How do you bill?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by nwlandscaping, Apr 25, 2007.

  1. nwlandscaping

    nwlandscaping LawnSite Member
    Posts: 31

    I've always billed my customers at the closure of each month and set a time line of 14 days of when they should be postmarked. My question is regarding whether I should change up this process. It has become hard financially lately because an awful lot of money is going out of the business to purchase fertilizer, bark, etc. As well as the fact that my partner and I are working extremely hard and yet we don't receive our checks until the following month, which is usually sometime during the 3rd week. So in actuality we are working 6 or 7 weeks before we receive payment for the previous month. I thought about billing certain customers on the 15th for the current month and would continue with the others on the 30th. Any recommendations would be great! :confused:
     
  2. fiveoboy01

    fiveoboy01 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,988

    I do the monthly billing thing, but only for weekly mowing accounts or plowing.

    One-time jobs like mulch installs, aeration, cleanups, etc get billed immediately and the customer has one week to pay.
     
  3. smcunningham

    smcunningham LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 773

    fiveoboy01
    I do the monthly billing thing, but only for weekly mowing accounts or plowing.

    One-time jobs like mulch installs, aeration, cleanups, etc get billed immediately and the customer has one week to pay.
     
  4. nwlandscaping

    nwlandscaping LawnSite Member
    Posts: 31

    What day do you usually send out invoices? If they are late do you apply a certain type of fee?
     
  5. twj721

    twj721 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 619

    The city I do work for I bill 2 times a month because it takes them about 3 weeks to pay the school dist I have set up the same way
    Then the rest I either get paid or leave a bill hanging on the door in a door hanger envelope self adressed already all they have to do is put a check in it seal it and apply stamp and mail
     
  6. fiveoboy01

    fiveoboy01 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,988

    My agreements state that I bill between the 1st and the 5th of the month for the previous months' services. This way I can mail invoices whenever I feel like it at the beginning of the month.

    I haven't been putting late fees on but I've been thinking about adding them to my agreements. So far, late payers haven't been much of a problem. I have a couple who are chronic late payers, being a week late every time, but they do pay consistently so I usually let it slide.
     
  7. tjsquickcuts

    tjsquickcuts LawnSite Senior Member
    from Atlanta
    Posts: 943

    I bill per visit and monthly. My monthly payments are due by the 10th of the current month. It cost money to operate, and this helps soooo much. I have about 45% of my customer base paying per visit. Some of their bills are paid at the end of the month, but only the ones that have been with me for a while and have establish that trust. All installs are paid half and half, and any work over $200 has to be paid out once work is completed.
     
  8. ed2hess

    ed2hess LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 12,966

    How and when you bill hardly matters with some people and as your business grows you need to get a loan to have working capital. It is just another cost of doing business and it will actually give you a little peace of mind in that you won't have to keep hammering the customer to pay. In the new America people are paying slower and slower.
     
  9. sildoc

    sildoc LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,925

    Bill the last service of the month. payment due 30 days from that date. the key is to make sure you get paid x amount per month. so after a couple of months of business you can then decide that you should get x per month.
    Make your check out first on x date. then pay all the bills you can with what is left over. pay yourself the same date every month. you have to be reasonable on what you get paid and make sure you pay your self first. I pay myself 1000 a month. at the end of the year I stuff the max in my simple ira and then a bonus if there is extra. where you have a partner it might complicate things a bit. good luck.
     
  10. willretire@40

    willretire@40 LawnSite Bronze Member
    from VA
    Posts: 1,387

    Check my thread on building business credit in the business management section. Also Lesco has a card that is pretty easy to get without having to put your SSN# on it.
     

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