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View Full Version : Billing (monthly,quarterly or yearly)


KJ26
01-24-2001, 09:36 PM
I'm having some concerns about billing lawn cuts and was wondering how you guys bill for lawn cutting. Our season is from mid april to about 1st week in nov. so that equals 30 cuts. Should i bill per month,try to get more by quarterly billing or just lay down a whole years price and try to get the money up front ?? i feel monthly is probably alot better for most customers who don't have it to fork it out all at once.

mdb landscaping
01-24-2001, 09:48 PM
im new to the business and am learning a lot, but i bill most of my customers every 5-7 cuttings. if i do other work, i send a seperate bill as soon as possible. most of my customers said they dont like receiving the two bill a year deal. they rather have smaller amount bills to pay.

David Hickerson
01-24-2001, 09:56 PM
I have been billing monthly with a prepay quarterly discount. This is the best my teritory can do. If your clients will prepay all go for it. I also have it set up so that customers can pay with there credit card at the of the month. All I do is send them a paid invoice with all workdone.

Bob's Lawn Care
01-24-2001, 09:58 PM
Where in New York?? I bill once a month. I get paid per cut, so on the last day of the month I make an invioce for everyone and send it out on the 1st of the next month. I hope this helps.
Bob

gusbuster
01-24-2001, 10:12 PM
Most people I know bill at the end of the month. Less paper work,one check to process. Drawbacks, have to wait for your money unless you have a good collection process in place.
John

Davis TLC
01-24-2001, 10:12 PM
I bill my customers monthly for services performed the month before. All other services are billed when they are completed.

1st impressions
01-24-2001, 11:44 PM
For the first fertilization or any other spring work, I bill
when the work is completed. Once the mowing season begins, I bill after the first 3 cuts and then again after the next 3 cuts. This is to help out with cash flow. I let the clients know up front so I don't have a problem.
After the 6th week, I bill out every 4 weeks , including all work performed during that period on the bill.

KindGardener
01-25-2001, 12:26 AM
I use Quickbooks - send out their bill the day after their final service each month (starting about this time of month).

JC makes a good point about collections - I still have a few who haven't paid for December.

Esby
01-25-2001, 12:31 AM
I send them out at the end of each month also. Its keeps it organized that way.

pcs
01-25-2001, 12:35 AM
I was billing monthly this year. What I didn't realize until later in the season was that sometimes they were being cut 5 times in a month. This year I may bill every 4 cuts. The only draw back I can see from doing this is in mid summer if the grass dosen't have to be cut every week you wouldn't be able to bill as much.

1MajorTom
01-25-2001, 01:00 AM
Wow, I guess we go against the grain on this one.

We have very few customers that we bill monthly. The ones that we do are our Real Estate agents, State maintained offices, and Apartment complex.

The other ones pay us for the cut every single time. For us it works out really simple. The majority of people we cut are not at home. So if their cut day is say Thursday, they just leave us a check taped to the inside of their door on Thursday. Takes but a minute to get the envelope and go.
The few people that are home, just have the money ready for us when we come to the door.

So basically, we have very little billing to do at the end of the month, and money is coming in 5 days a week.

At the end of the work day, I come home and log in the 10 to 13 lawns we did with Microsoft Excel. No fancy lawn software, just the basics.
Works well for us.


Jodi



[Edited by 1MajorTom on 01-25-2001 at 12:08 AM]

TGCummings
01-25-2001, 01:22 AM
I bill monthly. I start dropping or sending bills out the 15th of every month to make sure they're all out by the end of the month. I generally get all paid by the 1st of the next month, and have been letting go of the stragglers in order to streamline the operation.

I have added incentives to prepay this year, but only on new customers. That is working out well, and if continues to do so I'll incorporate it into the rest of my customers.

-TGC

Skookum
01-25-2001, 02:57 AM
I bill the end of each month for per cut customers as well as contract maintenance accounts.

