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waiting to get paid

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by bobbygedd, Jan 10, 2003.

  1. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Posts: 10,178

    another subject beat to death. does anyone demand payment on the spot ? i mean, im so sick and tired of providing service, sending a bill, and having to wait to get paid. out of all my customers, maybe 5 actually send the payment in immediatly(within a couple days) , and a couple more hand pay me each visit, and one or two come out at the end of the month and hand me a check. but there are still several who recieve their bill around the 25th of each month, it says pay within 10 days, and i get nothing for a month, 45 days, 2 months even. how the heck could u run a business like this? i know, late fees, but i dont want late fees, i just want my money on time. i thought i found a really good new customer, they called from our add for cleanup. went by, it was a disaster! probably 20 hours of cleanup work. these people appeared very wealthy, and extremely friendly. they thanked me for comming by, and explained that they had a guy for several years, in early spring he just stopped comming around. they called and sent letters, nothing, never heard from him again. the place needs a ton of work, and they want "to establish a relationship". i explained that we are very busy, and a property that size would not fit into our schedule . however, i would put in a couple of hours if they wanted us to, so the front of the house is presentable for thanksgiving. then get the place into shape, whenever we had some time, little by little, until it looks good, then work on a maint. program. they said great, lets do it. how do we pay? i said ill send a bill, it must be paid within 10 days. they said great. well, nov. 26th, we put in four hours of cleanup. left a bill. today(jan 10th) we called, we never recieved the check. she said, oh, well, we have to look it over, if it looks ok, we will send a check shortly. im like what the f.... SHES LUCKY IT WAS MY WIFE WHO CALLED AND NOT ME. and there are other too, whos bill should have been paid by dec. 1st. never got it. DOES anyone charge on the spot? i dont want to alienate people cus they are used to recieving a bill and sending a check, but this crap has to stop. does anyone demand payment on the spot for all services?
  2. lawncare3

    lawncare3 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,981

    I agree that is BS and I always get paid on the spot or shortly after (5-10 hours) I can't have customers not paying me anymore.:angry:
  3. Ground Master

    Ground Master LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 505

    I feel for you. Although most of my customers pay within 2 weeks, there are always those that take a month........

    You may want to consider taking a few before and after pics on those big jobs just so you have proof that the job was done and that it looked good......
  4. MPhillips

    MPhillips LawnSite Member
    from zone 7
    Posts: 94

    I'm wary of folks who had someone "run off" on them...(I think they mean to say, "I ran them off"). If it's a small clean-up job for a couple hours I always have my supervisor get the check upon completion of service. If they won't be home they need to leave a check under the mat, or we don't do anything.

    There's a mindset with some folks that if it's a small job it's unimportant, which simply isn't true. It is true that the value of a service diminishes upon completion so if you wait too long to get your money the customer is more likely to feel as if they are overpaying. This doesn't help collection efforts.

    If it's a design/install job or anything above a few thousand bucks I get 25% down, with balance upon completion...or if they balk; balance by 30 days...contract says they pay for my collection efforts. If its a larger job above $10,000 I finance and take an extra 2% happily.
  5. HarryD

    HarryD LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,069

    late fees late fees late fees . you said you dont want to do this but I think you have no choice . charge a percentage of the total bill after they have to start paying hefty late fees they will pay on time or find another service .
  6. mklawnman

    mklawnman LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 634

    Yeah I hate those late people paying. I put on my invoices 30days for payment, most of my customers pay within 30days. Then their is one account who pays whenever they feel like paying and they pay in payments not full amounts. Shes a neighbor of mine and usally pays up in a resonable amount of time. Or like the other day I had to call one of my bigger accounts and ask them if they sent out the check yet, well they said no and said they had to transfer some funds over to pay, and so that day she wrote a check out and I got it a few days later.
    Im still in the learning stages of the biz but I think the best thing is to keep tabs on them and let them know that they need to pay up.
  7. Gravely_Man

    Gravely_Man LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,076

    I know you will not want to hear the "C" word but CONTRACTS! I would use contacts that include a penalty for late payment. If you still don't want to go this route then I would set some of the customers you like a payment plan. Hopefully they are just opening the bill and forgetting to send you a check. Best of luck to you.

  8. mklawnman

    mklawnman LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 634

    Yeah I only have a few on contracts, want to get more of my customers on the contracts and then put the late penalty on there. Contracts are nice when its hot and dry in late July early August getting paid to do little to nothing on some accounts.
  9. bubble boy

    bubble boy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,020

    its a prob for us too.

    we have no fees...just call em constantly.

    and we have converted many to post dated chq. payment for cutting, but still a prob for jobs.
  10. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,501

    Know how ya feel bobby.

    Personally, I think that is the worst part of this job...waiting to get paid. Nothing worse than being an unsecured creditor.

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