Does anyone NOT get paid in advance for season?

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by THC, Dec 26, 2008.

  1. THC

    THC LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,020

    I was wondering how you would go about handling pay as you go customers?

    The few problems I had last year were people telling me they didn't need the 2nd application.

    I want to do it for real THIS year but I won't be set up to take anyone's money in advance.
     
  2. SpreadNSpray

    SpreadNSpray LawnSite Senior Member
    from MN
    Posts: 363

    I use Qxpress software. It takes care of everything. Including a custom record of application that is required by law in Minnesota for both the customer and company. It can handle pre-pay and pay per application customers. You can also set up a program with a set # of applications.
     
  3. LawnTamer

    LawnTamer LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,988

    I would try to get as many clients to pre-pay as possible. We have about half of our fert clients prepay for the season. It is less hassle, no constant billing, and no risk of getting stiffed.

    In Utah, like most states, if you perform a service and don't demand payment at the time of service, it is treated the same as extending credit. I just got a bankruptcy notice from another client this week. I think from now on, we will require clients to prepay, or to pay at the time of service.

    I am tired of being a bank who doesn't bother to do credit checks.:hammerhead::hammerhead:
     
  4. ted putnam

    ted putnam LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,539

    I lose about 3% of gross revenue per year to being "stiffed". I don't use a collection service. I collect myself. Of course, I don't "jack" with non payers. I bill by the app. I leave an invoice and a self-addressed(no stamp) envelope when I service the property. I send out a prepay notice with a discount offer at the beginning of the season. About 15-20% take advantage of this offer. The rest "trickles" in through the rest of the year. I like it that way. When I first started out, I did everything by hand, probably until I got to a little over 100 customers. It becomes a major hassle after that. I use an ACCESS Database to keep up with things now.
     
  5. Ric

    Ric LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,956

    WOW

    I refuse to take payment up front and bill as I go. Florida can be the Land of Scam and I don't want to be put in that classification. 99% of my customers are up scale retirees and pay like clock work. I don't want the problem of holding their money in advance.
     
  6. DUSTYCEDAR

    DUSTYCEDAR LawnSite Fanatic
    from PA
    Posts: 5,137

    Pre pay all the way
     
  7. ted putnam

    ted putnam LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,539

    I'm with you Ric. Honestly, I would avoid it if I could. Most of the ones that prepay, do it because they don't want to hassle with it through the year. They don't care about the measily 5% discount I give them. When I first started, I didn't offer it. Then, when I had them request it and I offered a small discount to them for doing it , I thought it was only fair that I offered that discount to everyone. That was the chain of events that lead to it in a nutshell for me. Truthfully, I don't even want to imagine "holding" a major portion of my gross revenues for the year. That's SCARY! Besides, I like the steady cash flow.
     
  8. turf hokie

    turf hokie LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,744

    We take enough pre-pays to get us started in the beginning of the season. You just have to watch your pennies when you get toward the end of the season so that you have some tucked aside for the back end.
     
  9. mngrassguy

    mngrassguy LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,167

    70% of my fert only customers pre-pay. Many have been paying that way for over 20 years. My optional services keep me afloat the rest of the year. I do the same as Ted otherwise.
     
  10. Hogjaw

    Hogjaw LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 386

    We do pay as you go................small business........we spray about 425 to 460 lawns a year.....does not include mowing business.

    We spray when it's time.........if they say they don't need it, either I agree or don't go back for future apps.

    In event something happened to me, I don't want my wife to have to worry about refunding.

    My two cents worth.
     

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