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View Full Version : Does anyone NOT get paid in advance for season?


THC
12-26-2008, 02:09 PM
I was wondering how you would go about handling pay as you go customers?

The few problems I had last year were people telling me they didn't need the 2nd application.

I want to do it for real THIS year but I won't be set up to take anyone's money in advance.

SpreadNSpray
12-26-2008, 02:34 PM
I use Qxpress software. It takes care of everything. Including a custom record of application that is required by law in Minnesota for both the customer and company. It can handle pre-pay and pay per application customers. You can also set up a program with a set # of applications.

LawnTamer
12-26-2008, 03:17 PM
I would try to get as many clients to pre-pay as possible. We have about half of our fert clients prepay for the season. It is less hassle, no constant billing, and no risk of getting stiffed.

In Utah, like most states, if you perform a service and don't demand payment at the time of service, it is treated the same as extending credit. I just got a bankruptcy notice from another client this week. I think from now on, we will require clients to prepay, or to pay at the time of service.

I am tired of being a bank who doesn't bother to do credit checks.:hammerhead::hammerhead:

ted putnam
12-26-2008, 03:36 PM
I would try to get as many clients to pre-pay as possible. We have about half of our fert clients prepay for the season. It is less hassle, no constant billing, and no risk of getting stiffed.

In Utah, like most states, if you perform a service and don't demand payment at the time of service, it is treated the same as extending credit. I just got a bankruptcy notice from another client this week. I think from now on, we will require clients to prepay, or to pay at the time of service.

I am tired of being a bank who doesn't bother to do credit checks.:hammerhead::hammerhead:

I lose about 3% of gross revenue per year to being "stiffed". I don't use a collection service. I collect myself. Of course, I don't "jack" with non payers. I bill by the app. I leave an invoice and a self-addressed(no stamp) envelope when I service the property. I send out a prepay notice with a discount offer at the beginning of the season. About 15-20% take advantage of this offer. The rest "trickles" in through the rest of the year. I like it that way. When I first started out, I did everything by hand, probably until I got to a little over 100 customers. It becomes a major hassle after that. I use an ACCESS Database to keep up with things now.

Ric
12-26-2008, 04:20 PM
WOW

I refuse to take payment up front and bill as I go. Florida can be the Land of Scam and I don't want to be put in that classification. 99% of my customers are up scale retirees and pay like clock work. I don't want the problem of holding their money in advance.

DUSTYCEDAR
12-26-2008, 04:25 PM
Pre pay all the way

ted putnam
12-26-2008, 04:36 PM
WOW

I refuse to take payment up front and bill as I go. Florida can be the Land of Scam and I don't want to be put in that classification. 99% of my customers are up scale retirees and pay like clock work. I don't want the problem of holding their money in advance.

I'm with you Ric. Honestly, I would avoid it if I could. Most of the ones that prepay, do it because they don't want to hassle with it through the year. They don't care about the measily 5% discount I give them. When I first started, I didn't offer it. Then, when I had them request it and I offered a small discount to them for doing it , I thought it was only fair that I offered that discount to everyone. That was the chain of events that lead to it in a nutshell for me. Truthfully, I don't even want to imagine "holding" a major portion of my gross revenues for the year. That's SCARY! Besides, I like the steady cash flow.

turf hokie
12-26-2008, 07:55 PM
We take enough pre-pays to get us started in the beginning of the season. You just have to watch your pennies when you get toward the end of the season so that you have some tucked aside for the back end.

mngrassguy
12-26-2008, 10:07 PM
70% of my fert only customers pre-pay. Many have been paying that way for over 20 years. My optional services keep me afloat the rest of the year. I do the same as Ted otherwise.

Hogjaw
12-26-2008, 11:31 PM
I was wondering how you would go about handling pay as you go customers?

The few problems I had last year were people telling me they didn't need the 2nd application.

I want to do it for real THIS year but I won't be set up to take anyone's money in advance.

We do pay as you go................small business........we spray about 425 to 460 lawns a year.....does not include mowing business.

We spray when it's time.........if they say they don't need it, either I agree or don't go back for future apps.

In event something happened to me, I don't want my wife to have to worry about refunding.

