Register free!

The Green Industry's Resource Center



Reply
 
Thread Tools   Display Modes
  #1  
Old 07-21-2009, 12:44 PM
FastMan FastMan is offline
LawnSite Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Woodland Park, Colorado
Posts: 782
Up front billiing

I bill a month in advance for customers who have shown a history of not paying in a timely fashion. If they want to keep me, they have to fork over the money first. Just wondering if any of you guys are doing that as a standard billing practice for all your customers? I don't currently,,, I bill for work already done,,, but if I had billed up front I would have protected myself from the occasional loss I've incured by taking on bad egg customers.

Thoughts?
__________________
YOUR SKI COACH
Bringing world class skills to the recreational skier.

YourSkiCoach.com
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 07-21-2009, 01:03 PM
Mowbizz Mowbizz is offline
LawnSite Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Salem NH
Posts: 970
Quote:
Originally Posted by FastMan View Post
I bill a month in advance for customers who have shown a history of not paying in a timely fashion. If they want to keep me, they have to fork over the money first. Just wondering if any of you guys are doing that as a standard billing practice for all your customers? I don't currently,,, I bill for work already done,,, but if I had billed up front I would have protected myself from the occasional loss I've incured by taking on bad egg customers.

Thoughts?
I had one customer that owned a vacant property that I had to chase all last season to get paid. Well this Spring I laid out a proposal to maintain the property for a full season upfront fee of $800 for the entire season. This included weekly mow-trim blow, spring and fall cleanup. I got no reply.
I cruised by the property in June for ship's and grins and it's a giant overgrown mess...I laughed to myself that I was better off without this PITA customer.
Yesterday (July 20th) I get a panic call from the property owner! They want it serviced NOW...well, I flat out told them they should have responded to my Spring letter and they wouldn't have been in this pickle. He tried to give me all the "usual" excuses about why they didn't respond...even said "we didn't find the letter until today" !!!! Ya right...anyway I basically told him good luck I don't need this...
__________________
2004 Ford F250 ext. cab Lariat
EZ Dumper Short Bed Dump Insert 2009
Billy Goat Force 9HP Honda
Redmax EBZ8001 Backpack Blower
Stihl FS90 string trimmer
Stihl Kombi 130 System w/cultivator/trimmer/edger/power brooms
SnoWay 29 series 8ft plow
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 07-21-2009, 01:46 PM
AI Inc's Avatar
AI Inc AI Inc is offline
LawnSite Fanatic
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Southern NH
Posts: 22,112
Yesterday (July 20th) I get a panic call from the property owner! They want it serviced NOW...well, I flat out told them they should have responded to my Spring letter and they wouldn't have been in this pickle. He tried to give me all the "usual" excuses about why they didn't respond...even said "we didn't find the letter until today" !!!! Ya right...anyway I basically told him good luck I don't need this...[/QUOTE]

Good for you, hopefully you educated him.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 07-21-2009, 02:11 PM
Ryall Landscaping's Avatar
Ryall Landscaping Ryall Landscaping is offline
LawnSite Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Greensburg, PA
Posts: 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mowbizz View Post
I had one customer that owned a vacant property that I had to chase all last season to get paid. Well this Spring I laid out a proposal to maintain the property for a full season upfront fee of $800 for the entire season. This included weekly mow-trim blow, spring and fall cleanup. I got no reply.
I cruised by the property in June for ship's and grins and it's a giant overgrown mess...I laughed to myself that I was better off without this PITA customer.
Yesterday (July 20th) I get a panic call from the property owner! They want it serviced NOW...well, I flat out told them they should have responded to my Spring letter and they wouldn't have been in this pickle. He tried to give me all the "usual" excuses about why they didn't respond...even said "we didn't find the letter until today" !!!! Ya right...anyway I basically told him good luck I don't need this...
I would have offered to do it if he paid in advance for the same price as before .


Personally, I just do the work and then expect to get paid afterwards. We've only done maybe 10-15 jobs (it's just me and a friend..not really a full-sized business)..But that's sort of risky since we're minors..It'd be hard to track down the money if we ever had an issue.

On the other hand, I was considering next year (I'll be 18) to do contracts and if one were to sign up for the season, I'd give them a certain percentage off (10%) of the normal price, as an incentive. I can schedule easier, they save money...Everyone's happy. But that's only as far as mowing goes, anyways.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 07-21-2009, 02:24 PM
HOOLIE's Avatar
HOOLIE HOOLIE is offline
LawnSite Gold Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 3,986
I bill upfront by credit card for 90% of my customers, for the most part they seem to expect it. I think the days of billing after the fact are soon to be a by-gone era.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 07-21-2009, 06:42 PM
wbw's Avatar
wbw wbw is offline
LawnSite Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: houston tx
Posts: 4,449
Up front

Is the only way to go. I bill on the 25th of the month for the next month. I have never had a customer complain or even question this practice. Improved cash flow and fewer concerns about not getting paid. Win, win.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 07-22-2009, 11:52 AM
newimagelawnsbrevard newimagelawnsbrevard is offline
LawnSite Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Melbourne, Florida
Posts: 1
I bill all of my customers up front. And actually most of them expected it from the day they took us on. I send out invoices on the 15th of the month due on the first of the upcoming month for services that month. So far I have had 1 customer not take us on because of it. She never heard of such an thing and all her other lawn services charged the month after services. Then I had another customer question me on that but she took us on. IDK I think more people expect to pay up front. Very few dont want to. But thats how I do things.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 07-22-2009, 11:59 PM
TQ Lawn Service TQ Lawn Service is offline
LawnSite Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Chesterfield, VA
Posts: 23
There seems to be a lot of response that people bill in advance of the month serviced. I'm only guessing that these accounts are tied to a yearly contract. What's the best way to handle accounts not tied to a contract? I know of a guy who has a net of 10 days, and this makes sense to me since lawn service isn't usually at the top of the "to be paid" list. I'm learning, so any comments would be appreciated.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 07-23-2009, 12:08 AM
Two Seasons's Avatar
Two Seasons Two Seasons is offline
LawnSite Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Waukesha, WI
Posts: 791
We bill residental right after service, net 0.

If we don't see the check before the next scheduled cut, then they aren't cut.

End of story.
__________________
We like orange machines!
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump





Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.6
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright ©1998 - 2012, LawnSite.comô - Moose River Media
All times are GMT -4. The time now is 07:50 AM.

Page generated in 0.09800 seconds with 9 queries