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rcracer
12-09-2007, 11:04 AM
I was wondering what the best way is to get your money from the customer. Like if are mwing and they are not home. Could you leave a invoice with a invelope and stamp. What is the best way I appreciate any help with this thanks.:usflag:

Dave_005
12-09-2007, 03:43 PM
i ran into that a couple times but simply left an invoice on thier door and they sent me thier payment, never had one Not pay, but next season will be my 3rd season and going to monthly billing for all my accounts. so i wont have to worry about weekly payments.

rcracer
12-09-2007, 04:32 PM
thanks for the info, so did your customers mail them to you from your address off your buisness card? i just worry sometimes about how i am going to collect the money. How are you going to do the monthly payment way? do they just send it in the mail? thanks for your help with this.

mowtivations lawncare
12-09-2007, 04:38 PM
ive only had one customer so far that hasnt paid me. i did her leaf removal and she said payment would be left in the mailbox but when i opened the mailbox it wasnt in there. She hasnt returned any of my calls and i'm giving her 'til tuesday to either contact me or pay me. If she doesnt, i'm dumping all the leaves i have on my trailer on her driveway.

mattfromNY
12-09-2007, 05:30 PM
ive only had one customer so far that hasnt paid me. i did her leaf removal and she said payment would be left in the mailbox but when i opened the mailbox it wasnt in there. She hasnt returned any of my calls and i'm giving her 'til tuesday to either contact me or pay me. If she doesnt, i'm dumping all the leaves i have on my trailer on her driveway.

We had a local 'We haul it' guy dump some tires on a non-payers' driveway, he got ticketed for trespassing, then ticketed by Conservation dept. for littering, And extras b/c tires are a restricted trash item.:cry:

mowtivations lawncare
12-09-2007, 07:05 PM
We had a local 'We haul it' guy dump some tires on a non-payers' driveway, he got ticketed for trespassing, then ticketed by Conservation dept. for littering, And extras b/c tires are a restricted trash item.:cry:
im not littering or leaving tires, i'm simply returning what i was NOT paid to pick up lol

ed2hess
12-09-2007, 07:26 PM
Trying to get customers to pay per cut ends up being a big problem as you business grows. They will sometimes send it in immediately if you leave a preaddressed envelope and stamp. But when you get going weekly they get confused about which mowing they payed for and which one they still owe. The best way is to do a montly billing and it needs to be the same each month ....so do an average for the period you select.. We do a yearly with payments around $50 per month.

mowtivations lawncare
12-09-2007, 07:37 PM
Trying to get customers to pay per cut ends up being a big problem as you business grows. They will sometimes send it in immediately if you leave a preaddressed envelope and stamp. But when you get going weekly they get confused about which mowing they payed for and which one they still owe. The best way is to do a montly billing and it needs to be the same each month ....so do an average for the period you select.. We do a yearly with payments around $50 per month.
i see YOUR point, but what if the customer prefers to pay by the week as opposed to by the month? how do you go about informing a customer that you prefer to cut every week as opposed to bi weekly or when THEY deem it necessary ?

rcracer
12-09-2007, 07:40 PM
yeah all those points are points that i worry about. i guess i need to just talk with the cutomer and try to get it on a monthly bill. it would be easier for me and them i think. as for the non payer i would do the same thing. i mean it's not like thi swork is easy or free!

mattfromNY
12-10-2007, 09:58 AM
i see YOUR point, but what if the customer prefers to pay by the week as opposed to by the month? how do you go about informing a customer that you prefer to cut every week as opposed to bi weekly or when THEY deem it necessary ?

Simply tell them you charge double for one time cuts on THEIR schedule. If you are able to put them on your regular weekly or bi-weekly schedule, then they can have service at normal price. Weeds them out pretty quickly. As far as them preferring to pay weekly, and screw up your books, just charge them a surcharge (Just like your insurance co. does to you if you prefer to pay monthly vs. paid in full one payment each year).

txgrassguy
12-10-2007, 11:17 AM
First of all, establishing a routine accounts receivable program for your business is an absolute necessity.
Initially when I started, it was hand write the invoice and essentially beg/wait for payment.
Now I am on a net ten day payment following invoicing at the end of the month. With late fees for slow payment which is enforced.
Regarding those people who want to pay as they go, typically you are targeting a market segment with little or no discretionary income, therefore not having the budget to afford up-selling or add on services beyond the mow and blow.
There is no real effective way to eliminate customers like this unless your business has the operating reserves to carry invoicing through 40 to 50 days. If you do not have any type of reserve then you are stuck in this lower profit margin market segment.
Regarding what mowtivations lawncare wrote about dumping leaves that were not paid for - don't do it.
This is littering at a minimum, and in the state of Indiana, this can be considered a source of harassment/intimidation which will really go against you in small claims court.
What mow has is a breach of implied contract and if he dumps this material in the non payers driveway than he has abrogated any claims through the contract and becomes liable for the clean up.

hackitdown
12-10-2007, 11:33 AM
i see YOUR point, but what if the customer prefers to pay by the week as opposed to by the month? how do you go about informing a customer that you prefer to cut every week as opposed to bi weekly or when THEY deem it necessary ?

