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dutchacres
10-24-2011, 11:01 AM
I was wondering when you guys cut off a customer for non-payment? I am net 15 days on new customers so I cut off after 45. Most of my commercial accounts are net 30 and get cut off after 60. I am taking on 2 large apartment complexes next season and I have always had bad luck with these types of accounts of paying me on a timely manner. I dont know why all these places think the lawn care guy can get stretched out for 90-120 days when they cant get away with it for there water, electric or any othere service provider. I want to be fair but also feel like I need to protect myself also.

Patriot Services
10-24-2011, 11:13 AM
I give 5 days grace regardless if they are due 1st or 15th. They get a phonecall, text, email or paypal reminder. If I don't get a response in 24hrs they are suspended. No pro rate, any missed service because they were late is made up at MY convenience. I explain up front I make myself available when they need me all I ask in return is timely payment.
Commercial is notorious for net 60-90. What incentive do they have?

calvinslawnservices
10-24-2011, 11:17 AM
Mine is due on the 15th or the 1st of the month. I haven't too many problems with people not paying, I had one that was 2 weeks late but he was jerking around with quicken or w/e. I cut 2 more times after the due date and if a agreement isn't reached then no more service.

dutchacres
10-24-2011, 11:28 AM
I don't usually have to many problems with payments but when I have been burnt it has been by apartment complexes. I am sure they wouldn't put up with a renter going 90 days before payment before they kicked there butt to the curb. I am understanding but I am also a business that has to pay bills just like they do. If I don't get paid I can't pay mine and it is a bad deal for everyone. I did have a customer at a nursing facility that was 60 days and on the next invoice I highlighted when the due date was and told them I am going to start adding a late fee if not paid when due. I had my check the next week! I start out at net 30 for all my commercial account but if they don't pay on time I bump them back to net 15 then if that doesn't work I get paid before I work.
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Patriot Services
10-24-2011, 11:30 AM
With the apartment complex I think I would "occupy" a chair in the managers office until they cut me a check.
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fastlane
10-24-2011, 12:12 PM
Some apartments only pay at 90 days. You should find out and then bid accordingly.

ecurbthims
10-24-2011, 01:27 PM
Some apartments only pay at 90 days. You should find out and then bid accordingly.

thats the ticket ! always ask how they pay when first checking into a comercial property ,then adjust your quote accordingly .If they say 90 days ,put in your contract 90 days with collections and interest starting at___ days .

fireman gus
10-24-2011, 11:42 PM
We bill on the first of each month and give the client 20 days to pay. Normally we will bill the next month and if not paid, in full, by due date we cancel.

HRidgeLandscapes
10-25-2011, 12:43 AM
The property manager we do most of our complexes with is usually calling me before i can a bill to her so she can get us paid... but we give them 30 days then they get a late charge after that with 30 days to pay then its no more service

MOturkey
10-25-2011, 12:56 AM
I've never put a due date on an invoice, and play each individual account by ear. One of my best customers seldom pays the invoice in under 30 days. In fact, here it is the 24th, and I still haven't received payment for September, but I know he is good for it.

If I was concerned with a new commercial account, I'd simply put the terms in the contract. If they agree to them, then the monkey is on their back.

bohiaa
10-25-2011, 01:28 AM
A lot of times " Foe me anyway" I know my customers and a few of them are having a hard time so I let it go for a few months. after 2 months I will send a reminder.

For commerical I take NO prisoners...

There is NO excuse for them.

Best of luck

borwicks
10-25-2011, 01:43 AM
Good luck. In general Apartments are the worst. Had 2 I had to take to court. No shows so I won. Got paid finally. I think that's just business as usual for some. For incentive I put in bold print at top of invoice. 7 percent dicount if paid in 5 days 12 percent if paid same day. 15 percent cash same day. Works like a charm! Well in most cases. Good luck
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Richard Martin
10-25-2011, 04:20 AM
For incentive I put in bold print at top of invoice. 7 percent dicount if paid in 5 days 12 percent if paid same day. 15 percent cash same day. Works like a charm! Well in most cases. Good luck

This is poor advice IMHO. Why give them a discount to do what they should be doing anyway? I would never give money away like that week after week, year after year. I'm sitting here 25 days past my September billing, and everybody has paid. My cash flow isn't so bad that I must have the money right away or I'm going to go broke.

Do you have any idea of how much this is costing you? Do you keep an accounting of it?

borwicks
10-25-2011, 09:54 AM
This is poor advice IMHO. Why give them a discount to do what they should be doing anyway? I would never give money away like that week after week, year after year. I'm sitting here 25 days past my September billing, and everybody has paid. My cash flow isn't so bad that I must have the money right away or I'm going to go broke.

Do you have any idea of how much this is costing you? Do you keep an accounting of it?

This is only for apartment complexs and its already figured into my bid. Meaning after i price it I add 10%. Ive only had 3 ever pay cash and i will gladly take a 5% hit on that. normally checks come from corporate so you never see same day anyway. No cash flow problem but sending emails, phone calls and letters is time wasted that i could be doing something else.

Richard Martin
10-25-2011, 12:32 PM
This is only for apartment complexs and its already figured into my bid. Meaning after i price it I add 10%. Ive only had 3 ever pay cash and i will gladly take a 5% hit on that. normally checks come from corporate so you never see same day anyway. No cash flow problem but sending emails, phone calls and letters is time wasted that i could be doing something else.

That makes more sense... :)

ralph02813
10-25-2011, 03:46 PM
I bill monthly and everything is due upon reciept. For all accounts I always discuss my billing and my expectations. So far, I have been very lucky, I have one guy you habitually pays me when he remembers me, if he thinks about me twice in a month I get two checks for $500.00 sometime he a $1,000.00 behind for big projects we agreed that he would always prepay anything out of pocket. Most everyone pays with the first week after the bill.
So far knock on wood@!

Patriot Services
10-25-2011, 03:58 PM
State your expectations early. Both in your business overall and with each individual customer. The bigger you grow the more you will realize how much time and aggravation goes into collections. Some of you guys mention 1~2 months? Hell no, you did the work. Get paid. Once the work is done there is little incentive to pay and your recourses are few. Some unscrupulous people operate on getting as much out of you and then calling the next name on the list.
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MOW ED
10-25-2011, 05:41 PM
You have to have a clear policy from the start. I have it on the website and give it to new customers. The terms are black and white. When they contract with me if they are late they pay extra. I don't cut off service I just get paid more for them being late. I have never had to go as far as court however I have the documentation that I have worked for them, they didn't pay for so many days, they were given chances to pay and after 60 days its collections or court. So far I have made some money on late fees but no court yet. Keep the customer but just make it more worth the aggravation for you.

DA Quality Lawn & YS
10-25-2011, 05:56 PM
I am net 15 with 10 day grace. After this, services cut off until account is paid to date, and late fee will applied. I went pretty firm on this policy this season, and collected some on late fees. It is surprising how many people pay late month after month, but yet still pay the late fee. Wouldn't you want to just pay on time??