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  #1  
Old 06-13-2004, 12:05 AM
way to grow way to grow is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: West Jordan, UT
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unpaid accounts

I started my lawn spraying business this last fall and am up to 180 accounts, but am having a hard time with people paying me promptly. I've been finished with my 2nd app for a few weeks now and only about 1/2 the checks have come in. Is this pretty common for you guys? Any ideas to speed up the payment process without bugging the customer too much?
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  #2  
Old 06-13-2004, 12:13 AM
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kootoomootoo kootoomootoo is offline
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gotta ask how you got 180 accounts so fast?
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  #3  
Old 06-13-2004, 02:04 AM
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Dwan Dwan is offline
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Location: Juneau, Alaska
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rase your price 10% then offer a 10% discount if paid within 10 days of biling.
If they intend to pay ontime it won't make anydifferance on there price but if they didn't intend to pay rightaway then they should pay an extra 10%
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  #4  
Old 06-13-2004, 05:57 PM
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TSM TSM is offline
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Location: MA
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many folks will 'file' the invoice and pay it on 30 days. That typically means that 30 days after they 'filed' your invoice the decide to sit down and write a check, then figure another day or two before they 'get to' putting a stamp on it. Few days in the post office hands and then it it your mailbox.

our invoices state that 'payment is due upon receipt of invoice' which we left at the door when the app is done. Some folks will write a check the next day....but not most. To cut back on this 'delay', we do several things.
#1) we offer a prepayment discount...about 30% of our customers take advantage of this. They send us a check for the entire season and recieve a discount.

#2) we offer a 10 month billing. we provide a coupon book, simulsr to a banks for an auto loan, they make 10 equal payments. We make the first payment due in February this way no one falls behind in money they owe us. About 20% of customers go this route. Especially those who use on line banking where they can set up a 10 paymnet on their computer.

#3)"Any ideas to speed up the payment process without bugging the customer too much?"
Customer owes us money for a service they requested...we do not feel we a bugging them! 30 days after an invoice is left at a customers door we send out a statement with a letter. Just a freindly reminder, we also charge 1.5%late fee (not a lot of money but it ussually covers the cost for doing this mailing). We run a program that is 6-7 weeks between applications. Our 30 day letter informs them that their lawn will be due for its next app in about 2 weeks and that we can not service them if they have an outstanding balance. Two weeks after that letter/statement is mailed...if they still have not paid us..we send a 45 day notice..this letter informs them that we are very aware that they still have not paid us and that their lawn is now due for its next application, we stress the importance of timing of applications for the benefit of their lawn. two weeks after that letter, if we still have not been paid, we send out a 60 day past due notice. this is worded quite a bit more firmly. We let them know that no further service will be scheduled until they pay us the $$ they owe us and another 1.5% is charged in interest.
Rarely do we have to use the 60 day letter, as a matter of fact, when we do have to send out a 60 day letter we automatically cancell them....but we keep on pursue for our $$$. thats when I start calling tham or might even stop by on a suprise visit. If we need to we send out a 90 day WAY PAST DUE notice informing them that if we do not recieve paymnet within the next 10 days we will file a small claims court suit....never had to, but will if need be
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  #5  
Old 06-13-2004, 06:00 PM
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BSDeality BSDeality is offline
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Join Date: May 2003
Location: Fairfield County, CT
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i use net-15 billing and split my customers into billing on the 1st and 15th of the month. I highlight due dates on all invoices. People like to put us at the bottom of the pile.
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  #6  
Old 06-14-2004, 08:15 AM
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DFW Area Landscaper DFW Area Landscaper is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: DFW, TX
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I got signed up to accept credit cards this year. So far, I've been having problems getting the rate promised, but it looks like I'm on the verge of solving that problem. Once I get my credit card processing fees where they should be, it'll either be a deposit of $300 (which is my average on accounts where I've been stiffed) or a valid credit card on file. The way I see it, if they don't have a credit card, I don't want them owing me money.

Later,
DFW Area Landscaper
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  #7  
Old 06-14-2004, 08:40 AM
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Aleman Aleman is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Charlotte
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Id like to know abaout the 180 accounts also. Im trying to grow my spray business and 180 accounts would be great....
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  #8  
Old 06-14-2004, 10:53 AM
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lawn lawn is offline
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TMS can you post a sample of your letters please?
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  #9  
Old 06-14-2004, 12:53 PM
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Team Gopher Team Gopher is offline
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Hi way to grow,

Another idea is to bill in advance.
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  #10  
Old 06-16-2004, 07:31 PM
way to grow way to grow is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: West Jordan, UT
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Thank you for all your suggestions! You guys are great! I'm going to try all those ideas out. I got up to 180 customers by simply knocking doors and if nobody is home I have an attractive flyer that I leave with a bid. I started last fall and ended with about 45 customers, everyone else is new. This past week I hired someone to spray for me so I can just focus on building the business. I'm now up to 190. Thanks again for your help!
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