How Should I Bill

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Mowin4Dollas, Jan 2, 2013.

  1. Mowin4Dollas

    Mowin4Dollas LawnSite Member
    Posts: 87

    Fellow LawnSite fellers,
    I was with my father this morning and we were talking about my venture into the green industry. I started talking about how I am going to bill my clients. I think the best way to bill my clients would be to send them an invoice either monthly or bi-weekly. My father on the other hand told me that point of sale would be the best way. My father is an excellent business man. I respect him greatly. I just can't wrap my mind around how just getting money after I'm done mowing will work. I mean there is so many variables such as; client not being there, me being in a rush, weather, and many other scenarios. I need an organized system that will work well, but cater to my valued clients. I will not be legit this year either being that I will only be 17 come mowing season. So that will come into play also.
    As soon as my signature becomes credible as an adult I will have all licenses etc.
    Thank you all!
     
  2. Patriot Services

    Patriot Services LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 12,708

    Monthly is way easier to track and collect. Per cut gives the customer the option of skipping service and wrecking your schedule.
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  3. White Gardens

    White Gardens LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,776

    Ditto.

    That and use quickbooks or some other good accounting software. In quickbooks, we bill to 90% of our clients through e-mail making it much easier.

    That and I can just sit down and only take 20 minutes to do billing once everything is set up. I figured we would waist more time than that if we invoiced at each property for each visit.



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  4. fireman gus

    fireman gus LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 517

    We bill monthly. However only being 17 I think you ought to listen to your father. It will pay off in the future.
     
  5. Mowin4Dollas

    Mowin4Dollas LawnSite Member
    Posts: 87

    I am just not seeing how "point of sale" billing will be effective when you have more than 10 clients.
     
  6. GreenI.A.

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

    I would say with regularly services such as our fert (we haven't done maintennce up until this coming season) 90% of our clients are not home when we are there. Of the 10% that may be home, most of those do not want us knocking on the door disturbing them unless we absolutely have to.
     
  7. STIHL GUY

    STIHL GUY LawnSite Fanatic
    from CT
    Posts: 5,225

    I have some lawns that I get paid upon completion of mowing that day...if there not home they put a check in the mail or pay for 2 cuts the next time...this way I dont have to write up bills...the rest get billed monthly
    Posted via Mobile Device
     
  8. Pietro

    Pietro LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 857

    I started billing at the end of the month. However, I got tired of having to bill on the 31st, then checks didnt get to my PO BOX for 1-2 weeks. Once I learned my route and accounts better I would send bills out halfway thru the month. The bills would already have all the cuts included on them, This was because I knew the accounts, and I knew which ones would always get cut. Now the client has the bill 1-2 weeks early. Some might wait until the last service is performed, and then send payment, but I noticed 80% just pay it when they get it. That definetly helps my cash flow, because its ALMOST like getting paid in advance. However, I do have a few select accounts that pay me upon each service. They were slow payers or non payers in the past. So I still service them, but must be paid before the trailer gate goes down. This is only because I have other clients on the same street, otherwise I wouldnt touch them. Hope I helped.
     
  9. Pietro

    Pietro LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 857


    Agreed. Especially if you dont plan on working forever. In a few more years I dont plan on working all the time, just when a guy doesnt show up or whatever. I tell clients DONT PAY WORKERS. Thats a baddd Idea. Besides, most people arent home when were working. Maybe the trophy wives are, but they cant be bothered.
     
  10. 32vld

    32vld LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,984

    I assume you have 12 or less customers.

    You live at home so you expenses are low so you will be able to build up a suitable cash reserve rather fast.

    So in your case you I would collect at time of service. Many types of large business' do this.

    Most of your customers will be elderly and at home. They will know what time you mow and will be home when you get there. I have had customers miss a week and catch me the next week. You won't go under getting $35 one week late.

    Also had customers approach me worried that they would not be able to pay because they were going away on vacation. I told them don't worry you get when you come back.

    However I have seen many LCO's get hosed over when a customer goes one month late, and before you know it the LCO has been mowing for two months and stops service for non payment, after he's done 8 to 9 mows.

    Best to always keep things simple. Now when you start to get commercial accounts and they pay you by check and want to pay monthly. On those I send out an invoice the next day after the last service for that month. So that means I invoice on the 25th instead of the 31st.
     

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