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This is the good life !

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by JimLewis, Mar 7, 2000.

  1. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,839

    Wow! This last month has been awesome! Things are really starting to come together. It's a nice feeling because for the last few years I was constantly having challenges with money. Not necessarily due to money management as much as it was due to customers not paying or not paying on time. Finally, that burden has been lifted and the results are overwhelming! I just thought I'd share this because the changes I made over the last few months has had some pretty awesome results. <p>Our biggest challenge over the last few years was that a good percentage of customers would pay me late. At times we had anywhere from $1000 - $3500 still owed us when it came to payday for my employees. The customers would usually pay eventually, just not reliably. <p>So near the end of last year I had finally had enough. I made some big changes. First of all, I immediately got rid of all of the people who were consistent late payers or who were seriously past due. I am talking about people who were always 15 or more days late paying their bill. 15 days late isn't all that bad for one or two customers once in a while. But when 10 or 20 of them do it consistently, that sucks. So I got rid of most of them. A few I managed to work out some more definite payment terms with. But those that were drastically past-due (3-4 months) I just ditched all together. Typically, I would do it just after I had collected their balance due. <p>Then, for those who have consistently paid on time or early I rewarded them. I sent them a letter on New Years thanking them for their excellent payment history and for being one of our msot valued customers. I also included a $30 gift certificate (good for a clean-up, mulch, etc.) as a thank-you. That was a big hit. <p>Next, to prevent this from happening again, I found a local billing company who sets up automatic payment from people's checking accounts once every month. I sign up all of my new customers on that program. They get to pick the day payment is made. And since most of them pick the 15th (their middle of the month paycheck), I am actually now getting payments EARLY! That rocks! <p>So these last two months, when it came time for payroll (5 days after the due date for invoices), I had a few thousand left over after I paid all the bills and paychecks! That was a wonderful feeling! <p>Now maybe we can get down to business. Anyway, I don't say this all to brag. I know a lot of guys here have mentioned having this same problem and I wanted to give you hope. <p>This is gonna be a great year! <p>----------<br>Jim Lewis - Lewis Landscape Services<br>http://www.lewislandscape.com
  2. southside

    southside LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 790

    Jim, Its great to see things are coming<br>together for you. Late payers are a pain in<br>the ass.We always have between 2000 and<br>5000 dollars (aud) outstanding at any time.<br>Our invoices are for 7 days. When the invoice<br>is 60 days overdue,they are sent to the debt<br>collectors.I dont know how they do it but <br>they usually get great results.:)
  3. crew

    crew LawnSite Member
    Posts: 163

    Those laye payers are a drag.Not a real problem in winter months but i am going to start billing lawn customers in the first week of the month.I hope this will solve the same kind of flow problems you are talking about.furthermore,I'm not a bank.If my payroll is 6000 a month plus fuel,etc. thats a fairly nice chunk of dough to be borrowing my customers.I hope they dont freak out but this is somethung i've noticed certain service providers doing to me.
  4. Jay Raley

    Jay Raley LawnSite Member
    Posts: 13

    Jim,<p>How much is the billing company charging you for the auto withdrawl, if you don't mind me asking? <p>The reason I ask is I looked into credit & debit cards. They are charging outrageous amounts. It was $44.95 a month for a 48 month lease on the machine, $7.50 a month for a statement fee, and 1.75% per transaction. That is just the debit side. The credit card side was completely nuts. There is a minimum fee of $25.00 if you don't have over $1500.00 charged monthly on your account plus a 1.75% fee on all transcations. <p>I figured that if I split this machine between my 3 businesses that it might not be that bad. But who in their right mind would charge their monthly service to a Visa or Mastercard account? Maybe I am being short-sighted, I really don't know. <p>----------<br>Jay Raley<br>The Good Earth Grounds Management
  5. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,839

    Jay, <p>There was a one-time set up fee of $50 or $100. I can't remember. From there on, it costs me $1.50 for each Automatic Check they process for me up to 99. After 99, it's $1.25, and so on. There is a $25 monthly minimum, which is waived the first 3 months. I don't mind paying the $1.50 per check. It's worth it to me to make sure that all of my payments are on time or early. It saves me money and more importantly - headaches! <p>The company I deal with is a local one but they are connected to a group of others across the country. If you want more info, email me at jim@lewislandscape.com and I will send you their contact info. They can probably point you to someone in your area who can do this. <p>Jim <p>----------<br>Jim Lewis - Lewis Landscape Services<br>http://www.lewislandscape.com

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