Originally Posted by GSO LAWNEN4CER
If you hire a plumber to come out and fix a pipe.He gets paid after he's done.If you hire a auto tech to fix your car.He's paid after he's done with the car. If you go to the barber shop,he's paid after cutting your hair.
Why on earth would you cut someone's grass and wait a month to get paid? Thats insanity. IMHO your a fool to wait 30days for payment.
I bill by the cut, for the cut. No money no cut. Your customers know the day your coming.Leave the check at the property. Gonna be outta town? Pay in advance for the services needed. That 30 BS puts your neck on the chopping block. Before you kno it its 60days and no payment. And by that time,you've cut the property 8-9 times. All the fuel/windsheild time/labor/ wear & tear on the equipment. You just lost a ton of money! At this point good luck getting them to pay for 9 cuts at one time.
You can't compare this industry to any other in terms of payment. back when I was solo I sent invoices due on 30th of invoiced month. After I grew enough to be pickier that changed to due on the 15th of invoiced month. Now we are sitting at 286 full time customers that are all on pre-pay year round. Today is Jan 4th, I am waiting on ONLY 5 customers to pay. I'm sure they will be in the box NLT tomorrow. If not I will send a couretsy call and email. I guarantee pay per cut will have you chasing your tail to get paid. Contrary to what a poster replied your customer base will not be stay at homes and retirees. This is a luxury service that is used by dual working parent, single parent, no time for the lawn types. In other words, busy people that have more on their plates than remembering to pay the lawn guy very week. Proven fact, the easier you make it for your customers to pay you the better customers they will be. It's called service. Why wouldn't the utilities use more frquent payment systems? Because it takes time to invoice and mail every week. Another item is you dont want to be on their schedule. We never guarantee a specific time or day of week. Way too many other things happen to fall into that trap which gives the customer a reason to have missed your check. Since I know somebody else will bring this up before long. Any additional light services are invoiced and due at time of completion. Large projects and installs are 50% down and balance upon completion. Explain to the new customer your terms when meeting for first time. Mine are always " we need to paid for first months service at time of first cut", of course it's prorated if mid month. Train your customers early on, getting them to change terms after you've begun can be difficult. I know monthly is unheard of way north, but it's the standard down here. There are good and bad points to both. Think farther down the road too. Do you really want the employees handling customers checks. I can tell you most of mine wouldn't want to leave personal info laying on their front porch. The savings in toner and printing time is enough to make me not want to do it. Not a huge deal when you have 12-15 customers, pita factor comes in at about 40 and then you find a limiting factor to growing. Never build your business around the assumption that you WON'T get paid. I hear this so often you would think everybody is out to screw the lawn guy. I'm well over 20 years into this business, worked in 3 different areas and I have lost maybe a thousand in all that time to stiffs. Do what you want it's your business, we can only tell our personal experiences.