I hate pay per cut accounts like the elderly. You spend too much valuable time messing with it all. Let them mail you the check, you can open it while you read posts on Lawnsite.

jaclawn
01-25-2001, 09:23 AM
I will only do pay by the cut for a few select individuals. THey must meet the following criteria: Home at least 90% of the time (retired, work from home, stay at home mom...) THey must also know enough to have the check filled out by the time I come to the door for payment. IF they start slacking, I will bill them once per month.

The majority of my customers I bill once per month. This works out very well.

I do have one that prefers to make a payment of approximatle half in April and the balance at the end of the season. This is good for start up cash, however, I would not want more than a few customers doing this.

kutnkru
01-25-2001, 09:44 AM
I dont know how long you have been in this industry so you may not have the relations with your current customers yet as some of us do. I have had the same customers on my own for 5 years and cut them working for someone else for 4 years prior.

When we sign up a new customer or re-sign an old one we do as you have by giving them a "calendar" for when mowing services will be rendered. We then inform them that our billing begins on the 15th of the month beginning in April and ending in November. Each statement will reflect four cuttings, plus other services rendered for that month (ie. fert, power raking, pruning/shearing etc.) according to their contract with no increase or hidden costs. This allows them some time to plan for our billing.

If they are not willing to pay us on the 15th we then recommend someone else we feel will best suit their needs and wish them the best of luck.

Sometimes they will call us again, and others are still happy with whom we have referred them to.

Hope this helps.
Kris

KJ26
01-25-2001, 03:08 PM
Thanks guys,,,, this board is the best thing going. I'm going to offer a discounted rate say 10% if they pre pay in full and keep the rest monthly. I like the idea about the 15th of the month.

kutnkru
01-25-2001, 04:30 PM
We as contractors have to keep in mind that for every lawn we cut without getting paid first we are taking the risk of non-payment for services rendered.

I offer my clients a 30 day money back guarantee.

If they notify us in writing that they have not received services to their satisfaction, then I will refund them their money up to 30 days before cancelling the contract.

I look at it as this gives me 30 days to fire and hire someone to get the customer back into our good graces without losing them for good.

Kris

bob
01-25-2001, 04:40 PM
All my customers are billed at the end of the month. I don't take any money in advance or offer discounts.

Currier
01-25-2001, 05:22 PM
In the past I have always kept track of each mowing then made up an invoice and left it after the last cutting for the month. some months four cuts, some five, sometimes the old "it hasn't grown much..." The paperwork became a pain. I have decided that I need a set income and my customers need a set, consistent bill. So..

This year I have determined what I need, total amount, to mow the lawns. I have divided it up into seven equal monthly payments (april-october). Now I can plan. I know how much is coming in, I can preprint my invoices, customers know how much they are paying. I don't have to wonder if I should cut or not. Other services are added to the bill either as one time charges or added to the monthly payment, depending on what the cutomer wants.

I really think that in this business you must be organized and you need to be treated right. If you leave yourself open to the whims of the customer you may find yourself cutting only a couple of times each month and actually losing money.

KirbysLawn
01-25-2001, 07:24 PM
I bill on the 1st of the month with the invoice due on the 15th. I do this for to protect myself from having someone owing me for 5-6-7 or so mowings and trying to screw me. at the 15th of the month I have mowed the lawn twice (most of the time) in faith they will pay, after the 15th it gets mowed twice which is already paid for.

Late paying is not tolerated unless they take the time do contact me.

MTS Services
01-25-2001, 11:12 PM
Hey, TGC what are your incentives, I am doing the same thing. I have offerd three free mowings if the pay for the full contract up front. I have started to take credit cards to make this an easier option for people. I hope this does'nt turn around to bite me. I have also offered a free aerating for a full season contract. I have 40,000 fliers going out in the mail on the 30th of january. I hope this is'nt to early because we don't start mowing untill april.
Thanks,
Matt