Anyone here offer financing to their customers?

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by PerfiCut L&L, Jan 21, 2006.

  1. PerfiCut L&L

    PerfiCut L&L LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 458

    Wondering if anyone offers financing of their own to customers for larger landscape work? Like most we bill monthly for our lawn care, but I wanted to offer financing to those hardscape customers where the costs involved are larger.

    Instead of going through a financial insitute I was thinking of providing a payment plan of my own up to 24 months depending on the project cost.

    I figure, this may attract customers that want the work done now but dont have the bank for it. And 2: it will still give me some income during the off season.

    Sure their are risks, deadbeats, and what not. Perhaps a down payment of atleast 50% or 75% of the material costs, the remaining balance can be financed. I would have to think it through and come up with the specific terms, so that I wouldnt lose the entire project on a deadbeat.

    Just wanted to see if any of you offer any sort of financing, and what has been your experience?
     
  2. Green-Pro

    Green-Pro LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,420

    JMO but I do lawn maintenance, landscaping, and hardscaping, not banking and particularly not lending. Sorry just sounds like one huge boondoogle to me.
     
  3. olderthandirt

    olderthandirt LawnSite Platinum Member
    from here
    Posts: 4,900

    Why??? If you have enough money to finance your customer then you must have it invested getting at least 10% return. You can set your customers up with a financial institution for about the same % so what do you gain? I see where you can loose a lot but only gain 2% above what you should be getting now. Sell the financing by working with your bank to offer a good percentage rate to credit worthy customers and pay you per referral.
     
  4. gammon landscaping

    gammon landscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 550

    if you guess do buesness with john deer landscapes and you are in there partners program they will help you get your customers financed through john deer credit
     
  5. AGLA

    AGLA LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,749

    Accept credit cards. You get paid, they already have the cards, it makes it a whole lot easier for a client to spend more than he might otherwise, and you cut out a very big risk.

    When it comes down to hiring you and using their Visa or your competition by taking money out of the savings account, you are at the advantage.

    When you come in with a plan that they love with everything they asked for, but it is $5,000 more than they expected it is a lot easier get them to put it on plastic while they are exited about it. And there is no reason to delay - no "I don't have my check book", no "I have to transfer money", no "we need to save up just a little more". Think about how many times you bought a car over the price that you originally thought you'd pay? That was easy and you did not waste any time doing it.

    There is no reason to pay banker because there are plenty of existing opportunities for your clients to use their own credit. The card is the easiest. If the credit card company won't finance them, then why should you?
     
  6. start2finish

    start2finish LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 497

    I made a deal with the bank..............................................................

    I do the landscaping and they do all the financing.. works good for both of us.
    they didn't like to get dirty anyway.payup
     
  7. J&R Landscaping

    J&R Landscaping LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,096

    Sounds very risky to me!!!!! If you get a customer who wants a big dream project designed and constructed and you offer them financing, they will hire you.
    No offense to you or anyone else but if they want a job done bad enough, why would they turn to a contractor to give them a payment plan or something!:dizzy: If they want a big job done and they can't get a loan from the bank or use a credit card or money they saved, are you sure you want to give them financing.:confused: Sounds like that idea will cost you a lot of time (both on the jobsite and in court) and a lot more money.
    I would say let the customer do the financing on his/her own! You can always refer them to a bank or lending company that you or previous customers have used in the past but I would stick do doing the landscaping end and let a bank do the financing end!!
    Just my $.02
     
  8. PerfiCut L&L

    PerfiCut L&L LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 458

    Thanks J&R,

    Im actually surprised no one here offers any sort of financing, payment plans. I would think your missing out on a lot of potential customers.
     
  9. drsogr

    drsogr LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,275

    There is a local company that I compete against that offers financing. I have often thought about looking into offering, but like everyone else said why the extra headache? I don't need the customers that have money issues. There are so many ways to pay for things nowadays. I offer some suggestions of how other people have paid in the past, that often helps. I have also been talking with some developers about selling my landscaping when they buy the house.
     
  10. start2finish

    start2finish LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 497

    If there was a way to protect yourself and your cash flow, financing would be a good niche. Talk about up-selling your services. We have talked about it for years and we more or less do it with the residentail builders(not by choice) we just can not justify the risk involved. I have received information about John Deere Landscapes partners program and their financing options, but their product it no different from the other suppliers in my area and is significantly higher priced. Some peoples attitude is that we just add it to the job, well if my materials are 20-40% higher than my competition and our overhead and variable costs are identical(not likely) then they would always win bids over us. I try to keep our costs as low as possible and that leaves more jobs won with higher margins.

    Good luck with the financing and look forward to hearing about it if you can make it work.
     

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