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How do you get an customer to pay?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Big Clipper, Jun 30, 2006.

  1. Big Clipper

    Big Clipper LawnSite Member
    Posts: 6

    Hi Guys,
    I have a delema. I just started my lawn care business this year. I have a few customers which have been great about paying me weekly. I have one customer who has not paid me one dime. The worst of it is it is a commercial account for a local radio station. We agreed upon a price two months ago and I have been faithful in cutting their lawn every week. They owe me over $200.00. Like I said he has not paid me one cent. I have sent them a reminder note, I keep trying to contact the manager of the radio station that hired me. All I get is the run around. (Have to send it to corporate) As far as I know they have not sent it yet. My question? do I continue to cut their lawn? Do I risk never getting paid if I stop? Or do I stop until they pay me. I woulld really appreciate some advise. Thanks. Doug Lawn Clippers.
    P.S. Clean responses please. Thanks
  2. LawnScapers of Dayton

    LawnScapers of Dayton LawnSite Silver Member
    Male, from Dayton, OH
    Posts: 2,574

    Why would they pay you if you keep coming and doing it for free. Send them a certified letter that service is suspended as of NOW and will only be re-started ( if you chose to do so) once the account is paid in full, then charge them whatever extra you need to, to get it cleaned up. ......Do you have a signed, written agreement....really you should. Then I would start making daily personal visits, at different times of day to the manager who made the agreement, until you get paid.....

    I doubt that they would continue to run advertising for a client that didn't pay them......

  3. marionlandscape

    marionlandscape LawnSite Member
    Posts: 93

    this is typical of commercial customers. there is a lot of things to do for them to get you setup as a vendor. in my experience commercial accounts are always slow payers at first. there are a few tips you can follow for your commercial customers. contact the AP department at corporate and send invoices directly to them. try to get a PO# and have it on your invoice. make the terms 1%10 net 30 or even 2% this will prompt many to pay you immediatly. but don't suspend them or give threats, make friends with them (especially a radio station) some day soon the program director will need their huge lawn mowed. the only commercial accounts I have had real problems with is apartment complexes
  4. 2menandamower

    2menandamower LawnSite Member
    Posts: 247

    All of my accounts (both resi and comm) pay the first month at time of contract signing and then they get an invoice at the first of the month for the upcoming month. I guess I am fortunate that I have only had one crazy lady that did not pay regularly but she was out of town alot and sent me more than she had to everytime but she was a slow about it. Never more than 3 weeks though. She moved so I don't cut her anymore but she is the only one that I have ever had a problem with getting paid. Good Luck and like it was said make friends not enemy's.
  5. ed2hess

    ed2hess LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,190

    It is very important to have a signed contract! Most of our commericial accounts are late and you can't add on charges to an invoice because that confuses them more. One invoice number with different amounts results in further delays. Sometimes it will take 60 days of more to get the money flowing. And if you can find out who pays the bills and contact them direct to determine the problem. If you bill don't conform to normal standards they may have put it in deep six.
  6. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653


    - Do NOT fool with commercial contracts until you have at least 4 years experience in this.
    - With commercial, 60-90 days delay in pay is normal, 120 is not unusual and 180 is not unheard of, hence why they say you need deep pockets.
    - Yes, with commercial you should have a contract but regardless of this, you need to cover with the person who hires you WHEN and HOW you will be paid. On that note, I never deal with anyone but the owner anymore, and if the place is not owned by one person, fuggedaboutit. Managers, supervisors, presidents? No, I want the owner. Doesn't exist? Then stop wasting my time.
  7. K.Carothers

    K.Carothers LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,124

    Don't feel bad, I have a Pittsburgh Steeler that owes me some cash. It's not like he doesn't have the ching but tracking him down is the hard part.

    I personally like the way Tops does his collection. The only thing I would do different is not give them as much time as he does.

  8. K.Carothers

    K.Carothers LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,124

    That is the best method. I have yet to tap into that side...yet.
  9. Freddy_Kruger

    Freddy_Kruger LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,064

    I've done commercial for window cleaning and I have phoned them up and asked them to make the check up so I can come and pick it up. I tell them I'm a small business I need the money.
  10. dvmcmrhp52

    dvmcmrhp52 LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Pa.
    Posts: 4,205

    Again I'll say it..........

    Weekly payments?
    Who does this?

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