I bill monthly, usually about a week after the end of the month. The bill has the dates on which I mowed (or whatever), and the amounts. I have a line on the the invoice that says "please remit payment to..." and gives the address. At this point, about 2/3 of the customers use the online payment systems, so I don't include a return envelope.

The customers have no option my billing system, otherwise it is too confusing. I do give customers a choice on how often I mow, unless it is an unrealistic request. If so, I just say no.

rcracer
12-10-2007, 02:51 PM
I think that I will try to get them on a monthly payment schedule. I am thinking that I need to get a website or something that way they can have the options of paying with the card online. Thanks for all the help with that.

hackitdown
12-10-2007, 03:14 PM
I am thinking that I need to get a website or something that way they can have the options of paying with the card online. Thanks for all the help with that.

When I said that customers are doing online payments, I meant only that they use their own bank to pay bills online. The checks come to me in the mail.

rcracer
12-10-2007, 04:00 PM
My bad, so most of the time they pay on time and everything? I dont think it will be to much of a problem hopefully.:usflag:

hackitdown
12-10-2007, 04:26 PM
Most pay ontime. Maybe 20% pay, but a little late. Only one or two per year need to be reminded to pay. I don't have a problem collecting for the most part.

rcracer
12-10-2007, 04:32 PM
Sounds good I am shure we will hear stories later on in the year once things get going. How was the whole buisness experience for you the first year you started. This will be my first year do you think I can get 20 yards just using buisness cards and fliers?

Clear-Cut
12-10-2007, 04:41 PM
this is my second year in the biz and my first year billing monthly (they get one bill at the end of the month for all of the work performed during that month) and everyone seems to be extremely happy with it...especially me! lol its so much easier tracking down who owes what and who paid what.

next season im going to try giving them the option of paying over 12 months so it is less expensive for them..then it would also be easier to sell other services...a $40 cleanup will only cost you $3.33 extra a month!

Clear-Cut
12-10-2007, 04:43 PM
Sounds good I am shure we will hear stories later on in the year once things get going. How was the whole buisness experience for you the first year you started. This will be my first year do you think I can get 20 yards just using buisness cards and fliers?
definitely. i have 30 accounts over 2 years and all i have used is fliers and business card (i made a flier that hold the business cards in it and put a couple up around town) also word of mouth has helped a tremendous amount

rcracer
12-10-2007, 11:06 PM
thats awesome it makes me feel better. i am a rookie at this so any info or positive reinforcement is a plus. thanks for the help

shane mapes
12-11-2007, 12:56 AM
im not littering or leaving tires, i'm simply returning what i was NOT paid to pick up lol

you will still get into trouble for that . it is illegal to return grass and leaves to a customers privet property . one guy here got thrown in jail for the night and when he went to court on it , he had to pay for his com peter to clean up his mess. so think about it be for you do it .. plus it may make it hard for you to find work.. you know word of mouth ..

topsites
12-11-2007, 03:44 AM
Go to Staples and get some generic receipts, then hand write the bill and put down your address on there as well, stick it in the door, voila.

I get the most generic one that works, price per receipt is the big issue, I like it when a receipt costs me about 2 - 3 cents (so if is 100 in a pad then $3 the price for example is ok). Some might think that's funny I worry about cents per receipt but a lot of nice looking ones cost you 25 and more cents each, that's why I say watch the price per each.

Been doing it that way for years, thou I did buy an address stamp which makes it easier as I can pre-stamp a few stacks of these.
The stamp cost 20 bucks, so if I pre-stamp 10,000 it raises the price to 5 cents each, it takes 1-2 minutes to do one stack of 100.

Next year I will order from Nebs (or ncr forms) a stack of pre-printed more pro looking ones, but it costs $500 heheh...
Well, for 10,000 that's 5 cents each, it's the cheapest and now I don't gotta stamp them and it looks better that way.

shane mapes
12-11-2007, 06:59 AM
i used preprinted forms from Neb's the last few years .. worked out pretty good . now i just print out an invoice from quick books its pretty easy . i print out 2 for each customer . one for me and one for them ...