late payers but they pay!

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by ant, Jan 20, 2008.

  1. ant

    ant LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,442

    I HAVE A FEW LATE PAYERS THAT PAY LATE EACH YEAR. ONE CLIENT just paid me from a service that i did back in september. but i got paid! one contractor was saying that all late payers,once they paid up the next season he made them pre pay for the season. i feel that some clients will drop out because of that.

    how do you guys handle that?
  2. shovelracer

    shovelracer LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,009

    A late payer will keep being as such. If anything they will get worse. Best to drop them all together, but if you can get them to pay up first then it is good as well. You have a business to run and bills to pay, you cant afford to keep people like this around. Do they pay their mortgage 4 months late, I doubt it.
  3. tamadrummer

    tamadrummer LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,102

    If they pay and you are not starving without their money and you like working on their property, keep them.

    I have a customer that pays on the 15th every month. She knows there is a $10.00 late fee assessed after the 15th and is right on the money. I put a late fee notice on my first billing cycle and no one has been late yet. I don't have but a few customers but I was told to set the boundary right from day 1 and so far it has worked.

    Thats the best I can say. If you try to make them a pre-pay you will probably lose them so if you like the account, don't do the pre pay but put a line about late fees and see if that helps.
  4. Whitey4

    Whitey4 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,448

    I know a guy that has tons of late payers. He looks at them differently, like a forced savings account that brings in money during the off season. Claims he's never gotten stiffed. maybe not a sound business approach according the the Wall Street Journal, but he says it works for him.

    As for me, late I can deal with, 4 months late I can't deal with. being a newbie, part of my pitch to get paid is based on something I read here: Mrs customer, this is a strange business. We extend credit without a credit check. We usually don't charge late fees. We are usually the last bill people worry about paying. We don't much like collection agencies or small claims court. We bend over backwards to accomodate out customers. When I tell you I need to get paid, it's because I need to get paid. I can work with you on late payments, but only to an extent. I can take partial payments. I'll always work with you, but you must work with me too.

    If that doesn't squeeze a check out of them, they're gone as soon as they do pay up.
  5. RGM

    RGM LawnSite Senior Member
    Male, from Baltimore Md
    Posts: 977

    Im still waiting on a couple i need a good snow to make them remeber me a bit
  6. Davidmush

    Davidmush LawnSite Member
    Posts: 2

    late payers

    No means to make them pay in time?
  7. garydale

    garydale LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 813

    We always have a few late payers:
    Drop -em.
    Raise price to cover the pain.
    Late Fee.
    Don't do next appl. til paid up.
    I've used all the above and still have late payers.
  8. americanlawn

    americanlawn LawnSite Fanatic
    from midwest
    Posts: 5,852

    We have a handful of customers that have to prepay for the season if they want our service. I don't think we've lost many of these customers. We have 3 or 4 commercial customers who tend to pay late, but they eventually pay. (the mowing & snow removal can add up quickly). We just finished plowing snow today, and one guy is over $3000 past due for December's snow removal. (two motels & his home driveway) But we know he'll pay.
  9. GravelyGuy

    GravelyGuy LawnSite Silver Member
    from Indiana
    Posts: 2,517

    I get a kick out of it when customers suddenly remember to pay when they need you. For instance, we got a couple of inches of snow last night and I had several cutomers that were holding off paying suddenly send the checks out right away. I had a few of them when I checked the mail today.
  10. RGM

    RGM LawnSite Senior Member
    Male, from Baltimore Md
    Posts: 977

    i get that a bit also i send out last of season bills the end of November for the most part some of those customers seem to forget to pay till the first snow which in Baltimore might not be till Feb i expect some to be late because of holidays but come on [people i still have to pay my bills

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