercial like a Mcdonals or something of that nature.

bohiaa
05-23-2007, 07:54 AM
both.......... Play it by ear........

I bill on the 3 rd cut for the entire month.... that makes 1 cut in advance by the time they get around to paying I useally have vut it 4 times in a month....
some of my customers just leave an envelope on the door wien I show up for the 4th cut

fiveoboy01
05-23-2007, 12:49 PM
I don't do it. They sign agreements and if they don't pay after the first month they get "harrassed" until a)they pay or b) I have to take them to small claims.

So far I haven't had to do B yet.

GLLawns
05-23-2007, 04:56 PM
I don't do it. They sign agreements and if they don't pay after the first month they get "harrassed" until a)they pay or b) I have to take them to small claims.

So far I haven't had to do B yet.

Bingo...If they signed and don't pay I have a big bag of thistle or a sprayer full of roundup for their yard.

MeadowsLawnCare
05-23-2007, 05:41 PM
Good to know, I think in the future once i get bigger I might do a deposit or something but for now, for customer service I will just have to trust the customer to be honest :P

M&SLawnCare
05-23-2007, 06:18 PM
Most of my clients pay weekly and i don't require money up front. However if its a new job thats overgrown, or exeptionally large then i'll demand payment up front before i begin working. Also for new clients, i wont let them get far behind (like 2 weeks before i refuse to cut untill paid). My oldier clients i don't worry so much about, and at times have gotten an entire month or more behind (do to simple schedualling conflicts, vacation, forgetting, ext), but they never stiff me, so it doesn't bother me at all.

Ecoscape01
05-23-2007, 07:27 PM
Do you guys get a deposit, or first months service fees before you start service on an account? Or do u just trust the person to pay after you have already mowed for a month?

Thanks,
Andy Meadows

I'm doin the trust thing for now. If I get burned I'll switch in a heartbeat

topsites
05-23-2007, 07:44 PM
Mine's pay per service, at my discretion I reserve the right to cancel service until the last bill has been paid, more so with new accounts but I learned to keep an overall eye on the established ones too, heh. It's different with long term customers, usually, but once I get nervous, I have to get paid something.

Might pay off to start thinking about establishing a monies due collections system or a payola method of some sort, this is how you do things, always, thank you... That helps, consistency.

MJRLAWN
05-23-2007, 08:21 PM
I take their word for the cutting and put them on a monthly statement and then if they are late, I add a $5.00 late fee to their account then if I have to go to SCC Small Clames Court, I have the show of how many times they were late and also the extra money from the late fees. The courts here are fair towards the busness on these matters. Then after court you know they are dropped like a bad habit... It takes all kinds

HOOLIE
05-23-2007, 08:22 PM
Guys...it's not a trust issue, it's a cashflow issue. I dont demand a month upfront because I think they're deadbeats, I do it so I can control how the money comes in.

For any guys starting up this season, put some serious thought into your billing practices. It can make or break you.

Ecoscape01
05-26-2007, 12:28 AM
I talked to a guy today that billed one of his residentials annually and then the guy stiffed him after the fourth year:confused: :confused: :confused: :confused: Annually..........that's just doesn't make any sense..........Doesn't suprise me that he sold the business after five years

MeadowsLawnCare
05-26-2007, 12:46 AM
I would do annualy if they paid me up front :) no way i would trust someone for a whole season to pay me at the end.

Tn Lawn Man
05-26-2007, 09:52 AM
I switched to credit card only.

Got burned for too much year after year. I have tried the collections agency route and everything. A DEADBEAT is a DEADBEAT. But, when you have their credit card number everything changes.