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Ability
10-18-2004, 05:07 PM
In another thread billing was brought up. I thought it would be intesting to see how everyone bills residentials.

I always tell the customer that I will split the risk with them when it comes to billing them.

I bill them at the first of the month for that month. However, their bill will not be considered late until the 15th of that month.

This way I show that I am willing to cut twice without having their money but they must pay for two cuts that they have not yet received.

For example, I leave them a bill on the first of the month

I did this because people seem to have a hard time paying in advance. Why??I don't know.

This procedure has been going really well for me.

maple city
10-18-2004, 05:21 PM
I bill at the beginning of the month for all work done the prior month. I don't make the customers pay until the work has been completed to their satisfaction. The only exception to this would be for a large job requiring materials. Then I ask for 1/2 down to cover materials.

Our bills are due net 30. This gives our business customers time to send bills to corporate headquarters if they need to.

cklands
10-18-2004, 05:27 PM
I bill at the end of the month for the work completed. I rarely have a problem getting money from a customer. If they go 60 days it goes to the attorney and they can find themselves a new landscaper.

MMLawn
10-18-2004, 06:51 PM
I bill at the beginning of the month for all work done the prior month. I don't make the customers pay until the work has been completed to their satisfaction.
Our bills are due net 30. This gives our business customers time to send bills to corporate headquarters if they need to.


So then you are actually giving them at any point 60 days worth of cuts (8-9 weekly cuts) before yu ever get paid?

If you like it that's great by That is just too long esp for residential.

tiedeman
10-18-2004, 06:58 PM
my billing is every 3 weeks. For example, my next billing went out today and will be due the 5th of November, and then the next billing goes out again on the 8th of November.

I started doing the 3 week billing due to the fact that someone can not screw me over with payments with that much. Instead of 4 weeks, they can only get me for 3 weeks. Also my billing cycle makes sure that cash is flowing in all the time

JustMowIt
10-18-2004, 07:48 PM
Credit/debit card after each mow, we do not mow again till the previous mow is approved! We have tried every method & this works for us :waving:

lawnman_scott
10-18-2004, 08:38 PM
other than a few commercials, everyone pays in advance for 1 month of service.

Ability
10-18-2004, 08:41 PM
Credit/debit card after each mow, we do not mow again till the previous mow is approved! We have tried every method & this works for us :waving:


I was thinking about doing this next season. All my current clients will likely go with it without any problems.

However, have you ever lost customers because of that policy? Are there still people out there without credit/debit cards?

lawnman_scott
10-18-2004, 08:50 PM
However, have you ever lost customers because of that policy? Are there still people out there without credit/debit cards?
Im sure there are, but other than a few old people afraid of technology I highly doubt they are people you want as customers.

impactlandscaping
10-18-2004, 09:01 PM
I bill at the beginning of the month for all work done the prior month. I don't make the customers pay until the work has been completed to their satisfaction. The only exception to this would be for a large job requiring materials. Then I ask for 1/2 down to cover materials.

Our bills are due net 30. This gives our business customers time to send bills to corporate headquarters if they need to.


Same here with the exception of residentials are net 15 and commercial net 30. So October's bill will go out Oct.31 and be due by Nov. 15, commercial due Nov. 30. Landscape / install jobs we ask for 30% down, 30% the first day of work , and 40% on completion ,or net 15 days if they have made prior arrangements with us.

Littleriver1
10-18-2004, 09:04 PM
Why don't you just go kick on the door and say I here to cut the grass, pay me so I can get started?

bobbygedd
10-18-2004, 09:28 PM
Why don't you just go kick on the door and say I here to cut the grass, pay me so I can get started?that's what i do

lawnguyland
10-18-2004, 09:52 PM
The cool thing about billing for previous month's work is that the billing for december goes out at the end of dec/early january and the money trickles in until early feb, then it's time for spring clean-up prepayments and snow removal billing. When you catch up with your bills it's nice to know you are, in a way, ahead by a month.

bobbygedd
10-18-2004, 10:10 PM
what if lawncare is your only income. the wife don't work, you have a mortgage, 2-3 children, a car payment, health benefits payment. i wouldn't want my money "trickling " in. the late fees on your credit cards add up. the late fees on the mortgage, property taxes, etc all add up. i had this same conversation 2 days ago with a guy whos been in the business 22 yrs. i had to throw him the hell off my property he got me so mad. i don't know, i don't let my customers control my bank accounts, but that's just me

quiet
10-18-2004, 10:33 PM
The calendar date that I start work becomes their billing date. If I started today, their billing date would be the 18th of every month. I bill every month, after completion of service, net 14 days. I am very fortunate to have a great group of customers. I have never had anything close to a customer stiffing me.

Billing throughout the entire month means I have cash flow throughout the entire month (I LOVE checking my PO box every day!), and since all my residential customers are on annual contracts, I get paid all year. And the 1st (or 31st) of the month isn't the day that I have to spend a ton of time doing invoicing.

I love to invoice! And I love checking the PO Box every day! And I love going to the bank EVERY Saturday morning with that weeks receivables!

But that's just me.

Westbrooklawn
10-19-2004, 07:37 AM
I bill the first of each month for that month's service....i.e. Bills went out October 1st for October service. I get payment for 80% of my accounts within a week, and the rest trickle in up to about mid month. I also bill a flat rate 12 months per year even though service during Dec, Jan, and Feb is minimal. This has worked real well for me for 14 years, and it limits my exposure to losses. My customers have no problem with it.

cklands
10-19-2004, 02:08 PM
Just Mow IT- that seems like an awful lot of paper work? How many accounts do you service?

rodfather
10-19-2004, 02:17 PM
Just Mow IT- that seems like an awful lot of paper work? How many accounts do you service?

