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View Full Version : How do you guys get your accounts paid quickly?


YardsofDistinction
10-12-2004, 04:01 AM
Hello all from Brisbane, Australia. Just wondering if there's a secret to getting your accounts paid sooner rather than later. I've been operating 2.5 yrs now and have grown to 120 regular clients and 20% of these are account payers.

tiedeman
10-12-2004, 04:18 AM
two words: strict contracts.

It weeds out the good and bad customers. Over the years I have only had two really bad late payers, one that didn't pay for 3 months and the other 5 months. But they paid. Will I ever service them again, nope, they go on my black list that I have for customers

I would say 90% of my customers pay at least a week or more before the due date, and the other 10% usually pay right on the due date

tiedeman
10-12-2004, 04:20 AM
Welcome to the site by the way

KINGjosh
10-12-2004, 04:49 AM
I find myself consatanly rolling balances of to the next month for at least 10 customers a month. I even try to give them the invoices earlier than others. I never let them get past 2 months behind though. I will nock on their door if I have to! I guess when they stack their bills up at the end month, we get pushed to the bottum. only true for about 10% of my custs.

Richard Martin
10-12-2004, 06:36 AM
I give each new customer a "FAQ" sheet that explains my policies. Included is the following:

================================================================
If your account becomes delinquent service will be halted and collection actions will
proceed. I do use a collection service and they will report the debt to Equifax.
================================================================

That's all it takes. And yes, I do use a collection service. It's www.olddebts.com and they do put it on the record as an unpaid debt. I've only had to use it one time and I literally got paid seconds after the debtor got the collection letter from Olddebts.

LwnmwrMan22
10-12-2004, 08:57 AM
I send out invoices at the first of the month, for that month's work, rather than wait until the 30th, then end up waiting another 30.

I've got all accounts that pay within that 30 days, except for one, and I maintain it as well as they pay, meaning if they're late, then I'm late there mowing it.

I don't really care since they're on contract, so some months it gets mowed 4 times, sometimes just twice.

Other than that one, it has taken me 16 years to get to the point where 25% pay me within 5 days, 50% pay me within 20 days, and the other 25% pay me within 30 days.

It's not too bad, because all my bills are due right around the 20th as well, so I can pay my bills while checks are rolling in.

Most of it will just take time. Get rid of the accounts that don't pay soon enough as you pick up other accounts that do.

The hardest thing for me to learn was to not do work for people that don't pay, when there are people out there that will pay.

Soupy
10-12-2004, 09:28 AM
The hardest thing for me to learn was to not do work for people that don't pay, when there are people out there that will pay.

I have this problem. I always tell myself that it is money in the bank and then about 90 days past due, I realize how dumb that thought was. I don't mind late payers when I know they are god for it. But it's the new customers that you give a little breathing room and then they stiff you that I hate.

I called this guy a few days ago and told him I needed my money. He asked how much and when I tell him. He freaks and ask me how it got so high. It takes a real genius to figure that one out :dizzy: He then ask me if I was still cutting it, and I said no I stopped over a month ago. He says, "good because I don't live there anymore, that is why I didn't know I owed you". I wonder if this guy left all his services running when he moved :dizzy:

Gravely_Man
10-12-2004, 09:35 AM
Everything must be spelled out in easy to understand terms in your contract which must be reviewed with the client. A strong contract and a client who understands your policies should be all you need for on-time payments.

Ryan Lightning
10-12-2004, 09:55 AM
First thing I did was mail invoices out on the 25th, Ive heard from alot of customers that they either pay all there bills on the 30th are the 1st. For along time I was getting almost all my checks by the 5th. They started coming in slow over the summer, So I started including a self addressed envelope, and now there coming in fast again.

mastercare
10-12-2004, 11:40 AM
I'll second that one.. Put a self-addressed envelope with your bills, and they'll be quicker to pay...they expect you to work your butt off for them... but is funny how lazy people get whne they have to write out their own envelope!
Also, I give some leniency to those "special customers." I have only one who is ALWAYS late. Bills go out on the 1st, and are due on hte 15th. I always get his before the next bill goes out.....and he brings lots of business. So, I keep highlighting due dates on his invoice, keep working, and keep getting paid.

One reason for such a high response is how I discuss it with the customer at the beginning of the year. I tell them:


"As far as invoicing goes, I will send out bills on the first of the month. They are due on the 15th. I have never charged a late fee, because my customers hold me in high respect. People sometimes look at a bill, and imagine it coming from this huge company, that doesn't NEED their money right away. In this case....your bill is my paycheck. Nobody would work for an employer who gives them a paycheck when they 'get around to it.' When my customers understand this, and respect the work I do, they have no problem being on time."

