Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by cpritch, Mar 14, 2006.

  1. cpritch

    cpritch LawnSite Member
    Posts: 77

    I've been setting up all of my maintenance accounts to bill in advance, monthly. I told my husband this tonight and he looked at me like my head was spinning, saying that he would think people wouldn't be pleased with being billed in advance for maintenance.

    I've read the threads, and here's how I've set it up: Ave. a 32 week mowing season, spreading payments out over 8,9,10 months, depending on what the customer would like. I've started the first cuts of the season this week and will invoice on April 1. This invoice will cover April 1-30 (and the March clean up already figured into the monthly cost averaged over the chosen amount of months by the customer).

    Am I smoking crack here? Should I be invoicing in arrears for maintenance? I guess my thought was that if I bill in advance, if I don't have their payment by the 15th, I can suspend services and only be out 2 weeks versus an entire month of time. Tell me if I'm crazy. . .
  2. B&D Lawn Care

    B&D Lawn Care LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 342

    Myself, I am billing at the end of the month. To me it just seems like my customers won't have a problem paying for something they already have gotten service for. That way if you don't have it by the 15th then you could suspend services. If you are worried about not getting paid then maybe you should cut the dead weight and make room for somebody else.
  3. Freddy_Kruger

    Freddy_Kruger LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,064

    I bill for snow sometime in the last week of the month, I drop it off when working, give them a self addressed envelope to mail back.

    Does anyone mail the bills to the customers?
  4. 29 Palms Property Management

    29 Palms Property Management LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 347

    95% of my invoices are mailed to my customers. I don't waste time doing that sort of thing at properties. I complete all services and move on. That way if you up-sell or have the authority to make executive decisions without the customers on the spot approval, such as hedge trimming if it needs it, or a pressure washing to the walkway and porch, then I do those services as well, if time permits. Then when I get back to the office I invoice everything nicely through Cookbooks. No hand written invoices or add-ons to the invoices that way. Very professional.
  5. Freddy_Kruger

    Freddy_Kruger LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,064

    Speaking of professional and no-nonsense, I was just reading "justmowits" web page. They bill everyone the day after on their credit cards. Myself, I do a word merge to hide my very poor caligraphy. With window cleaning I get paid right after the job is done. But with lawns, I might mail out bills as well, at least that way you can be assured you have all the proper information to keep track of a customer. That is something I struggle with.
  6. lawnman_scott

    lawnman_scott LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,547

    Unless you have a well worded, legal contract then advance billing is necessary. All of my residentials pay in advance. There have been a few complaints here and there, but probably just saved myself time and aggrevation collecting from them anyway. Without something in writing you will almost never win in court, so advance billing saves all that trouble. If money gets tight, who gets paid, you or the mortgage co?

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