new customers?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by MeadowsLawnCare, May 22, 2007.

  1. MeadowsLawnCare

    MeadowsLawnCare LawnSite Member
    Posts: 192

    Do you guys get a deposit, or first months service fees before you start service on an account? Or do u just trust the person to pay after you have already mowed for a month?

    Thanks,
    Andy Meadows
     
  2. HOOLIE

    HOOLIE LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,981

    Now I ask (demand actually...) the first month's payment up front, via credit card. If they choose they can pay by check but its at a higher rate.

    When I first started I just collected a deposit equal to one cut, and then billed monthly for the previous month's work. A lot of customers pay on-time, but as the years went on, more and more began to pay later and later.
     
  3. lawnman_scott

    lawnman_scott LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,547

    I also charge in advance. I accept credit cards, but its their choice. I just know in the past people who not pay, so everyone pays in advance unless its a big commercial like a Mcdonals or something of that nature.
     
  4. bohiaa

    bohiaa LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,220

    both.......... Play it by ear........

    I bill on the 3 rd cut for the entire month.... that makes 1 cut in advance by the time they get around to paying I useally have vut it 4 times in a month....
    some of my customers just leave an envelope on the door wien I show up for the 4th cut
     
  5. fiveoboy01

    fiveoboy01 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,988

    I don't do it. They sign agreements and if they don't pay after the first month they get "harrassed" until a)they pay or b) I have to take them to small claims.

    So far I haven't had to do B yet.
     
  6. GLLawns

    GLLawns LawnSite Member
    Posts: 132

    Bingo...If they signed and don't pay I have a big bag of thistle or a sprayer full of roundup for their yard.
     
  7. MeadowsLawnCare

    MeadowsLawnCare LawnSite Member
    Posts: 192

    Good to know, I think in the future once i get bigger I might do a deposit or something but for now, for customer service I will just have to trust the customer to be honest :p
     
  8. M&SLawnCare

    M&SLawnCare LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 304

    Most of my clients pay weekly and i don't require money up front. However if its a new job thats overgrown, or exeptionally large then i'll demand payment up front before i begin working. Also for new clients, i wont let them get far behind (like 2 weeks before i refuse to cut untill paid). My oldier clients i don't worry so much about, and at times have gotten an entire month or more behind (do to simple schedualling conflicts, vacation, forgetting, ext), but they never stiff me, so it doesn't bother me at all.
     
  9. Ecoscape01

    Ecoscape01 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 375

    I'm doin the trust thing for now. If I get burned I'll switch in a heartbeat
     
  10. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    Mine's pay per service, at my discretion I reserve the right to cancel service until the last bill has been paid, more so with new accounts but I learned to keep an overall eye on the established ones too, heh. It's different with long term customers, usually, but once I get nervous, I have to get paid something.

    Might pay off to start thinking about establishing a monies due collections system or a payola method of some sort, this is how you do things, always, thank you... That helps, consistency.
     

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