How important is it?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by DFW Area Landscaper, Jun 6, 2004.

  1. DFW Area Landscaper

    DFW Area Landscaper LawnSite Silver Member
    from DFW, TX
    Posts: 2,116

    I'm intentionally posting in this forum as very few browse the elements of business forum.

    Last season I had such a huge problem getting paid on time that I made drastic changes to the way I do things this year. Last year, my late fee was 2% per month. That was it. All it did was ensure that my bills received low priority.

    This year, I increased my late fee to $29.00 per occurance and I still charge 2% per month as a financing fee. Additionally, when a new customer signs up for service, they either have to pay for the last month's worth of service up front or place a credit card on file.

    About a third of all new customers have elected to pay the last month up front. The first month, everyone paid on time except for one. She paid when I rang the doorbell on her scheduled service day to let her know I couldn't continue. But this last month, I've got several more accounts that haven't paid. I left a note with one of the deadbeats on Friday telling him we we weren't cutting again until the payment had been addressed. So far, he hasn't contacted me.

    I've got to leave the same note with two customers tomorrow, one on Tuesday and yet another one on Thursday. That's a total of four customers I may lose due to non-payment.

    So my question is, how important is it to call the deadbeats on the phone and ask them about their payment? I hate the thought of asking for money, but if others have found this makes a big difference, I guess I'll have to start doing it.

    Later,
    DFW Area Landscaper
     
  2. Sir mowsalot

    Sir mowsalot LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 310

    Call them on the phone????????? Years ago my dad was trying to get paid, and he actually sat down with them at the dinner table and asked "whats for dinner". He told them he wasnt leaving until he got paid. They paid him.

    Here is some advice............ Before you mow the lawn, it is their money. After you mow the lawn, it is your money. If you keep that in your mind, then when you call to get paid, your are not harrassing anyone, it is your money they have. It is not their money you are trying to get. IT IS YOURS
     
  3. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,062

    DFW,
    Sorry to hear you are still having collection problems after changing some things. I know you hate to fell like a pesky bill collector. But you have little choice in the matter if you wnat to get paid and can not afford to can the deadbeats.

    It would do you a world of good to do this. Use the search function. Enter my user name "Envy Lawn Service" and in the search terms enter "advanced payment" or "pay in advance" and read up for implementing this next season.

    You may also want to follow the same instructions in other locations on the web also because I am not sure how much detail is located here.
     
  4. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,062

    I use this slogan elsewhere. But you really do have to ask yourself....
    Am I a Lawn Service or a Loan Service?

    Here is a quote from here.....
     
  5. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,062

    Here is another....
     
  6. DFW Area Landscaper

    DFW Area Landscaper LawnSite Silver Member
    from DFW, TX
    Posts: 2,116

    I have been getting advance payments. The problem is, when they stop paying, you gotta stop cutting. And that means you're likely to lose a customer. They're so darned hard to get in the first place. My exposure to non-pays is a lot lower than it was a year ago because I've got the last month paid in advance. But it still sucks losing a customer.

    So, when a customer is late with a payment, how important is it to call them about it? What percentage of the time will that get them to pay immediately? And what percentage of the time will that prevent them from paying late again?

    Later,
    DFW Area Landscaper
     

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