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holidays full of nay sayers and late payers

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by stevenf, Dec 13, 2011.

  1. jsslawncare

    jsslawncare LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,674

    If it is just a few then use the money when it finally comes in, in January when it is needed. I have a few that do this and I don't really mind it. You can "state" all you want in a contract but, if they want to use their money for something else then it's not going to matter what was "stated" in the contract. My question is -Do you really have the time and money to do all of this with a contract? I don't. Many years in business without contracts and don't use them unless a business wants one.
  2. Big C

    Big C LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,641

    That's why in 2012 I am having my customers pay in advance. Invoices will be sent out on the 15th of each month for the next months service and will be due on the 1st of that month, if I do not receive their payment by the 1st-no service. I if I don't receive the payment by the next invoice cycle, I will drop them and they will be replaced with a new customer. If I chose to reinstate their account, I will charge them an additional fee to get the property back to a serviceable condition.....I am done being Mr Nice Guy with these deadbeats...don't have time for their BS!
  3. GreenI.A.

    GreenI.A. LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,132

    What time? How long does it take to do a contract? I know I sat down and typed up the terms for a few different contracts. 1 for lighting. 1 for irrigatio installs. 1 for hardscaping and softscaping. 1 for sub contractors. I then sent the 4 contracts to my attorney who looked them over to be sure the were binding and that was it. You don't need to do an individual contract for each client, you make up general ones that cover a large amount of things
  4. Roger

    Roger LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,920

    This is my best year for getting payments, ever. I only have a couple outstanding, ones that were billing in mid-December. All others paid up better than in years past. Why? I don't know.

    Somebody above discussed adding a late fee. I've read that statement many times on LS over the years. But, I never (rarely?) read of anybody collecting the fee. In so many areas, the customer will merely drop you off and find a new contractor. If one drops off, there are 10 others waiting in in to get the work. Supply vs. demand, ... not much leverage.

    As far as contracts discussed above, they do nothing about collecting payments. All the strong language in a document will do nothing to the dishonest person who chooses not to pay. Usually, the amounts outstanding are in the hundreds of dollars or less, and are not large enough to enforce much. Yes, you may get a favorable court ruling. But, all that means is codifying what everybody knows: The money has not been paid. Liens only mean something when the property is sold, and that could be years, decades.

    I had a customer for one year that I learned followed the pattern: Don't pay for Oct and Nov. Then find a new contractor for the next season. The customer did this year after year (learned later). He had no intention of paying the last bills, and knew that nobody was coming after him for the few hundred dollars outstanding. Wrong? To be sure. But, it worked for him. I have no idea how many of us he screwed over. He never worried about how much leaf removal/control was going to cost him. He knew it was $0.00.

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