Slow payers

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by FLC2000, Jun 3, 2014.

  1. FLC2000

    FLC2000 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,832

    Any suggestions? Year after year I get more and more frustrated with people.

    I bill out monthly and I give them 20 days to pay. About 25% of my customers pay within week. About 50% of them pay but are always at least 10 days late and the other 25% need a reminder on the following invoice to pay.

    I always get my money but its slow.

    I utilize online pay but that really hasn't helped speed things up. I highlight the due date on the invoice and that doesn't help. I tack on a late fee and they don't pay it.

    Any suggestions on how to speed them up?
     
  2. whiffyspark

    whiffyspark LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,088

    Charge their cards yourself
    Posted via Mobile Device
     
  3. FLC2000

    FLC2000 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,832

    Tried that. Most of them still want to pay by check.
     
  4. TPCLandscaping

    TPCLandscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 326

    wait till you get in to commercial and they start holding payment for 45, or 60, or even 90 days
     
  5. FLC2000

    FLC2000 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,832

    I do plenty of commercial. They pay me fairly quick. Like within 20 days quick. Ive never had to chase any of them.

    The people that I struggle with are mid 30 to early 50s that live in half million dollar homes and drive BMW's...

    The people that ALWAYS pay me on time are older and usually retirees.
     
  6. DuallyVette

    DuallyVette LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,925

    Years ago I started including a return envelope, with my company name and address on it, so it's easier for them to send. I also started sending the invoices for the month, a week before the end of the month.
     
  7. FLC2000

    FLC2000 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,832

    The return envelope is a good idea. I might give that a shot. I have noticed people actually re-using old envelopes so maybe if they didn't have to deal with that they would pay quicker.
     
  8. Dr. Cornwallis

    Dr. Cornwallis LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 847

    I think it's part of the business. I have a friend that I mow for who is consistently late, every month. I've gotten where I know that I'm going to have to shake him down for money, however, his account is very profitable, he's always having extras done like mulch and landscape work. That combined with the fact that he's a friend I let him slide.

    I send out invoices by e mail on the 15th of every month and clients have fifteen days to pay. Some of my clients pay up front, some pay on time and others are within a day or two or three late.

    I had a property manager that I worked for who would consistently pay about two weeks to a month late, and then not pay the full invoice. I eventually got sick of the BS and dropped her. If you consistently have people paying more than two months late I would drop them. After my debacle with the property manager I decided that if they haven't paid in full by the time the second invoice is due I cancel service. After one week late I email them a notice and then at the two week mark I attach the late invoice to the current invoice. It should also be noted though, that the amount of **** that I'm willing to put up with is directly proportionate to the amount of money that you're paying me ( when you pay me ).

    I don't bother with late fees, nobody pays them.
    Posted via Mobile Device
     
  9. LawnMowerMan2003

    LawnMowerMan2003 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 768

    I'm not really suggesting this, but I stopped billing people, because I decided it wasn't worth the extra collection time spent, and I don't like waiting for my money. However, I'm not doing contracts either. I suppose if you do contracts people might expect to be billed. My payment policy is that payment is due at time of job. If the person is not going to be home they have the option of leaving the payment there. Of course, if I start doing commercial I guess I will not have a choice (for some, I did some truck stops that paid the same day before).
     
  10. agrostis

    agrostis LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,252

    Your not the cable company, forget that 30 day billing. Payment due when service's are rendered. No late payer's, no late fee's. Were not talking big buck's here, people can afford to pay you the day you work. Your doing people a favor with the 30 day billing, quit doing that and i'll bet you don't lose any customer's.
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2014

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