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Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by kevinw818, May 2, 2013.
Does anyone out there specify billing terms with your customers and if so what are standard terms?
No terms. I just wait for the checks to arrive. I know some on here offer small discounts if paid w/in a few days. I don't do that because if you gave even 3-5% discount it's not that much incentive to any one customer, but it equates to a large $ amount to me over the course of the season.
I do post dated cheques when the sign up for the season
can't get anyone to sign for the season so no post dated checks for me.
I give 15 days to pay for residential. late fees start at the 16th day.
30 days for commercial.
10 days is what I do. Prob get 70% in that time frame and the other 30% when ever they decide to pay me. Drives me nuts
I invoice commercial accounts once monthly with 30 day terms.
I've got one customer who routinely gets 60-90 days past due, but they always pay, and I've had them for 15 years and I know they're a single-income family. It's just one of those things that you can't let get to you.
Other than them it seems like the wealthier the client, the slower the pay. That's the thing that gets to be a pebble in my shoe. I've got some dirt-poor customers and average families that make sure the check is in the next days mail. But the doctors and especially the lawyers always seem to play the old "gee, I didn't see the bill" game.
I invoice after every job. On the 25th of each month I sent a monthly statement stating each customer's balance. They have 15 days to pay, with a 3 day grace period, after the statement is sent, or late fees incur. Most send payment when they recieve it, others pay me right after the job. If a customer gets behind more than two months, after calls and letters, I drop them, trying to weed out the non/slow payers, I had enough of it last year.
I love my system. I just developed it last year. Used to, I would just get paid per cut, or if they werent home, the next time i cut it. and sometimes i would forget to invoice, and i was all out of whack, and sometimes i would lose track of my accounts and their balances. I am much more organized this way, and havent lost track of any balance yet.
Yes, you have to have terms. You can't go into a store and get something and just pay when you feel like. So as a business, you need terms that work for you and cash flow. We bill everyone on the first and it's due the 15th for maintenance. For extra services they are billed at time of service. If its over 500.00 we get 50% down ad 50% when finished.
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We invoice after the service is completed and payment is due at that time and have never had anyone request otherwise. If no payment by next service, there is no next service.
Exmarkking makes a good point. The way I see it is if you let them pay slow all the time this will end up being the standard and they will continue to pay at their leisure.
Right now I am not enforcing any late fees but I am considering it after having one acct. go 24 days past due. Normally I wouldn't let an account go that far but the customer was with us last season with no payment issues. I just figure sometimes things happen and payments might be slow occassionally.