How do you guys get your accounts paid quickly?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by YardsofDistinction, Oct 12, 2004.

  1. YardsofDistinction

    YardsofDistinction LawnSite Member
    Posts: 6

    Hello all from Brisbane, Australia. Just wondering if there's a secret to getting your accounts paid sooner rather than later. I've been operating 2.5 yrs now and have grown to 120 regular clients and 20% of these are account payers.
     
  2. tiedeman

    tiedeman LawnSite Fanatic
    from earth
    Posts: 8,745

    two words: strict contracts.

    It weeds out the good and bad customers. Over the years I have only had two really bad late payers, one that didn't pay for 3 months and the other 5 months. But they paid. Will I ever service them again, nope, they go on my black list that I have for customers

    I would say 90% of my customers pay at least a week or more before the due date, and the other 10% usually pay right on the due date
     
  3. tiedeman

    tiedeman LawnSite Fanatic
    from earth
    Posts: 8,745

    Welcome to the site by the way
     
  4. KINGjosh

    KINGjosh LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 531

    I find myself consatanly rolling balances of to the next month for at least 10 customers a month. I even try to give them the invoices earlier than others. I never let them get past 2 months behind though. I will nock on their door if I have to! I guess when they stack their bills up at the end month, we get pushed to the bottum. only true for about 10% of my custs.
     
  5. Richard Martin

    Richard Martin LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 14,700

    I give each new customer a "FAQ" sheet that explains my policies. Included is the following:

    ================================================================
    If your account becomes delinquent service will be halted and collection actions will
    proceed. I do use a collection service and they will report the debt to Equifax.
    ================================================================

    That's all it takes. And yes, I do use a collection service. It's www.olddebts.com and they do put it on the record as an unpaid debt. I've only had to use it one time and I literally got paid seconds after the debtor got the collection letter from Olddebts.
     
  6. LwnmwrMan22

    LwnmwrMan22 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,372

    I send out invoices at the first of the month, for that month's work, rather than wait until the 30th, then end up waiting another 30.

    I've got all accounts that pay within that 30 days, except for one, and I maintain it as well as they pay, meaning if they're late, then I'm late there mowing it.

    I don't really care since they're on contract, so some months it gets mowed 4 times, sometimes just twice.

    Other than that one, it has taken me 16 years to get to the point where 25% pay me within 5 days, 50% pay me within 20 days, and the other 25% pay me within 30 days.

    It's not too bad, because all my bills are due right around the 20th as well, so I can pay my bills while checks are rolling in.

    Most of it will just take time. Get rid of the accounts that don't pay soon enough as you pick up other accounts that do.

    The hardest thing for me to learn was to not do work for people that don't pay, when there are people out there that will pay.
     
  7. Soupy

    Soupy LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,125

    I have this problem. I always tell myself that it is money in the bank and then about 90 days past due, I realize how dumb that thought was. I don't mind late payers when I know they are god for it. But it's the new customers that you give a little breathing room and then they stiff you that I hate.

    I called this guy a few days ago and told him I needed my money. He asked how much and when I tell him. He freaks and ask me how it got so high. It takes a real genius to figure that one out :dizzy: He then ask me if I was still cutting it, and I said no I stopped over a month ago. He says, "good because I don't live there anymore, that is why I didn't know I owed you". I wonder if this guy left all his services running when he moved :dizzy:
     
  8. Gravely_Man

    Gravely_Man LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,076

    Everything must be spelled out in easy to understand terms in your contract which must be reviewed with the client. A strong contract and a client who understands your policies should be all you need for on-time payments.
     
  9. Ryan Lightning

    Ryan Lightning LawnSite Senior Member
    from CA
    Posts: 554

    First thing I did was mail invoices out on the 25th, Ive heard from alot of customers that they either pay all there bills on the 30th are the 1st. For along time I was getting almost all my checks by the 5th. They started coming in slow over the summer, So I started including a self addressed envelope, and now there coming in fast again.
     
  10. mastercare

    mastercare LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 289

    I'll second that one.. Put a self-addressed envelope with your bills, and they'll be quicker to pay...they expect you to work your butt off for them... but is funny how lazy people get whne they have to write out their own envelope!
    Also, I give some leniency to those "special customers." I have only one who is ALWAYS late. Bills go out on the 1st, and are due on hte 15th. I always get his before the next bill goes out.....and he brings lots of business. So, I keep highlighting due dates on his invoice, keep working, and keep getting paid.

    One reason for such a high response is how I discuss it with the customer at the beginning of the year. I tell them:


    "As far as invoicing goes, I will send out bills on the first of the month. They are due on the 15th. I have never charged a late fee, because my customers hold me in high respect. People sometimes look at a bill, and imagine it coming from this huge company, that doesn't NEED their money right away. In this case....your bill is my paycheck. Nobody would work for an employer who gives them a paycheck when they 'get around to it.' When my customers understand this, and respect the work I do, they have no problem being on time."

    That's kind of long.....but I pull pieces here and there and that's what it generally sounds like. But....it works.

    Hope it helps.
     
    fcl01 likes this.

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