Non-payers!

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by 4curbappeal, Jul 18, 2006.

  1. 4curbappeal

    4curbappeal LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 761

    I started sending out invoices for June on July 1st (with a self-addressed, stamped envelope), and recieved maybe 20% of the payments thus far! This has been going on all season (people waiting 3 to 4 weeks to pay). Should I send a reminder invoice?
    Any and all ideas appreciated as I am really struggling with how to deal with this issue.
     
  2. SSS 18734

    SSS 18734 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 182

    Give them a reminder phone call.
     
  3. dcondon

    dcondon LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,246

    I would also give them a call and see if they got there invoice. This will most often get them to pay sooner.
     
  4. parkeeee

    parkeeee LawnSite Member
    Posts: 227

    I have one account that told me upfront that it would be 9-10 weeks before I'd receive a payment.

    I have a different client that stated: "If your invoice is not on my desk by the end of the month, it will be paid at the end of the following month."

    When I took these accounts we had an understanding and things are going fine.

    I have one customer that we never discussed terms, but shortly after receiving my invoices he sends a check just like clockwork.

    Then there's customer "D". He spoke to me towards the end of May and said that if he doesn't get a bill soon, he'll probably owe me his house. (I had cut that last week of April and wasn't going to bill for just one week.) I sent him a bill for 242 and some change. Next time he saw me he writes a check for 300 and said take off the extra on the next bill.

    Now he's got Junes bill, plus a couple of cuts into July. Have a gut feeling that he's good for it.

    :weightlifter:
     
  5. taproot

    taproot LawnSite Member
    Posts: 71

    DO YOU HAVE A POLICY? as an lco your the last in line as far as getting paid. when that car breaks down or the customer needs a new refridgerator, that will come first. you getting paid will (not likely...unless youre under contract and willing to do something about it) be part of any bills that actually effect the needs or credit of a customer. stick to your residentials if you dont have the capital to cover these things. commercial accounts can be months before you get paid
     
  6. scotty2

    scotty2 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 24

    I have it in my contract that the payment is due by the 15th of every month or there will be a 10.00 late added to the next bill. I also write this on certain bills that are slow payers. I only have about 2 or 3 people that have been late. I also have people tell me that there billing does not go out tell the third week of the month, thats OK just as long as I know about it.
     
  7. MMLawn

    MMLawn LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,569


    So YOU allow your CLIENTS to tell you when they will pay you???? :dizzy:

    Does your bank allow you to pay your mortgage whenever you like?
    Does power company allow you to pay your power bill whatever you like?
    Does your water company allow you to pay your water bill whenever you like?
    Does your credit card company allow you to pay your bill whenever you like?

    If you are allowing your clients to set your business terms......well you may know how to cut grass but you don't know squat about running a business.

    YOU and only you should tell THEM when they will pay you and then stick to that.
     
  8. mr mow

    mr mow LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 393

    I totally agree with mm. this is my first year on my own, but worked many years for the largest lco in my area and have copied their systems(flattery..right, hope so) in my CONTRACTS(signed) i state the date or approx. when and when they are due by...billed on or around the 15th and due ON the 1st. have only had one customer that ive had a problem with(90% i have a check in my hand within 3-5 days) first time he was 10 days late, this time he was 13 days late(i gave him the benefit of the doubt though, cause i switched from home address to p.o.box.) had to call him both times, then he paid. hes a grown man though im not going to babysit, on his next invoice im going to add that if its not paid by the 6th there is a 15$ late fee, i will also include a generic letter thanking all my customers for paying on time and how important that is to a small biz oper. maybe if he puts the two together he might get the picture. i dont want to drop him cause he does pay so far(maybe not last billing is what im afraid of) is lawn is so frickin easy and looks great with my rider and takes 20min to blow mow and trim and hes a block away from another client who always pays before due date. In short call the guy or girl, be polite to the point and thats it, the less said the better in my view. you dont need to talk about his fishing trip when he uses that as an excuse and pretend to be intrested. just get paid!
     
  9. 4curbappeal

    4curbappeal LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 761

    Thanks everyone!
     
  10. parkeeee

    parkeeee LawnSite Member
    Posts: 227


    MM, in case you didn't notice this was put in the "just starting in business" thread.

    I never suggested or implied that I know "squat" about running a business. But may I suggest that your response to this newcomer was neither encouraging or helpful.

    What I do know is that currently on my full time job I manage to successfully take care of approximately 1,100 acres of parks and parkways, athletic fields, pools and buildings.

    This side job of cutting grass gets me back to the times when I first started in the parks and would cut 8+ hours a day and loved it. For me, it isn't so much the money as it is the satisfaction after a job well done.

    I can retire in 2 months, 26 days. I'm testing the waters to see if this is a viable retirement job.

    :weightlifter:
     

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