Billing Method Q

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by PlatinumLandCon, Oct 7, 2007.

  1. PlatinumLandCon

    PlatinumLandCon LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,315

    I'm looking to really expand my business next year and have a question about billing. Should I bill my customers per cut, charged monthly OR charge a flat rate each month OR flat rate for the whole year?

    Thanks guys.
     
  2. whoopassonthebluegrass

    whoopassonthebluegrass LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,214

    I bill monthly and my invoices are date-specific regarding services. This way I don't get calls about "confused" folks who don't believe that there were X number of mowings last month, etc...

    I would like to try spreading the billing across 12 months, though - just to steady my income and get me through the lean months better...
     
  3. Mrs. H

    Mrs. H LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 708

    Per cut, IMO, is the most difficult to keep up with. Although we have 2 customers that still insist on this...thank goodness they keep up with it too and we help each other out.

    We bill mostly per month, at the end of the month. This way, everyone knows what we are expecting them to pay, and we don't get this "how do I know you'll show if I pre-pay the month?"

    We have 1 commercial/industrial account that we pre-bill for the whole year in Jan and they send the money through a bank deposit into our account every 10th of the month. I like this one the best and wish we could get them ALL to do this!

    We had one guy pre-pay the whole year and this didn't work out so good. Its pretty stressfull...you have to get there and get it right every time...not that we don't try to already...it's just psychological I guess.
     
  4. PlatinumLandCon

    PlatinumLandCon LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,315

    I've just got a question about actually giving them the bill. Do you just drop it off as you visit nearest to the 1st and they mail you a cheque or do you ask for payment next visit?
     
  5. whoopassonthebluegrass

    whoopassonthebluegrass LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,214

    When I was small, I used to take it to the door and give them 2 weeks to mail me a check. Now I'm too busy and have enough clients that I mail it to them and give them 3 weeks.

    I'm considering going to automatic withdrawals from checking accounts, though, because I have so many customers who are really good and always pay me... but seem to struggle with doing it on time. My brother is in this line of work, also, and he did this and is very pleased with the results. Feels it's well worth it to pay the small fees to do this...
     
  6. HOOLIE

    HOOLIE LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,981

    Your brother is a smart guy...maintaining a good cash flow is critical. By setting customers up on an auto-draft or auto billing to a credit card, you take the customer out of the equation as far as paying. Trust me on this, customers get 'comfortable' over time...those that used to pay within one week...3-5 years later it turns to 3-4 weeks later. Of those that I still invoice, very few are still prompt payers. I have about 40% of the billing on auto cc's. The other 60% gives me fits :cry:
     
  7. whoopassonthebluegrass

    whoopassonthebluegrass LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,214

    Amen to that. That's exactly what I'm dealing with. These people like me and trust me... so they treat me worse. What kind of sick, twisted relationship is this?

    Perhaps I will retool my setup now before I send out prepays for 2008...
     
  8. Mrs. H

    Mrs. H LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 708

    I mail all of mine. David says we don't have time to chase money.
     
  9. shane mapes

    shane mapes LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 537

    what we do here is we mail out invoices around the 25 th of each month and require payment by the 15 th of the next month. if not their is a 10 % late fee.
     
  10. dwlah

    dwlah LawnSite Senior Member
    from Argo Al
    Posts: 558

    this year anyway I'm a small solo operation so keeping up with it isn't that hard yet
    I have customers all over the board
    some pay per cut when I'm there
    some pay per cut and I leave an invoice
    some pay at the end of the month(I like this best)
    have one that pays every other cut
    Have one that has prepayed for the rest of the year(just signed her up today)
    Have one(a cemetery) I collect at the end of the year

    Ive got one (a church) that wanted to know if I could/would consider 12 month billing for next year

    If the customer asks me I usually tell them Ill bill them the last time I'm there for the month and its due by the next cut
     

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