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  #1  
Old 02-01-2014, 11:19 AM
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wildstarblazer wildstarblazer is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: South Georgia
Posts: 750
How to get paid before work is performed?

I know this has been touched on here before but I still would like to hear what solutions have been successful.

Pre billing before each visit, every other week, monthly?
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  #2  
Old 02-01-2014, 12:10 PM
jc1 jc1 is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: The Real South Jersey
Posts: 554
Your question has a pretty obvious answer. That depends on what you want to do or feel the need to do.
You can bill one month in advance.
You can bill at time of service.
Charge a credit card each night for work performed that day.
The question is what problem or perceived problem do you want to solve?
Not knowing what services you provide, frequency and how many times a year no one can tell you what to do.
Here are a few things we do. for all of our customers we invoice for the spring clean up and mulch ahead of time. When we receive payment we put them on the schedule. We do this several weeks before we begin each spring. This allows us to put a tight clean up and mulch route together. We clean and prep most of the properties first. This way we are always filling our trucks with debris and once full they do dump runs. Then when ready we begin loading mulch and start installing from the furthest properties from our location. This way every day the drive to start work and trips to get more mulch is getting shorter each trip. We never need to worry about having material delivered or left over until we get near the very end.
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  #3  
Old 02-01-2014, 12:21 PM
A. W. Landscapers, Inc.'s Avatar
A. W. Landscapers, Inc. A. W. Landscapers, Inc. is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Fort Worth, Texas
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First and last week paid in advance (due upon acceptance of proposal)…payments will be applied to their final two invoices (January and February) for the billing cycle (March 1st through February 28th).

Then just bill every week or every other week but start the billing on the first day of service.

Since you are also in the south this should work well for you too.

You bill right up until the end of the year and then provide one week of service in January and one week of service in February…send an invoice each month that shows no payment is due at this time and show that their prepayment has been applied to this bill and include a brief message thanking them for their business.
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Regards,
Scott
A. W. Landscapers, Inc.
www.awlandscapers.com

Hustler X-One 60"
Wright Stander RH 36"
eXmark 21" ECXKA21 Mower
Stihl FC110 Edger
Stihl FS90 Trimmer
Stihl FS55R Trimmer
Stihl HS56C Hedge Trimmer
Stihl MS391 25" Bar Chainsaw
RedMax EBZ7100 Blower
Earthquake 16" Rear Tine Tiller
Honda 9" Mini Tiller FG110
2014 GMC Sierra Denali HD
7' x 16' Enclosed V-Nose Trailer
6' x 12' Dump Trailer
Equipment & Work thread: http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=415830
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  #4  
Old 02-01-2014, 12:32 PM
A. W. Landscapers, Inc.'s Avatar
A. W. Landscapers, Inc. A. W. Landscapers, Inc. is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Fort Worth, Texas
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Technically it's not first and last week paid in advance…it's last two weeks of service paid in advance.
__________________
Regards,
Scott
A. W. Landscapers, Inc.
www.awlandscapers.com

Hustler X-One 60"
Wright Stander RH 36"
eXmark 21" ECXKA21 Mower
Stihl FC110 Edger
Stihl FS90 Trimmer
Stihl FS55R Trimmer
Stihl HS56C Hedge Trimmer
Stihl MS391 25" Bar Chainsaw
RedMax EBZ7100 Blower
Earthquake 16" Rear Tine Tiller
Honda 9" Mini Tiller FG110
2014 GMC Sierra Denali HD
7' x 16' Enclosed V-Nose Trailer
6' x 12' Dump Trailer
Equipment & Work thread: http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=415830
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  #5  
Old 02-01-2014, 12:41 PM
jc1 jc1 is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: The Real South Jersey
Posts: 554
At what point do you bill them for Jan and Feb considering they are a recurring customer?
Or do you plan on resigning them and making them pay 1st and last again?
I would figure in the south the service continues with little to no break in service. Or am I off?
Once a customer hires us they are a customer year to year until they change.
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  #6  
Old 02-01-2014, 01:31 PM
32vld 32vld is online now
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Location: LI NY
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jc1 View Post
At what point do you bill them for Jan and Feb considering they are a recurring customer?
Or do you plan on resigning them and making them pay 1st and last again?
I would figure in the south the service continues with little to no break in service. Or am I off?
Once a customer hires us they are a customer year to year until they change.
If you are not doing work in Jan and Feb people this north will not want to be billed.

When you have the talk with a new customer and they agree to hire you that is the point you discuss payment.

I tell them that I bill them monthly and that payment is due ten days from the date on the invoice. I stress the importance of timely payment is not a trust factor. I require payments to be done this way to avoid cash flow problems. They become slow payers. Then I will eventually drop them.

Jobs that have large materials and a new customer with no payment track record with me they have to make a partial payment on the job to cover materials. Though I do not want to make them aware how much of the price is labor so I will ask for half of the job up front. Example materials $150, job $500, $250 job deposit to cover costs. $250 due when done.

Customers that I have been dealing with and always pay on time. For those people when I have to buy seed, fert, lime. I do not have them advance me money to cover the cost of those materials.
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  #7  
Old 02-01-2014, 02:24 PM
A. W. Landscapers, Inc.'s Avatar
A. W. Landscapers, Inc. A. W. Landscapers, Inc. is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Fort Worth, Texas
Posts: 1,304
Quote:
Originally Posted by jc1 View Post
At what point do you bill them for Jan and Feb considering they are a recurring customer?
Or do you plan on resigning them and making them pay 1st and last again?
I would figure in the south the service continues with little to no break in service. Or am I off?
Once a customer hires us they are a customer year to year until they change.
In January and February there isn't a lot to do mowing wise…I service at least once each month to keep everything looking nice.

January & February invoices (with credits applied) are sent out when service is provided.

I explain to my clients that their prepayments are to ensure that their accounts in my accounting system don't show any large balances owed so we can minimize the chances of having an interruption in service due to large outstanding balances on the books. With the types of properties I service coupled with the services I provide, a few weeks of non payment adds up quick.

I apply the prepayment to January & February so that the client gets the impression of 2 months without a bill to pay. The client prepays for two weeks, pays for service for 10 months straight but gets service for 12 months (weekly service for the first 10 month and the last 2 months they get 1 single service each of those months).

Then as the new season gets ready to start, they are invoiced for their prepayment…this gives me the opportunity (if necessary) to discuss any price increases and get a new contract signed for the new rate. If there is no increase, there is no new contract because the original contract stays in effect.
__________________
Regards,
Scott
A. W. Landscapers, Inc.
www.awlandscapers.com

Hustler X-One 60"
Wright Stander RH 36"
eXmark 21" ECXKA21 Mower
Stihl FC110 Edger
Stihl FS90 Trimmer
Stihl FS55R Trimmer
Stihl HS56C Hedge Trimmer
Stihl MS391 25" Bar Chainsaw
RedMax EBZ7100 Blower
Earthquake 16" Rear Tine Tiller
Honda 9" Mini Tiller FG110
2014 GMC Sierra Denali HD
7' x 16' Enclosed V-Nose Trailer
6' x 12' Dump Trailer
Equipment & Work thread: http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=415830
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