I guess I am just an old softie. I collect money when I need it. I send invoices, and some folks pay fast and some are slow. my priorities right now are getting about 35 more jobs filmed, and lining up about 15-20 jobs ( or more) to takedown between Dec. 26 and New years day, and then trying to see how fast we can get the rest of the jobs down. If I were to focus on collections and running around to the 90 to 110 folks who owe me money right now, I would not get jobs filmed or have work planned for 2 crews to start getting stuff taken down. it has always been more important for me to run this business than to have a ton of bucks in the bank on Dec. 24. I just need enough in the bank to cover my bills and payroll and the occaisional 1000 buck hiccup.
I think the language Christmas decor uses on the back of thier bids is about as strong as you can legally get away with. something along the lines of if you receive your invoice and we do not hear from you disputing the invoice, we assume the charges and services were valid and the payment is due.
Also, when you get to court, the judge does not consider their payment late until 30 days after the takedown is done. The contract is a charge for install, takedown and storage. at this point I really have not completed anyone's contract yet. I have had one judge point out that I had not stored it for one year yet, so I was asking them in effect to pre-pay me for one year of storage. which is true.
I like to get paid as fast as anyone else, and my contract may say thet it is due upon completion of install, but folks, let's be honest here- they bought a service of product, install, and takedown. and although I would love to collect all my money before Christmas Day, and yes, I reccomend you try, we are very far from completing our work. The very fact that I will have 3 crews running for at least the first 3 weeks of january screams the fact that our job is far from done here.
I have always thought that when folks buy our service it is many times an emotional impulse buy. I do agree that folks seem to come to their senses in Janary and February when I call and collect some invoices. It is better to get it collected before Christmas if you can. I just don't have the time.