Does slow season mean slow payers too?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by wildstarblazer, Oct 30, 2013.

  1. wildstarblazer

    wildstarblazer LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 984

    Just about all my customers are slow paying this month. Do they think cause the grass slows down that they can pay slow too? I hate waiting for money. Next year I'm seriously thinking about pre payments for all my accounts.
  2. 94gt331

    94gt331 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,695

    I see the same thing right now with my accounts receivable. It's allways like this the last month or two of the year. I do think people put me off alittle as well, probaly because there preparing for extra winter bills like heat or starting to buy christmas gifts. I don't really call them because they will eventually pay up but it makes me really tight during my last month of my operation because I like keeping my bills paid and I like to pay off my vendors before the end of season, also it's hard enough keeping my crew of 3 busy right now and on top of it waiting for the cash flow to keep the guys paid as well. Oh well the season will be done soon 4 more weeks for me.
  3. easy-lift guy

    easy-lift guy LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,376

    If your customers can afford to pay you late now, they can and will take advantage of you and any one else they can. Switch to prepay for your slow paying customers now. Let everyone else know starting January 1st all customers are prepay hence forth. Yes you may loose some accounts, you will never miss them in the future.
    easy-lift guy
  4. 94gt331

    94gt331 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,695

    Something I've been thinking about doing especially with the lawncare invoicing in the future would be doing a credit card payment system, after every service done enter there card number and get paid the next day, that would diffinately help with the cash flow. It might be hard to get all my customers to agree to this though, but I know some other companys do it and they say it was the best thing they did. Youtube lawncare millionare he talks about it.
  5. Keith

    Keith LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,977

    In Florida most of us are year-round and bill monthly. January and February are typically the worst, but for some reason August and September this year were just about the worst I have ever seen. People who typically pay right on time every month simply forgot. They had no intention of doing it, I'm sure. But I was wondering what the hell was different this time.
  6. Jaybrown

    Jaybrown LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,160

    Post dated monthly cheques. Extra work is billed as I do it. First of tge month or whatever day you want just go to the bank with a handful of cheques. My customers like it because they can be at their cottage and not worry about paying me and also no loss due to credit card fees
  7. herler

    herler LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,144

    It depends...

    Mine have been slow paying too but I don't think it's to do with what you're saying because most of mine always pay good, personally I think it's that whole government shutdown nonsense has people scared, so they'll pay eventually.

    Now, if you are short on customers (or were short earlier this year) I have had it happen where I am so desperate that I'm willing to take on customers I would otherwise pass on, meaning that yes, if a season is slow it could be one picked up a few bad apples along the way.

    Other than that...
    Good thing we're getting into leaves, about ready.
  8. Caddyshack Lawn Care

    Caddyshack Lawn Care LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 737

    Pre-pay? bah. I know it's frustrating but I'd rather have an account that is slow paying than no account at all. I've got one who just called me last night. She made one payment in mid-June and is putting the second payment for the season in the mail today. The reason I kept mowing is that I've had her for fifteen years and she has always paid, but it's a one-income family with two kids, one in college. Very trustworthy but knows that I'm flexible and she appreciates it. I'd like a check from her every month, but when she does pay I love, love, love those big checks!
  9. DA Quality Lawn & YS

    DA Quality Lawn & YS LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,899

    Put in a late fee and collections policy in writing to all your customers. Start layering on the late fees when applicable. Threaten to send to collections if it comes to that. You have to treat your business like a business.

    But OP I agree, last month or two of the season payments come in SLLOWWW. I make more in late fees this time of year than any other.
  10. herler

    herler LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,144

    Speaking for myself, late fees and pre-pay = Bye-bye customers.
    Oh, and that's assuming they even pay in the first place.

    The other thing is, I'm not so sure I want to force my customer to chose between paying me or the electric bill.
    Much as it might hurt, I'd rather they pay the electric bill first.

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