Customer Invoice

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by acamp53472, Oct 11, 2009.

  1. acamp53472

    acamp53472 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 14

    I've had a customer for a few months in which I do basic maintenance cut, edg, trim, and blow Biweekly service and left an invoice for $50. I always put a due date on the invoice and IO give all of my new customers 10 days for payment. This customer was late the first month but did pay after making a phone contact. Now, I left an invoice about 3 weeks ago and still no payment. I've sent a past due invoice and have made a phone contact. I left her a phone message about payment for the invoice and the customer hasn't returned my phopne call or I haven't recieved payment. Here's my question Can I legally put a lien against her property that I provided service at? I mean how could I prove that I provided the service since this is a still new customer? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. rob7233

    rob7233 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 861

    Did you give this client any documentation at sign up or a service agreement outlining your late charges? I'm guessing not and likely you may be new at this. If there is no consequences to a client paying late, then they feel why should I worry about "paying the lawn boy". Go knock on that door multiple times and yes you can put a lien on the property in Seminole County. For god's sake, stop servicing this client until they catch up. Another reason to get that payment up front since you shouldn't be offering credit unless you have their Credit card number on file. Bottom line, based on the history and all, plan on loosing this client.
     
  3. acamp53472

    acamp53472 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 14

    How do I go about putting a lien against the property? I bought some claim of lien documents at Office Depot.
     
  4. Stillwater

    Stillwater LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,834

  5. bohiaa

    bohiaa LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,220

    my friend.

    It sounds like your new at this, Please dont go getting all bent outta shape over 50.00
    and by all means dont even try to put a lien agaist someone for that small ammount of money.

    a lien is the final step in the process. first of all, if you do have a sgined contract then make at least 3 attempts to collect. WITH A CERTIFIED LETTER, return recipt.

    then if you feel it's worth it. file a claim in small claims court,
    then if they still dont pay you will have to find out if they own the proptery, and them you can put your lien agaist it.
    at this point you will have several hundred dollare tied up, and about 4 to 6 hrs invested.

    It simply is NOT worth it, just write it off on your taxes as a bad debt.
     
  6. rob7233

    rob7233 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 861

    Maybe you should actually go knocking of the door at least a couple of (more) times. People generally don't like that and it really sends it "home" that they need to pay you. Just make sure to document it all and maybe have a witness standing off to the side when you do. Be professional with a helpful attitude. Be prepared to answer any BS objections such as "we weren't satisfied with your service etc". Gotta take the initial required collection steps first. Have these people acknowledge in any written response that they owe you. Expect them to lie or whatever. Small claims is also an option. Either way it's gonna cost you more time and more money. I say just keep knocking...
     
  7. grasshog08

    grasshog08 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 73

    go slash their tires and put round up in the lawn that says :pay up:
    Posted via Mobile Device
     
  8. GrazerZ

    GrazerZ LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 671

    Sorry to sound like a broken record, but, $50.00 is nothing compared to what you will probably have to write off in the future. I do suggest that you try to catch them at home to collect. Give them an invoice in hand and ask for a check right there. Don't apologize, just stand there and wait for them to get all uncomfortable. you could explain that you can understand that things get tight at times for everyone, especially since you are a small business. When you get your check, don't go back.
     
  9. sdk1959

    sdk1959 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 909

    Brings out all the deadbeats. Payment after services rendered is the way to go.

    I have never been a fan of monthly billing. Having your money tied up in your customer's bank not yours, more record keeping, your cash flow restricted, exposing yourself to potential deadbeats, as you found out- not good. :nono:

    Any new customers you get set it up to get paid after every visit. A courtesy call to the customer the evening before does wonders, a check will be ready for you. If one turns into a deadbeat they are only into you for one service- not four.

    Good luck in your business.:)
     
  10. sehitchman

    sehitchman LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 763

    You might set up a paypal account and ask if they could pay via credit card. It will cost you a few bucks, but its better than getting a gut ache and going to the trouble of trying to enforce a lien.
     

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