That's kind of long.....but I pull pieces here and there and that's what it generally sounds like. But....it works.

Hope it helps.

JustMowIt
10-12-2004, 11:54 AM
Hello all from Brisbane, Australia. Just wondering if there's a secret to getting your accounts paid sooner rather than later. I've been operating 2.5 yrs now and have grown to 120 regular clients and 20% of these are account payers.

We bill each mow to a credit/debit card on file the next day after each mow. NO statements are mailed.

Fantasy Lawns
10-12-2004, 12:01 PM
Slow payers can be motivated with a discount system

Say the estimate of monthly billing is $85 ..... you tell em $100 but if they pay by the 15th the price is $85

bobbygedd
10-12-2004, 01:33 PM
try canceling them when they don't pay, simple enough aint it? self addressed stamped envelope will double your expense on billing. 80 cents now it is costing you to send a bill. no thanx. make them pay ontime

YardsofDistinction
10-13-2004, 12:52 AM
Tahnk you all your help is greatly appreciated.

Darr57
10-13-2004, 03:21 AM
JustMowIt what kind of system do you have for processing debit/credit cards? (i.e. what company are you using and are you paying an arm and a leg for it) Thanks in advance.

fcl01
10-13-2004, 06:09 AM
We bill each mow to a credit/debit card on file the next day after each mow. NO statements are mailed.


i like the idea of having a credit card on file. even if i still send statements, it would be nice to just run the card if payment is not in within 15 days or something. had to cut one guy off at the end of july for nonpayment and still havent been able to talk to him since. wont answer the phone, wont come to the door, theyve signed for the last 2 certified letters so i know theyre not dead. theyre $250 bill is now upto $425 and they still wont make contact,
put a lien on the property, still wont call, probably wont get paid til they try to buy a car and see it on their credit report. or til i disguise myself, knock on the door, and drag his little azz out by his fat head and beat the money out of him!


Dan

LwnmwrMan22
10-13-2004, 12:03 PM
i like the idea of having a credit card on file. even if i still send statements, it would be nice to just run the card if payment is not in within 15 days or something. had to cut one guy off at the end of july for nonpayment and still havent been able to talk to him since. wont answer the phone, wont come to the door, theyve signed for the last 2 certified letters so i know theyre not dead. theyre $250 bill is now upto $425 and they still wont make contact,
put a lien on the property, still wont call, probably wont get paid til they try to buy a car and see it on their credit report. or til i disguise myself, knock on the door, and drag his little azz out by his fat head and beat the money out of him!


Dan

Why put a lien on?? I would have just taken them to conciliation court.

If you put a lien on, could be 30 years before you get your money.

JimLewis
10-13-2004, 12:11 PM
Just wondering if there's a secret to getting your accounts paid sooner rather than later.

Yes, there is a secret. We get paid from all 160 of our customers on-time every single month. Check out this old thread re: AutoPay (http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=36542&highlight=autopay)

GrassBustersLawn
10-13-2004, 12:36 PM
My CONTRACT says "Statements NOT PAID by the 10th of the month will incur a $10 late fee."

Also, try setting up a PAYMENT PLAN of 8 (or 1 LESS than how many ever months your season is) installments based on ESTIMATED ANNUAL CHARGES & then selling it to the customer as a way to HELP THEM BUDGET. I did that this year & now probably have 25% paying in ADVANCE. :drinkup: I even had 1 customer pay in ADVANCE for the WHOLE SEASON. IF YOU DON'T ASK, YOU WON'T GET IT!!!

Mike

ParadiseLawn&Landscaping
10-13-2004, 12:55 PM
I'm starting a mowing business in Topeka, How does one get clients that are happy with there current mowing service. I've been calling everyone and they're happy. Help needed
Thanks

LwnmwrMan22
10-13-2004, 01:09 PM
I'm starting a mowing business in Topeka, How does one get clients that are happy with there current mowing service. I've been calling everyone and they're happy. Help needed
Thanks


Gotta find people that aren't, or watch for when a business is sold. What for new building.

Soupy
10-13-2004, 04:27 PM
I'm starting a mowing business in Topeka, How does one get clients that are happy with there current mowing service. I've been calling everyone and they're happy. Help needed
Thanks

There is no way. Well there is one possible way (lowballing), but you would go bankrupt trying it.

Sometimes no matter how bad you want to open a certain kind of business. You just have to face the facts that if your goals can't be attainable then it isn't logical to venture into that business. I wanted to own a Bar and grill for ever, but after seeing so many fail and the rest just skimming by, I decided it wasn't worth the headache.