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Repair invoicing - on the job or from office

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by DanaMac, Apr 20, 2002.

  1. DanaMac

    DanaMac LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,156

    For repairs are you or your techs billing on the job, or letting the office manager/secretary/you do the billing later? I do both but am actually doing more billing from the office now. I would like my money right away but that is when my customers B.S. with me and take up too much of my time. If I tell them I will bill them later it lets me get to my next appt on time. But on the other hand now I have close to a weeks worth of billing to do since office manager is out of town this week. But at least it's cold and raining/snowing so I have cancelled todays jobs!!! As much as I'd like to get it done the evening that I do the repair, I am working from 7 am to 7 or 8 pm right now. Make a few calls and pass out watching hockey or baseball on the couch by 9.
     
  2. John Allin

    John Allin LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,489

    We invoice from the office.
     
  3. Dana,
    My techs bill from the job 90% of the time. If we are doing work for a maintenance guy or property mgmt. company or something than we bill from the office. There are two reasons I do this:

    1- If we bill from the site we get paid alot faster. That is good.
    If we bill from the office it takes longer, obviously. Cash flow is king around my office

    2- If we bill from the job site, there are fewer suprises to deal with. A lot of times when we bill from the office we have to jump through hoops with the client to explain what was done. That could be 2 weeks later when they finally get around to calling us. If at the job site and doing the billing, the techs can walk the site and explain. Saves loads of time.

    Your situation is different than mine. I would think though that billing on the site will save you time in the long run. On blow outs and turn ons couldn't you have a bill already done up for the client with all the info except the extra charges that you may not know about? On repairs you could almost do the same thing.
     
  4. dougaustreim

    dougaustreim LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 488

    For blowouts and turnons, as well as other standard calls, such as lawn treatments, aerations etc, where the price is preset, we do everything we can to encourage pre-payment.

    We set our prices such that the cost of the pre pay discount is covered in the overall pricing. We bascially finance our business from Jan through April with prepayments. Eliminates the need to go to the bank during the almost no income months. We can pay cash for equipment upgrades during the winter and get things ready to go in a more timely fashion becuase we have the cash flow during the slow months.

    When we get really busy, we don't have to take time for invoicing and collecting, becuase that was all done last winter. Just stick a tag on the door that are preprinted, so they know we were there and on to the next property.

    An added advantage to pre pay is that you have a better lock on the customer for the entire season. I've noticed that when people have sold their houses, they usually cancel services as soon as the deal is made regardless of when the possession date will be, but if they have prepaid they usually let the service run out

    Doug Austreim
    Austreim Landsacaping Inc
     
  5. DanaMac

    DanaMac LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,156

    Prepayment is not an option due to I won't know what is wrong and in need of repair until I get there. Possibly for fall blowouts though, and I've tried that one year and only a handful of people tried it. So I dropped it. If they ask I'll let 'em though.

    the problem is that when I give them the bill they want to start talking and B.S.ing with me. I can't be rude to them and for some older customers they like the company and attention. This kills my day because I schedule things pretty tight.

    I'd like my $$$ right away also but right now getting the work done so I can be home before 7 pm is my priority. I've never had a customer stiff me for a repair. I do some of the invoicing on site though. Especially with the cute customers!!
     
  6. HBFOXJr

    HBFOXJr LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,706

    Irrigation service - COD for all new clients, billed from the office if they prove OK after that.

    Blow outs - At time of service if home, leave a check with controller or credit card # in our office. Exception granted to those with Hunter controllers with a remote that we can just go do. The rest are done by appt so if your there why not pay.

    Fertilization - pre pay or bill left at door

    Spr techs record everything on a 3 part work order that the client signs if home. Seldom do we have questions about what was done or time problems. They are filed alphabetically and kept for 3 years and save us a lot of head aches with the "you guys just_______ last month/year"
     

    Attached Files:

  7. Dana, listen to HB....in fact I will attach a document....my new invoice/workorder. I basically plajorized HB Foxes, with his permission of course!

    I think it may be time to hire some help? It will be hard at first but if you don't do it, eventually you will burn out. You can't do everything man. Either that or take less jobs and charge more. That is an option too.

    Talk soon!
     

    Attached Files:

  8. DanaMac

    DanaMac LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,156

    Oh I know about getting some help. By buddy that worked last year just started Wednesday, but I don;t have a second truck yet. He used my wife's truck while she was away. And now she is back so I won't stress so much this week. 13 hours yesterday. Love this crap/Hate this crap! Will write more later. Busy, busy, busy!!
     
  9. BSME

    BSME LawnSite Senior Member
    from Midwest
    Posts: 829

    My first slow day in a while so I was in the archives.... I have found myself leaving invoices more often so I am now owed thousands of dollars. If it's a good customer or not a very big bill I usual send a bill later so I can get to the next call.

    How many of you take credit cards? Is it worth it? I was thinking if I did to raise service call prices by like $7 but give an automatic $7 discount if paying by cash or check... this way people feel like they are getting a deal... and if they want to pay by credit card at least it is helping pay for accepting the cards...

    also... HB and sprinklerguy#1... I like the work order you guys came up with.... if I tweak it slightly and show you what I did you think I can use it?
     
  10. naturescaretaker

    naturescaretaker LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 850

    If it is a first time visit then it gets billed on site. If it is a former or active customer we bill from the office.
     

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