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Up front billiing

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by FastMan, Jul 21, 2009.

  1. FastMan

    FastMan LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 782

    I bill a month in advance for customers who have shown a history of not paying in a timely fashion. If they want to keep me, they have to fork over the money first. Just wondering if any of you guys are doing that as a standard billing practice for all your customers? I don't currently,,, I bill for work already done,,, but if I had billed up front I would have protected myself from the occasional loss I've incured by taking on bad egg customers.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. Mowbizz

    Mowbizz LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 970

    I had one customer that owned a vacant property that I had to chase all last season to get paid. Well this Spring I laid out a proposal to maintain the property for a full season upfront fee of $800 for the entire season. This included weekly mow-trim blow, spring and fall cleanup. I got no reply.
    I cruised by the property in June for ship's and grins and it's a giant overgrown mess...I laughed to myself that I was better off without this PITA customer.
    Yesterday (July 20th) I get a panic call from the property owner! They want it serviced NOW...well, I flat out told them they should have responded to my Spring letter and they wouldn't have been in this pickle. He tried to give me all the "usual" excuses about why they didn't respond...even said "we didn't find the letter until today" !!!! Ya right...anyway I basically told him good luck I don't need this...:dizzy::dizzy::dizzy:
     
  3. AI Inc

    AI Inc LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 25,151

    Yesterday (July 20th) I get a panic call from the property owner! They want it serviced NOW...well, I flat out told them they should have responded to my Spring letter and they wouldn't have been in this pickle. He tried to give me all the "usual" excuses about why they didn't respond...even said "we didn't find the letter until today" !!!! Ya right...anyway I basically told him good luck I don't need this...:dizzy::dizzy::dizzy:[/QUOTE]

    Good for you, hopefully you educated him.
     
  4. Ryall Landscaping

    Ryall Landscaping LawnSite Member
    Posts: 128

    I would have offered to do it if he paid in advance for the same price as before :laugh:.


    Personally, I just do the work and then expect to get paid afterwards. We've only done maybe 10-15 jobs (it's just me and a friend..not really a full-sized business)..But that's sort of risky since we're minors..It'd be hard to track down the money if we ever had an issue.

    On the other hand, I was considering next year (I'll be 18) to do contracts and if one were to sign up for the season, I'd give them a certain percentage off (10%) of the normal price, as an incentive. I can schedule easier, they save money...Everyone's happy. But that's only as far as mowing goes, anyways.
     
  5. HOOLIE

    HOOLIE LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,981

    I bill upfront by credit card for 90% of my customers, for the most part they seem to expect it. I think the days of billing after the fact are soon to be a by-gone era.
     
  6. wbw

    wbw LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,404

    Is the only way to go. I bill on the 25th of the month for the next month. I have never had a customer complain or even question this practice. Improved cash flow and fewer concerns about not getting paid. Win, win.
     
  7. newimagelawnsbrevard

    newimagelawnsbrevard LawnSite Member
    Posts: 1

    I bill all of my customers up front. And actually most of them expected it from the day they took us on. I send out invoices on the 15th of the month due on the first of the upcoming month for services that month. So far I have had 1 customer not take us on because of it. She never heard of such an thing and all her other lawn services charged the month after services. Then I had another customer question me on that but she took us on. IDK I think more people expect to pay up front. Very few dont want to. But thats how I do things.
     
  8. TQ Lawn Service

    TQ Lawn Service LawnSite Member
    Posts: 23

    There seems to be a lot of response that people bill in advance of the month serviced. I'm only guessing that these accounts are tied to a yearly contract. What's the best way to handle accounts not tied to a contract? I know of a guy who has a net of 10 days, and this makes sense to me since lawn service isn't usually at the top of the "to be paid" list. I'm learning, so any comments would be appreciated.
     
  9. Two Seasons

    Two Seasons LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 791

    We bill residental right after service, net 0.

    If we don't see the check before the next scheduled cut, then they aren't cut.

    End of story.
     

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