SLOW PAYING

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by lawnguy ny, Feb 3, 2001.

  1. lawnguy ny

    lawnguy ny LawnSite Member
    Posts: 20

    I HAVE BEEN ASKED TO BID ON 4 COMMERICAL PROPERTIES. WOW WAS I EXCITED .I AM A .ONE GUY SHOW . 3 OF THEM ARE APARTMENT COMPLEXES 1 IS A SHOPPING PLAZA. I ESTAMATE THE 4 PROPERTIES TO TAKE ABOUT 20 MAN HOURS . THE CHALENGE I HAVE IS ,TALKING TO FRIENDS I FOUND OUTTHAT THIS COMPANY IS OWNED MY A FAMILY OF ATTORNEYS AND WORD HAS IT THAT THERE PAY HISTORY IS BAD ,WHAT WOULD YOU GUYS AND GALS DO .IHAVE NOT GIVEN THEM ANY BID YET? OH THIS IS THE START OF MY FIRST FULL YEAR ,I STARTED IN JUNE LAST YEAR.
     
  2. LoneStarLawn

    LoneStarLawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,415

    If you accept credit cards then this wouldn't be a problem (that is if they decide to use their credit card) Do you plan on have a contract with this group? Your best bet is to have a contract with them and implicate a late charge within the contract. You might also want to offer a discount if they pay for the entire year up front.
     
  3. zimm4

    zimm4 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 106

    Late charges are hard to collect. What are you going to do to enforce them. Remember they are your client.

    A more positive policy is to include A % off.
    For instance if they pay you by A specific date. You will take 5% off their next bill.

    Remember to build this in to your bid. They pay it anyway. But they think they are saving money. If they dont do it. You are ahead 5% of your billing!!!!!!!!!!

    Kyle
     
  4. capital

    capital LawnSite Member
    Posts: 118

    Slow pays are a fact of life, however you have to decided if your cash flow will be enough to handle covering your slow pays. Sounds like this would be a big chunk of your business. So your other act's are going to have to cover this one while you wait for your money. Plus if you are wasting time getting your money out of them factor in if you make money by doing them or if you actually loose because they are using your money vice you having it in your pocket.
     
  5. awm

    awm LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,354

    These are lawyers which means you are on there
    turf.I would make every effort to talk to
    any previous lawncare service as they may
    have a pattern or system they are working.
    GOOD LUCK
     
  6. Mueller Landscape Inc

    Mueller Landscape Inc LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 489

    Greg,

    If your friends are correct, I wouldn't touch these properties. I am sorry to say that in the 18 years I have been in this business, attorneys are the worst clients. That is my experience. I would ask them how many services they have used in the past. That should give you some clues.
     
  7. Evan528

    Evan528 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,144

    Attorney are definitly the worst customers to work for! They not only try to challenge your every word but they also try to get out of paying the full amount! They think there intimidating just becasue they are attorneys and can use that power to get what they want!
     
  8. LoneStarLawn

    LoneStarLawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,415

    That is where a contract would work best...have your attorney check it over first.
     
  9. Jason Pallas

    Jason Pallas LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,325

    I agree attorneys can be the worst clients. We had one try to weasel out of a $400 bill this year. It wasn't until I wrote him a long detailed letter of how his defense to not paying the bill would crumble under the evidence we had, did he finally pay the bill. He went so far as to even claim he didn't ever contact us to do the work and that the office manager that we dealt with all year never even existed! Real piece of ....... work! We collected finally. They really work on an intimidation factor - but remember the only one that gives the bully power is you. Stand up to 'em and they'll back right down.

    Another important thng to consider. Since you're a one man op, 20 hrs a week, is a lot of time and work. If you get stung by these guys, that represents a lot of your work and lost opportunity. You might also think of this - if you take these guys, and it turns out to be a nightmare, you're sort of committed to it to a degree as you've blocked a huge part of your work (and income) off for one customer. If they leave, you quit, etc.... that'll probably represent a lot of your weekly income. May be better to take 30 smaller accounts - chances are they better that they won't all stiff you. Go with your first instinct, chances are that if you get the vibe, you're gonna have trouble with the customer, you will.

    [Edited by Jason Pallas on 02-03-2001 at 06:01 PM]
     
  10. Mscotrid

    Mscotrid LawnSite Bronze Member
    from USA
    Posts: 1,456

    Slow pays are a fact of life. I feel there are quite a few individuals out there who make a habit of screwing the lawn companies in there area.

    Look at the reality of the situation, you are extending credit to someone you do not know. How many of you have ran a credit report on a potential customer? Your vendors run them on you if you expect to charge. We get excited about a new customer and in some cases are into them for thousands of dollars before the realization of not getting paid sets in. Contracts are great, but what value do they hold up in court. Trees planted cannot be removed and grass seed is there to stay.

    The key to avoid being taken to the cleaners is to know your customers and investigate your prospects.


    If that dos'nt work there always the traditional ccase of beer and midnight round-up party. Might not get you paid but in a sophmoric way you might gain a sense of relief

    Mike
     

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