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payment in advance/as an alternative

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by bobbygedd, Jan 23, 2004.

  1. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Posts: 10,178

    as i get closer and closer to beginning my advertising, i am aware that this being my first season full time, i'll be advertising more than ever before, and doing many more estimates, and dealing with alot more nonsense. i have in the past come across people who want service, but will not sign an agreement. this is a bad thing. i was thinking that, if i do come accross a few of these this year, i will offer an alternative. if they don't care to sign an agreement, they can still have us, but must pay 30 days in advance. what do you think?
  2. greensummer

    greensummer LawnSite Member
    from canada
    Posts: 93

    In the application business, we offer the customer a pre-payment plan prior to the season starting. This helps cash-flow which in turns helps "fund" your advertising campaign. Perhaps a variation of this can be some form of help to you. Good Luck!

    BTW, custom or sport bike? Just curious........

    Tommy, CBR 600 F4i! ;)
  3. pjslawncare/landscap

    pjslawncare/landscap LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,410

    If thats what you got to do to cover your a$$ and not chase around for your money. I realize people can differ from location to location. Ive consider myself real lucky after reading about so many dealings others have to go thru to get paid for there work they perform. It amazes me. I can honestly say that Ive only been stiffed one time ($35.00) in over ten years. I have a couple slow payers, but about 80% of my customer base Ive serviced for 7 to 10 years and a lot are neighbers of each other. I actually send my invoices upon last mowing of the month and payment due (for existing customers) within 30 days. Most pay within 10 days. I will call if someone goes past due, but havent needed to but 4 or 5 times this past year. I am stricker with new accounts however but I (myself) wouldnt impose a pre pay on my customers. Customers (potential customers) would likely percieve prepay from a new lawncare company suspicious to the consideration of what if they dont like your service, terms or any other expecations from you (someone they dont know yet). Do other lco's in your area insist on prepay? if it is common in your area, then that the norm and go for it. If not, customers will likely try other lco's. An incentive would be more appealing. Perhaps 10% discount for pre pay.
  4. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Posts: 10,178

    other companies in my area do not demand pre pay, they do not work with written agreements either. every guy around here who i mention a contract or written agreement to laughs at me and says they have never dreamed of having clients under contract of any kind. but, i'll tell you this, these same guys are always getting ripped off and constantly chasing thier money. maybe it will just be no contract no work, i'm not sure yet. i plan to see more people this year by far than any other year.
  5. fishnetman

    fishnetman LawnSite Member
    Posts: 33

    do you guys ever tell new customers something like,$40 pay by week $45 per week if you pay monthly.
  6. DFW Area Landscaper

    DFW Area Landscaper LawnSite Silver Member
    from DFW, TX
    Posts: 2,116


    All of my customers signed an agreement in 2003. Everyone of them. Only one exception, and that's the one I've got the largest A/R issue with. Probably gonna have to write something off to bad debt on that mistake.

    In 2003, everyone will sign a service agreement before I do any work.

    Also, in 2003, everyone will pay the last month's worth of service before I do any work.

    No exceptions. I simply have to get a handle on my A/R and both of these requirements are really the only way I know how.

    DFW Area Landscaper
  7. naturescape

    naturescape LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,694

    I would say they must sign a contract. But tell them that they can cancel it with just 7 days notice (or longer if you want). I tell them it's for my records and for proof that they want service.
  8. Just Cut

    Just Cut LawnSite Member
    Posts: 158

    I have for the past 3 years I have had customers pre pay, I invoice them on the last week of the month, It is due on the 10th of the that service month, It eliminates a lot of head ache
  9. lawnman_scott

    lawnman_scott LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,547

    I dont have an agreement or contract with any except for a few commercial, but everyone pays in advance. it is not an "option", if they refuse this they will only be trouble for you. But on the bright side will make one heck of a story come July!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    LAWNS AND MOWER LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,129

    I'll offer a prepay option to some of my customers in March, not because I'm worried about them paying, but because my $$$$ flow is at a trickle. If they prepay for 10 cuts, I'll either give them a extra cut free, not charge for the 1st fert app, or tell them I won't go up on my mowing rate (these are the accounts I had no intention of raising anyway).

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