Prefer you ask? SHOTGUN...lol
I use Quick books and they offer an Bank to Bank payment option for .50 per transaction. Is that a big hit? I think not in comparison to each transaction with a credit card.
This is the first season we attempted this..Roughly 40% of our customers jumped on it...so email is essential for us....probably for any business. We did have a few people who could not follow the 3 step set up, but Intuit helped them get it set up.
Literally have customers that are anal about paying & others who act like they do not check their email. But to ask for a month in advance for anything would be completely out of the question.
Although this past spring I offered current customers the same weekly lawn mowing rate as last season, for early payment. I made it affordable for them to basically send a down payment on the first month of lawn mowing or service we would provide them and it worked like a charm. Plus it gave us the cash on hand for spring start up costs....fuel, belts, oil, etc.
Hope this helps...good luck
12 Ram 4500 Diesel Dump
04 Chevy 3500
04 F350 Diesel
4 60" Toro Zmaster/Lesco 48"
3 8'2" Boss V-Plows
Hiniker 9'6" V-Plow
20' Enclosed trailer/16' Open trailer
18' Skid Loader Trailer
2012 S185 Bobcat 2-Speed