After the "estimate"

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by BC1230, Oct 14, 2011.

  1. MarkintheGarden

    MarkintheGarden LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,072

    It is best to give the customer options, but when you know how you want to do business, there are ways to convince them that there advantages. I like that I have both contracts and pay per service accounts.
     
  2. hackitdown

    hackitdown LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,490

    I do no contracts for mowing. Customers are billed monthly.

    I do an agreement of sorts for snow removal. It just spells out when I will come, and how much I charge. No commitments.
     
  3. 32vld

    32vld LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,984

    Pay me cash when I'm done doing weekly mow.

    From the day I show up they have seven days to get their hands on cash to be ready for the next time. There's no surprise as to when and how much they will have on hand for when I show up. During those seven days they will conveniently pass their bank or ATM.

    Don't have to bill. No bad checks.

    I don't get upset if their not home to pay me when I'm done.

    If they call me to say I sorry I missed you today can you come by later today. My response is no problem, or if not good I tell them so and then say I will be in your area later in the week is that good for you, if not you can take care of me when I come to mow you next week.

    If they can't get their hands on cash to cover the price of a mow every week tells me that they won't be able to put the money into a checking account to pay me.

    Just look at the people that posted on this thread that have gotten stiffed.
     
  4. stickleylawncare

    stickleylawncare LawnSite Member
    Posts: 170

    Do you have to literally get cash in hand from every single one of your customers every week? That seems like a pain in the butt! I hate doing billing monthly and just waiting for the mail to deliver my money, Id go crazy doing collecting weekly face to face.
     
  5. 32vld

    32vld LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,984

    No.

    I thought I made that clear. If convenient for them or me I pick up later if in their neighborhood. Also have no problem waiting till next week.

    No writing bills.

    No mailing bills and postage costs.

    No sending out late payment past due bills.

    No getting stiffed after doing a lawn for 6 weeks.

    No opening mail, recording payments.

    No going to bank.

    No waiting for checks to clear.

    No bounced checks.

    No problem knocking on door when done, sometimes they come to me when i'm loading up. Either way a little face time to maintain personal relationship, make yourself available to here customer concerns before they cost you the account, chance to up sell, and I open my book turn to their page write the date, charge, mark paid. Tell them thank you.

    Best part as I said before if they can't get their hands on the necessary cash to pay for a mowing every week you know then chances are they are not going to be good payers. I don't have to pay for or do a credit check on people.

    For less work because no mailing bills. Which lowers my costs. Also time better spent mowing lawns then sending out bills. No going crazy waiting for the checks to come in.

    Now if I did commercial corporate work then...... but that's one reason I don't want commercial at this time.
     
  6. MarkintheGarden

    MarkintheGarden LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,072

    If this is what works for you then that is fine. Most of my customers are at work when I service the lawns and we are both too busy to do cash transactions weekly. I have had a couple customers who have paid me like this, but not many.
     
  7. Darryl G

    Darryl G LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,033

    No recording payments? No going to the bank? Sounds like you're doing this all under the table and just stuffing the cash in your pocket.

    I find that sending a monthly invoice and having a check sent to my PO box is best for running a legitimate business. I have an invoice to apply their payment to, they have a record of their payment (cancelled check) and I can easily track the money I've received for paying my state sales & use tax and for federal tax purposes. I can't imagine having to collect from each of my customers every week and having to track them down when they are home. I have customers that I see perhaps once or twice a season. I have in the past had customers that I never even met. How do I collect from my seasonal residents if not by check or from the owner of a vacant rental property?
     
  8. 32vld

    32vld LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,984

    All of my customers are retired and route is small. If the day comes when the numbers and schedules make what I do no longer simple and easy then I guess I will have to change.
     
  9. Georgia Lawn

    Georgia Lawn LawnSite Member
    Male, from Ga
    Posts: 98

    We used to not use contracts for our maintenance customers. If we did a good job, showed up and responded to their requests as fast as possible they stayed with us.
     

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