My two cents worth.

mngrassguy
12-26-2008, 11:35 PM
Something happens to me, good luck collecting from my wife!!! lol

ted putnam
12-26-2008, 11:57 PM
Funny...I was thinking the same thing! :laugh:

ICT Bill
12-26-2008, 11:57 PM
Something happens to me, good luck collecting from my wife!!! lol

ROTFLOL, we must be related

This credit subject has come up more than once recently, pre pay or at least 50% before to cover your butt.

There are very few that are allowing services/materials without payment in advance.

If you go to a grocery store, do you have to pay before you can walk out of the store????
If you buy shoes, do you have to pay first???? Gas, computers, software, etc.

Pre pay monthly seems like a good way to go, pay me in April for May's services

ted putnam
12-27-2008, 12:19 AM
ROTFLOL, we must be related

This credit subject has come up more than once recently, pre pay or at least 50% before to cover your butt.

There are very few that are allowing services/materials without payment in advance.

If you go to a grocery store, do you have to pay before you can walk out of the store????
If you buy shoes, do you have to pay first???? Gas, computers, software, etc.

Pre pay monthly seems like a good way to go, pay me in April for May's services

Do I pay for electricity before I use it or do I pay for it after I've used it?

Do I pay for my phone bill before I've racked up long distance charges or before?
Do I pay the guy before he refinishes a wooden door for me and trust he'll show up or do I pay him after the job is done?
(In my case) Do I pay the guy to put shoes on my horse before or after he's done?
Like I said, I don't "jack" with nonpayers. If they don't pay, they don't stay on my "active" customer list for long. I will cull the herd. I'm no bank but most of my customers are good, honest people that are good about paying in a reasonable time frame so I don't see the need to collect up front. I will admit, there are a handful that abuse the system, but they are the exception not the rule.

mngrassguy
12-27-2008, 12:23 AM
When you go to a resturant, do you wait to pay until after you go home and dump it?
Do you wait to pay for the paper until after you read it?

All my contract services are pre-paid 1 month in advance or service stops.

ted putnam
12-27-2008, 01:01 AM
WOW... Man, that's awesome that you can do that. That means ZERO past dues! I wish I could pull that off. I don't think I could get away with it and maintain my current customer count though.

By the way, I don't pay for my food at a restaurant until after I've eaten it ( unless it's "to go".) :laugh:

DLAWNS
12-27-2008, 11:21 AM
In Utah, like most states, if you perform a service and don't demand payment at the time of service, it is treated the same as extending credit. I just got a bankruptcy notice from another client this week. I think from now on, we will require clients to prepay, or to pay at the time of service.

I am tired of being a bank who doesn't bother to do credit checks.:hammerhead::hammerhead:

I feel your pain...I've been bankrupted twice in two years. It fires me up!:angry:
About 60% of fert customers pay up front which goes into a supply account to cover fert. costs and the rest pay as we do treatments. It keeps some money flowing in.

Ric
12-27-2008, 11:46 AM
Yo Guys

While I don't do it, Credit card billing at the time of service might be a way of killing Past Due payments. I had Credit Card service at one time and the monthly service cost plus percentage of billing is not cheap. When I down sized for semi retirement I gave up the Credit Card service. On large landscape installs the Credit Card was an invaluable selling tool. I have a customer who recently bought a BMW Mimi Cooper with his credit card. It was an impulse buy for his wife while on vacation. He said he didn't have his check book and so he just used his credit card. Must be nice!!!

Most of my customers use Internet bill paying service. Many of them have me on auto pay and their checks comes like clock work each month. But that is not to say I am not scared of a failing economy.

tlg
12-28-2008, 06:46 PM
We have consistently over the years received 60 to 70% prepays in the spring. I think our customers like the fact that they pay once, get a discount and arn't bothered by paying individual invoices throughout the season. Other than getting paid up front one of the best reasons for a pre pay program is reducing office staff time taking and entering payments. Taking one payment makes bookkeeping easy with less room for errors.

mngrassguy
12-28-2008, 07:28 PM
I agree. It also enables me to pay for ALL my fert and supplies for the whole year.