How Should I Bill

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

  1. Orderlawncareonline

    Orderlawncareonline LawnSite Member
    Posts: 17



    I completely agree with this quote. The lawn care industry I think is always behind other industries in terms of advancements. The Lack of customer service and automation in the industry I just don't understand. I first started lawn care with no experience but with mass knowledge in Operation management and finance. I am a firm believer in automating the payment process and taking payments from customers either before service or usually as soon as service has been completed. Monthly payments only for large businesses and corporations. My company didn't start growing until I implemented systems like how will bill and how we handle customers.
     
  2. Patriot Services

    Patriot Services LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 12,452

    High level of scumbags have hampered this industry. Sometimes you have to meet people halfway. Identity theft has everybody spooked. If you can do it, great. Just don't expect it across the board.
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  3. Orderlawncareonline

    Orderlawncareonline LawnSite Member
    Posts: 17

    i completely agree we have ran into many customers not willing to give up their c.c. info and want to pay after service . We find that gaining trust in our area has solved all of these problems. If your company is well known or customers see your trucks on a daily baises more than likely they will trust your service. also a well made website gives you a more professional appearence. We bill our customers c.c. after each service which keeps the cash flowing and operations running great. we went from 150 customers in 2010 to around 450-500 in our cleveland location. The c.c. method really works. I really cant imagine waiting a month to charge customers to much risk. lets just say only 30 customers fail to pay thats around a 900 hit. paying monthly is just to much room for error.
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  4. BradLewisLawnCare

    BradLewisLawnCare LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 279


    The difference between plumber is recurring service. That being said, we have a bunch of customers that pay late. By late I mean, we do the spring cleanup in march and start mowing in may. Then we do fall cleanup in october and by december, they start calling saying: " I know I owe you a bunch of money. I will get you a check when I am back from florida."

    Most people would say, you are crazy. They have a financial formula for this called Accounts receivable turnover. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Receivables_turnover_ratio

    Every business is structured differently. I personally would rather have the money now rather than later, but I don't mind the guys working and getting the money in the winter so long as I am not completely broke. It seems as though no matter what happens, we can not get Accounts Receivable under $10k until the winter time.

    Then we just send a pink invoice saying "Last bill before we apply for a mechanic's lien". They always pay then.

    That being said, I bill monthly. If it has been 60 days we usually go out of our way to make sure we are not sending to the wrong email address and/or they are getting the invoices.

    Some people think that is outright crazy. Some would say normal course of biz. Everyone has different levels and tolerances.
     
  5. BradLewisLawnCare

    BradLewisLawnCare LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 279

    The point of this was that the one person I was quoting is a police sergeant/detective of our local police department. It is nice to have him in your back pocket. for anything.
     
  6. BradLewisLawnCare

    BradLewisLawnCare LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 279

    I have the little credit card program on my phone for that. It is great when you are out plowing and get a call, you can just input the info and it is deposited right to your checking. MY crew leaders with iPhones have the program too. Works good for us.
     
  7. Orderlawncareonline

    Orderlawncareonline LawnSite Member
    Posts: 17

    Great point I guess it depends on what you want to get out of this business. I personally treat it as a business nothing more and nothing less. I guess all the years of hard nosed business professors taught me that. I care for each of our customers but business is business and I make a great living from the lawn care industry among many others. If you are in it for the extra cash and helping out the neighborhood thats great also.
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  8. cpllawncare

    cpllawncare LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,659

    From what I'm told by my collection agency a 30 day cycle should be the norm, after that service stops a gentle nudge is given and so and so on until the small claims court is introduced. I agree that options are the best way to do business, weather it be for billing, listing services or whatever, the more rigid you are the less chance you have of aquiring new customers. Just think of how YOU like to do business.
     
  9. Big C

    Big C LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,641

    Don't "ask" them how they want to be billed, give them 2 options...point of sale or monthly....letting them tell you how they want to be billed will cause more headaches than it's worth.
     
  10. cpllawncare

    cpllawncare LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,659

    We offer check, pay pal, might try CC this year just to see how it goes I also want to get an I phone this year so it would have the CC option available.
     

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