Register free!

The Green Industry's Resource Center


Reply
 
Thread Tools   Display Modes
  #11  
Old 06-17-2013, 12:14 PM
Kurt6845 Kurt6845 is offline
LawnSite Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Milton, FL
Posts: 67
I agree with Caddyshack. I have a few that seemingly "forget" to send payment, some of them two months worth, and then I call them or send them a reminder letter. Payment is usually made quite promptly at that point. Another thing that I do is if I have a customer that missed last months payment, I reprint the invoice and send two of them, and the one that was from the month prior I will stamp with a PAST DUE stamp. It's red and stands out. I don't ad a late fee, unless it is a customer worth losing. Now, on that note, I do have two customers that have not paid from services back in February and March. I have added late fees for all the invoices unpaid and sent them an other than pleasing letter. I have received a response from one and she is making arrangements to pay(allegdedly), the other, still nothing. It sucks when you lose out on money, but when you get down to brass tacks, for example, one of the customers I'm speaking of owes me $210. For the work we performed, it cost me maybe $40 (fuel, labor for 1 employee, time, equipment wear and tear, etc). So am I really out $210? No, I'm only out my expenses, it still sucks, but that will lessen the pain when you look at it that way. Good luck!
__________________
NORTHWEST FLORIDA LANDSCAPING INC.
2012 Ram 3500 Cummins Laramie
2003 F-250 7.3 Powerstroke Lariat
2014 Kubota SVL90 CTL
2013 eXmark 60" Lazer Z X-series
2013 eXmark 60" Lazer Z E-series
2013 eXmark Commercial 30"
Echo/Stihl peripherals
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 06-17-2013, 02:40 PM
Caddyshack Lawn Care Caddyshack Lawn Care is offline
LawnSite Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Columbia MO
Posts: 526
Update: The mail just arrived today. I've got a big ol' smile with one of the checks. One down, one to go.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 06-17-2013, 03:29 PM
GOATMAN GEORGE GOATMAN GEORGE is offline
LawnSite Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 88
I put payment due in 15 days after I bill. If no payment is received I send a letter very politely telling them their payment has not been reveived & is now late. then I send a.certified letter in 10 more days saying if payment isnt received in 30 days im beginning legal proceedings. idc if they have a bad taste or drop off , if they cant pay on time they disrupt cash flow and I could fill their slot w someone who pays on time.

If the customer contacts me sayong they r having problems I will gladly grant them a lot of grace time, but if no contact im always sending out late letters.
Posted via Mobile Device
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 06-17-2013, 10:43 PM
32vld 32vld is offline
LawnSite Gold Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: LI NY
Posts: 3,252
I have one commercial account they are late payers.

I would drop of the invoice after I finished their last service of the month. Example 6/25. They would mail out the payment a two weeks after 7/31. So I then wrote a due date on the next months invoice.

Example last service 6/25. Invoice, payment due 7/9/. They read and know that I expect payment in two weeks.

Of course customers test you as this customer did. 7/10 no payment so I sent out the past due invoice. No threats to cut off service, or add late fees.

End result, last invoice was for 5/28 due 6/11. I just got the check in today's mail for the month of May.

Yes 6 days late. I can live with that. Better then waiting 6 weeks. They are always about 2 to 7 days late.

The key is before you do the first job is to let the customer know when you expect to get paid when you the customer agrees to hire you.
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 06-18-2013, 12:06 AM
zacher's Avatar
zacher zacher is offline
LawnSite Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Marietta, GA
Posts: 67
I put it on my billing invoice...

I dont know if anyone else does this but for example...my bills are due by the 5pm the 5th of the month for prior months service..On my billing invoices I state if a bill is late or delinquent I charge 10% of the contracted amount as a late fee on the next bill. I let the customer know a 10% charge will be accessed...Of course if its the first time they do it I am nice about it and just remind them that it can be added...second time again I probably wont charge depending on if the fees are consecutive or not...third time someones late...yeah ill probably add the fee...

Patience is a virtue but as stated earlier...you did work and you expect payment. In the end your not neighborhood kid...your a business you wouldnt walk into walmart and expect to pay for your stuff 5 months later...you wouldnt get away with signing for a car and not paying for 2 months or paying late every month...as LCO's we need to understand this.
__________________
"The View Has Never Been Better"
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 06-18-2013, 12:13 AM
magicmike's Avatar
magicmike magicmike is offline
LawnSite Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: New York
Posts: 266
Quote:
Originally Posted by Caddyshack Lawn Care View Post
I look at it differently. I would never send a late-payment letter or especially add a late-payment fee unless it was a customer I was willing to lose. Because it WILL leave a bad taste in the customer's mouth. Yes, it's absolutely his fault, but I want to leave my customers with as positive an impression as possible. I bill at the end of the month, enclose a self-addressed and stamped return envelope for convenience and I get great results. It was raining here at the end of May so I was able to send invoices out on the 30th. By the following Saturday (June 8th) I had received payment from all but two customers. Just over 40 checks. The two late-paying customers still haven't paid and I'm not worried about it. They've been with me for 15 years and I know they will pay. One is a one-income household with 2 kids so I know they struggle. They're both great families and I'm confident they don't mean any harm by it and they absolutely will come through.

