invoices, due dates, termination

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by grassmasterswilson, Dec 15, 2010.

  1. grassmasterswilson

    grassmasterswilson LawnSite Platinum Member
    from nc
    Posts: 4,471

    How long after sending invoices do you make them due? How long before you terminate or add late fees.

    I'm sending invoice out on the 15th and make them due by the 1st. this is all for work done the previous month. I have pretty good success with collections, but with business you always have late or no pays. most of my late pays are always late and i have come to expect it.

    the problem is with no pays. since i float them for an additional 2 weeks they will get cuts before payment is due.

    Just wondering what everyone's policy is.
     
  2. Lefet

    Lefet LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,887

    Invoices sent at the end of the month, due upon receipt. Two cuts MAX with no payment. Late fee after 30 days.
     
  3. weeble67

    weeble67 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 286

    I have a $20.00 fee each for bounced checks, and $5.00 late fee per month if bill isn't paid by the end of next billing cycle. This was the first year in 5 years I received a bounced check. I've only had 2 no pays. The one was a lost cause, she went belly up and lost her house, I've wrote her off as not going to pay me. The second I sent a nice letter saying I'm sure it was an oversight. After no reply I sent another letter with copies of the invoices that were unpaid and another reminder of the due amount. No reply so I sent the my next step is small claims court letter. She sent a check.
     
  4. grassmasterswilson

    grassmasterswilson LawnSite Platinum Member
    from nc
    Posts: 4,471

    thanks fellas. i have about half my list on monthly contracts and the other half i bill them each month based on however many cuts i did. Just trying not to get too far behind and not get stuck with 2 months worth of non paying invoices. Have about 3-5 every year like that but guess it comes with the business.
     
  5. domain311

    domain311 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 177

    Bills sent out at the end of every month...due 15 days. 2% "finance" of any unpaid balance added onto next bill.
     
  6. Lefet

    Lefet LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,887

    The bank charges us $35.00 for a bounced check so I'd pass that on to the client. Fortunately we haven't had a bad check yet. Sad about the lady losing her house. We had one that was able to sell just before losing. Sold it at a loss, and it went with FULL furnishings and a closet full of ladies clothing. Lady was some big wig at a financial firm or something. Had a closet and garage full of upscale clothing. They paid their bill to us though.

    We're trying to switch 98% over to monthly contracts. We can pretty much get a hint if someone's going to try to beat us. They say things like, "every other week cuts", or "I'm not turning the sprinklers on this year". Or weather or not they want a spring clean up. Or always some excuse about "charging too much" or the other guy use to do it for...... (then why aren't they still with them?)
    Good luck.
     
  7. LB1234

    LB1234 LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,210

    what does your contract specify? My contract specifically states that if payment is not recieved in full by XX days or an overdue balance of XX constitutes a breach of contract. It also states when invoices are sent out and when payments are due. It goes even further to explain late fees, finance fees, canceled check fees, etc. No reason you should be "floating" anyone any money...I thought you were in the service industry not banking industry.
     
  8. grassmasterswilson

    grassmasterswilson LawnSite Platinum Member
    from nc
    Posts: 4,471

    you will always "float" people due to the time between sending out invoices and the due date.
     
  9. GunnPropertyServices

    GunnPropertyServices LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 374

    all monthly contracts get billed on the 15th of each month due by the end of the month. works out great keeps you current for each month, gives them plenty of time to pay and get the check in the mail. I use to bill at the end of the month due upon receipt but it left too much money out there some people wouldnt pay till like the 10th or 15th of the month i would then be a month and half behind in pay.
     
  10. Roger

    Roger LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,916

    Some of the practices stated here imply that you are asking people to pay your invoice, regardless of their payment practices. That is OK, but my finding is that many residential customers pay their bills once or twice per month. We do in our household, first of the month, than again, about the 20th. We don't pay bills every day as they arrive. And, I don't think many others do either.

    Imposing your payment requirements on the customer is fine, I have no problem with that practice. But, I am just saying that the customer may have their own practice, one that has dates not coinciding with yours. Remember, paying for grass cutting is very far down on the list of necessary bills to pay. I would like to think otherwise, but ...
     

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