problems with pre pay?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by bobbygedd, Dec 18, 2004.

  1. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Posts: 10,178

    i was chatting with a very well respected member the other day, we were discussing being pre paid for work. he said, that being honest, his biggest concern with being pre paid, would be his lack of motivation to actually do the work, considering he already had thier money. example: you have 20 lawns to cut today. you are running behind. you know you can't make the 20 cuts, will you skip the clients that prepaid, and get to them another day? or would they take priority, because they pre paid?
     
  2. lawnwizards

    lawnwizards LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,434

    thats a good question. were still small right now. a couple of times we've had a customer pay a few weeks ahead and when it came time to cut for them, it felt as though we were working for nothing. i'd rather stick to billing...
     
  3. Tn Lawn Man

    Tn Lawn Man LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 479

    For me prepays would get priority.

    However, next season I am going to start to implement a different billing system. Credit cards and paypal for residentials. If they don't want to do that then it will be a prepay system only. I refuse to chase money anymore.
     
  4. kickin sum grass

    kickin sum grass LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 628

    I can relate. This is my first year I have offered pre-pay. It does feel like you are working for nothing.
    But on the other hand, it should not be a matter of priority when the job gets done. You need to keep to your schedule and if there are going to be jobs you did not get done that day then so be it. Don't go out of your way to complete a pre-pay or not complete a pre-pay customer. Just keep it real.
     
  5. 1MajorTom

    1MajorTom Senior Moderator
    Posts: 6,074

    Mr. Gedd raises a good question, and I'm pleasantly surprised to hear that respected members do talk to him.
    Even the most well organized business will fall behind a day or two due to rain especially in the spring. And when behind, it sure would be tempting to skip the prepay ones and work on catching up the ones that were billed monthly. So I definitely could see this being a problem.
     
  6. mtdman

    mtdman LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,137

    I get an extensive amount of prepay customers. I try to treat them no differently than regularly billed customers. It's rare that I get far enough behind that I have to consider skipping customers. When I do, usually what comes to mind when deciding who to skip is how fast the lawn grows, etc. But prepays do enter the equation. Especially at the end of the month, you sometimes want to get the billed customers in before the month ends. I have found, the longer I've had the prepay option, and next year will be the 5th season with prepay, the less I consider skipping them or putting off their work. In fact, I made an extra effort to get in more work at the end of the season to complete all the prepay agreements.

    It does suck to get to the end of the year to leaf season and have work left to do that's already been paid for, work you aren't getting any more money for. But if you work things right, put the money away, be smart, prepay is a great option. I love it, and will continue to push it as an payment option.
     
  7. lawnguyland

    lawnguyland LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,108

    I like to do pre-pay for spring clean-ups only at a small discount to jump start cash flow mid winter. I don't want anything else prepaid for fear of not being able to fulfull my obligation for whatever reason and then owing all those people money. That would bite hairy moose nuts.
     
  8. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,062

    It's called obligation and that should be plenty of motivation. If not, then you are the PITA and you don't deserve pre-pay. Go chase the slow payers.

    Now, as far as priority goes, it would depend on a lot of things. If I knew for some reason I wasn't going to be able to get the 20 cuts in and no extra factors were involved, priority would be set by whatever order I needed to do them in order to get caught up the fastest. By geography or time of day sensitivity.

    If other factors are involved I adjust accordingly.
     
  9. Kelly's Landscaping

    Kelly's Landscaping LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,277

    I don't even like deposits it feels like your working for free. Sure you are getting paid the same but if you already were paid I find little motivation to do the work so for me I avoid the temptation.
     
  10. B&B Lndscpng & Lwn Srvc

    B&B Lndscpng & Lwn Srvc LawnSite Member
    Posts: 112

    I put priority on the ones that prepaid so it doesn't look bad the company. I wouldn't want any customer to think bad of me if i didn't show up after they pre paid.
     

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