If someone hasn't paid by the end of the month I just add "previous balance" to the bottom. I absolutely don't use the word "late". I would only do that if I wasn't worried about offending them and didn't care if I lost the account. But over the years I've culled my lawns so that they are all VERY close to my house and they are good people who don't nit-pick the work I do.

It's an incredibly small price to help keep your customers happy.

In your case, you have three accounts and can't afford to lose them. It's only been 2 weeks. I wouldn't sweat it. It's a long time for you and you think about it every day but they probably haven't given it a lot of thought. A lot like how a utility bill sits on your desk for two weeks and to you it seems like it just came in the mail a few days ago.
Yea i understand what your saying but I dont have time to waste if a customer isnt going to pay me instead of mowing their house I can be out handing out flyers or something else productive. I cant lose this house thats why Ill probably do it for another 2 weeks or so. I would have your mindset if this was a customer who has made previous payments on time in the past but this is his first month of service (even if he made one on time payment).
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 06-18-2013, 10:10 PM
Wayne's Lawn Service's Avatar
Wayne's Lawn Service Wayne's Lawn Service is offline
Sponsor
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Louisville, KY
Posts: 171
good post

Caddyshack - I understand what you are saying about your accounts and that is a great relationship you have with your customers. I had a similar experience when I had less than 50 accounts as well. However, as our company grew we had some clients that thought we were in banking instead of lawn care and wanted to finance their accounts.

Keep up the good work and good luck this year.
__________________
Wayne
Wayne's Lawn Service
Profits Unlimited
"Where PROFIT IS NOT A DIRTY WORD"
How to bid mowing and landscaping jobs
Manuals & CDs Available to help you make your Business more PROFITABLE & PROFESSIONAL
800-845-0499
Louisville, KY
Since 1979
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 06-26-2013, 10:49 AM
DoubleClutch's Avatar
DoubleClutch DoubleClutch is offline
LawnSite Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Conneaut Lake, Pa
Posts: 165
I just left a late payment note on a PITA customers door yesterday. From the first time I went out to do a estimate on leaf cleanup hedge trimming and first time mow that was 12in high grass. I gave her the cost to do it and we set a date to do the work. I also got a biweekly service from her. When it came down to getting payed it took 3 weeks after she told me that she would leave the check taped to the door the day I did the work. And every time I went to mow and trim biweekly there was no check on the door and she would send it in the mail a week late. I have talked to her on the agreement of getting payed the day of service the after the 2nd time I mowed and she said she would start leaving it on the door. But no she still does not leave it and sends it 10 to 14 days after words. This last service ( 14 days ago) and still no payment and no return calls after leaving messages on her phone many times. So I left a message when I was in the area cause she was not home and stated that payment is due buy the end of the month or a late fee will be added and service will not be done until payment is received. I can loose this customer and wont bother me at all. She has had other LCO give her bids before I started cause I was the lowest bid. So now she can call them and give them greef!! I cant afford to not get paid monthly right now cause I am just starting out and don't have that many customers each week. But I am adding new customers each week. I give them more of a personal service than other LCO's in the area. I don't just show up and do a fast trim and mow. I treat there lawns like it was my own and want it looking great when I leave. I watch a LCO for a while in a area where they mow 4 or more yards and they where just postage stamp yard's. 1 guy trimming and 1 mowing on a ztr and it looked like crap!!! No trimming in the back yards. Grass was scalped. Spin divots in the grass. And the kicker was the left side of there deck must have been lower than the right!!! Ok enough said I got to get moving the rain stopped and the grass is drying and got to get clients taken care of!!
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 06-26-2013, 11:27 PM
lawnkingforever's Avatar
lawnkingforever lawnkingforever is offline
LawnSite Bronze Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Pittsburgh PA
Posts: 1,188
Quote:
Originally Posted by GOATMAN GEORGE View Post
I put payment due in 15 days after I bill. If no payment is received I send a letter very politely telling them their payment has not been reveived & is now late. then I send a.certified letter in 10 more days saying if payment isnt received in 30 days im beginning legal proceedings. idc if they have a bad taste or drop off , if they cant pay on time they disrupt cash flow and I could fill their slot w someone who pays on time.

If the customer contacts me sayong they r having problems I will gladly grant them a lot of grace time, but if no contact im always sending out late letters.
Posted via Mobile Device
I agree. I just dropped a very long time customer over late payments. I am not a finance company nor do I want to be. I used to be more forgiving not now. A dollar is not worth as much if you have to wait weeks to get it. I manage my company for profitability and operate it for cashflow. The lady I dropped was one of my first customers and in a neighborhood where I have 8 other yards. My tolerance level is very low for late payments.
Posted via Mobile Device
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 06-27-2013, 12:49 AM
KWLawnSnow's Avatar
KWLawnSnow KWLawnSnow is offline
LawnSite Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Plattsburgh, NY
Posts: 17
I am still waiting to get paid from a snow plowing job i did this past winter!! She hasn't contacted me at all!! I'm giving it one more week then i will be taking it to court, i was nice at first, but like lawn king said, I'm not a finance company, just provide services for those who pay & pay on time!!!!
__________________
Owner-Operator
K.W. Lawn Care & Snow Removal

Like Us ! http://www.facebook.com/kwlawncaresnow
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 01:35 AM.

Page generated in 0.08555 seconds with 9 queries