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View Full Version : Leaving invoices after each cut?


ALarsh
10-30-2004, 11:27 PM
Whatís your opinion on this? I have been leaving an invoice after each cut with their current balance they are going to owe at the end of the month.

For example, if I cut the lawn twice I would write their name at the top of the invoice, the date cut, what I did (lawn service), what the price per cut is (say its $40), then I write "Due at end of month ... $80". I keep a continuing tab going on so next week I would write $120 for the "due at end of month" section. I use the note card size invoices you can buy at Walgreens.

It takes me 1-2 minutes to write these per lawn. What do you think? Am I just wasting my time?

KINGjosh
10-30-2004, 11:38 PM
I think it would be easier to bill all of them at the end of the month or close to it . sounds like to much work, customers might get anoyed by so much invoices be left. But you can always try it if you think its goin to be best for you. Oh yah I would lose the walgreens invoices as soon as you can afford some decent ones with your logo on them and stuff.

ALarsh
10-30-2004, 11:45 PM
I do bill them at the end of the month also. I leave them in the mailbox after each cut so they can't say, "You skipped that week" and junk like that. I have been doing it and nobody complained, nor did they say anything about them.

I'm starting to think it is a waste of time after doing soo many.

pjslawncare/landscap
10-30-2004, 11:46 PM
What do u use for book keeping? I use quickbooks pro. I also use a scheduling software for daily route sheet. At the end of the day I enter everything we did into my quickbooks and at the end of the month I send a single invoice to each customer for all mowings in that month. Not to say your way isnt good or anything, but this is just how I do mine.

MMLawn
10-30-2004, 11:49 PM
Am I just wasting my time?


YEP. Since you said you are also billing at the end of the month.

Rustic Goat
10-31-2004, 12:44 AM
Do you realize "Leaving" anything in a mailbox is a Federal crime? Really!

Your method sounds like=
You're new to the business.
or-
You are not professional.

Don't mean anything personal here, just my observations from the details in your post.

Some folks could also realize they're spending more than they want to before the end of the month and try to cut back on your services.

Send a statement monthly, professional quality paperwork.

HOOLIE
10-31-2004, 12:47 AM
Seems like this might hurt more than help. In addition to the extra time it takes, if you ever forgot to leave an invoice, a customer might dispute that you did the work. My old boss tried this one year, not an invoice, just a little card that said "Your lawn was serviced today, June 6, 2004". But a lot of times guys were too lazy to leave them, some customers kept them all and matched them up against their monthly bill. So if there was one or two missing they'd be on the phone denying everything.

ALarsh
10-31-2004, 12:53 AM
Do you realize "Leaving" anything in a mailbox is a Federal crime? Really!

Your method sounds like=
You're new to the business.
or-
You are not professional.

Don't mean anything personal here, just my observations from the details in your post.

Some folks could also realize they're spending more than they want to before the end of the month and try to cut back on your services.

Send a statement monthly, professional quality paperwork.

Yes, i'm new.

I will stop doing this for next year and just bill at the end of the month.

Thanks.

ALarsh
10-31-2004, 12:58 AM
What do u use for book keeping? I use quickbooks pro. I also use a scheduling software for daily route sheet. At the end of the day I enter everything we did into my quickbooks and at the end of the month I send a single invoice to each customer for all mowings in that month. Not to say your way isnt good or anything, but this is just how I do mine.

I don't use anything for book keeping. I don't have many accounts so I know what each of their names are and how much the lawn service is. I plan on expanding much larger next year, this is my first year.

I am looking at the tutorials on the Quickbooks Pro website now. What scheduling software do you use?

gogetter
10-31-2004, 01:20 AM
First, yes, do away with the weekly invoice. Waste of your time and just not needed.

Second, for next year, when you plan to a grow, find a software program called Invoices & Estimates by Proventure. It's like $30 (or less). This is a really simple, yet very effective program for doing monthly invoicing and keeping track of your customers and payments, etc.

I've been using it for roughly the last 2 years and I think it's a great starter program. Super easy to use, invoices look professional.

Then down the road if you really grow, and get into a lot of different things (spraying, routing, employees, etc.) you can look at software that's more involved (and more expensive!).

alpine692003
10-31-2004, 01:36 AM
I like to do that because it shows them that you showed up at their house to service them..

LAWNS AND MOWER
10-31-2004, 01:45 AM
Splurge for stamps and just mail them an invoice at the end of each month. Work smarter, not harder.

CathyLynn
10-31-2004, 04:44 AM
We try to give theclient as little paperwork as possible--less room for arguement, etc.

We are not banks! Yet we do not get the same respect that most other industries get!

The flaw in billing at the end of the month is that by the time they pay you --you are 6 to 7 mows behind! If you did 6 mows for 10 people at 40.00 each before you received a dime, you would be 2400 in the hole already,
It is unavoidable to some extent.

What we do is when we first start working in the spring is to, we go home, do our quickbooks, and immediately send bills. Then as the work picks up we send bills every 2 weeks and by July, we are fairly cash solvent and may stretch teh billing out to 3 to 4 weeks. No one has ever complained, and we are not hurting real bad for cash from the get go in the spring.

When we do any kind of planting work--lawns--shrubs, etc, we bill IMMEDIATELY! We find that even with the best instructions to clients that they may not properly care for the installation, and you have a collection problem if something dies or the lawn does not look picture perfect in their eyes.

GarPA
10-31-2004, 05:03 AM
I agree with most of the other comments about doing it once at end of month. WHile its a bit less professional, its ok to leave their invoice hanging on the door just like TruBurn does and most of the other fert companies. BUt I would stay away from the mailboxes.
If we are doing a job for a 1 time customer such as a cleanup or plant install, we require payment the day the work is done and we prepare the invoice before we arrive at the property for that day.
IN time I think you will find that mixing apples and oranges (the grunt work and the accounting) is not a good idea, especially when you get more customers and you are very busy every day. When you are trying to beat the rain on a given day you will find that doing accounting in the truck is not worth the cost of a postage stamp. Keep the work and the accounting separate and your life will be more in order.

John Gamba
10-31-2004, 06:40 AM
When i first started i would leave the bill for the cut in a self addressed stamped envelope.
It made it easier for the customers to just send it out. It may not be as professional as some think but it will get the money to you sooner, You already are making out the bill and the stamp in comparison the the bill is very small. The only problem is the every other weekers that send it out late :sleeping:

Give it a try like a friend did. Hes never been so happy.
John

Precision
10-31-2004, 06:36 PM
bill monthly one month in advance.

when they sign up have them give you a check for the first month of service. Don't call it a deposit, don't justify it just say your clients all pay in advance. Just like your cable bill. If they aren't willing to do that they aren't going to be your clients for long. So no biggie if they don't like it.

No sense in being behind from day one.

I send out bills on the 1st that are due on the 15th with a SASE and very rarely get them late. half of the people get them to me a week early.