Believe he said awhile back 2000 or so.

Frankly with that many, a credit card number on file is the ONLY way to go for him. The amount of invoicing, envelopes, stationary, stamps, labor, etc., would be quite a bit on money each month (or week) to send out.

Fantasy Lawns
10-19-2004, 02:44 PM
Our Oct invoices when out on the 1st n are due by the 20th .... payments recieved after the 25th are late with a $5 late fee added to the following invoice

Commercial are 30 net out on Oct 1 due by Nov 1

chipk1
10-19-2004, 11:59 PM
My bills go out 15 days into the billing cycle, payment due within 15 days of that or $12 late fee applies. I have 3 billing cycle due dates. The 5th, 15th and the 25th, this allows a steady cashflow throughout the month. Works out preety well.

Soupy
10-20-2004, 01:18 AM
In another thread billing was brought up. I thought it would be intesting to see how everyone bills residentials.

I always tell the customer that I will split the risk with them when it comes to billing them.

I bill them at the first of the month for that month. However, their bill will not be considered late until the 15th of that month.

This way I show that I am willing to cut twice without having their money but they must pay for two cuts that they have not yet received.

For example, I leave them a bill on the first of the month

I did this because people seem to have a hard time paying in advance. Why??I don't know.

This procedure has been going really well for me.

I thought about pre-billing. But what do you do on the months there are 5 weeks? I have been charging by the cut billed at the end of the month, With the exception of a few 12 month contracts. Next year I am thinking about charging a flat monthly fee based on 4.5 cuts each month.

RICHIE K
10-20-2004, 06:36 AM
WE BILL @ THE END OF THE MONTH. PAYMENT IS DUE 15DAYS OR SERVICE CHARGE IS APPLIED. 60 DAYS LATE " SEE YA " . :cool:


RICHIE K



www.kulakandcompany.com :blob3:

David Haggerty
10-20-2004, 07:10 AM
I bill at the beginning of the month for all work done the prior month. I don't make the customers pay until the work has been completed to their satisfaction. The only exception to this would be for a large job requiring materials. Then I ask for 1/2 down to cover materials.

Our bills are due net 30. This gives our business customers time to send bills to corporate headquarters if they need to.

Same for me too. Except for a couple of customers who my wife reprogramed Microsoft Excel to make them net 60.
The customer's not going to change their accounting policy just to acommodate me. And I'm not going to turn down a corporate account because I'm impatient.
Cincinnati Milacron was net 90 days! That amounted to 120 days after the work was done. It suprised me how many competitors refused to bid that account because of that. And that was a big account! Good thing for me my operation is not a hand-to-mouth affair. It's just money I owe to someone else anyway. I'll wait. Their price was bumped up a little to cover the interest on that money over time.

Most of my residentials are paid thru the businesses they own, so they get the same treatment. 30 days net.

Dave

cklands
10-20-2004, 04:48 PM
Yah with 2000 accounts you would want a CC number on file. So you are telling me that he enters 2000 payments a week into the computer :dizzy: :dizzy: . No thanks. If you can't trust a customer to pay the bill at the end of the month then get rid of them. Just my .02

JustMowIt
10-20-2004, 05:18 PM
Yah with 2000 accounts you would want a CC number on file. So you are telling me that he enters 2000 payments a week into the computer :dizzy: :dizzy: . No thanks. If you can't trust a customer to pay the bill at the end of the month then get rid of them. Just my .02

Not all our accounts are weekly & we still lick stamps for around 500 old accounts, because we never change the terms of a customer unless they are late 1 month, but yes, the balance is a fairly easy thing to do in QuickBooks Enterprise addition. We post the charge & hit the card at the rate of about 50 per hour which is a little over 1 a minute. It takes far more labor to go to the mailbox, pick up the checks, open them, enter them, prepare deposits, make copies of the checks in case a customer calls, drive to the bank & finally pay a 50 cent bank fee for each item. Although I know a lot of guys enjoy going to the P.O. Box & bank.

We enjoy no statements, no stuffing, stamps, no big accounts receivable, start up cost in the spring, & collections is dealing with a few declines each day.
MJ

Mueller Landscape Inc
10-20-2004, 05:33 PM
Yah with 2000 accounts you would want a CC number on file. So you are telling me that he enters 2000 payments a week into the computer :dizzy: :dizzy: . No thanks. If you can't trust a customer to pay the bill at the end of the month then get rid of them. Just my .02


Are you saying that your customers go to your bank and deposit their payments into your account for you? Or are you saying that when you receive your checks, you don't record them in your computer? :dizzy:

jbell113
10-20-2004, 06:09 PM
I mail invoices out thel ast week of the month and there due in by the 10th of the next month.

cklands
10-20-2004, 06:25 PM
I guess different methods work for different people. As the saying goes if it ain't broke then don't fix it.

Branchland
10-20-2004, 07:18 PM
We bill at the end of the month for work completed. We give til the 15th to pay. On out commercial accounts our invoice asks to be paid upon reciept but we know it usally takes 30 days. If a costumer gets a month behind they get the previous invoice with the new one. If we still have not recieved a payment we stop service and sometimes call them or wait a week then they're calling woundering why we haven't been out. So far it has worked pretty good for us. Only a couple get behind. Next year we're going to apply a late fee.