What is the best way fpr people to pay?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by MudslinginFX4, Dec 17, 2003.

  1. MudslinginFX4

    MudslinginFX4 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,170

    I picked up a new contract today... actually about 30 new ones, let me explain. There is a trailer park about 25 minutes from me (actually quite a nice one). The trailer park itself has been cutting the grass themselves for the residents since it has been new and just recently sent out a letter to everyone saying that this would be their last season doing it and each trailer owner would have to fend for themselves. A friend told me about it and I got intouch with the association and expresses an intrest in getting the job. They said that they would help me get the jobs but that I would have to deal with each individual customer myself and not do it through them.. I said ok, deal. They sent out a letter to everyone in the trailer park and told them that I would be intrested in cutting/trimming every lot once a week for $15 each house. The letter told each person who was intrested to give me a call. Well.. out of 50 trailers, I got a call so far from 28 that want me to start next season. I am expecting more to call. How would you all go about billing these people? I am not trying to sound like a jerk but is once a month not enough? These people are used to paying nothing and if I charge them once a month then they are going to have another $60 to pay each month. I am a little worried about getting paid by them. Maybe a deposit up front? I know everyone is wondering how much I am going to make and if it's worth it.. put it this way, each yard will take my crew about 5 mins top.. so I should be able to be done with the whole thing between 2-3 hours and make approx. $450.
     
  2. satxmow

    satxmow LawnSite Member
    from tx
    Posts: 51

    yeah another bill does not sit well with anyone. how much deposit are you going to ask? how do you think they will react when they receive a bill after they just paid a deposit a month ago? unless the deposit will cover the first month cut. maybe you should just bill in advance at every month for the upcoming month. which everway you go you might want a contract. :blob3: this past year was my first year and i got tired of chasing people around for payment. i know this year a contract will have to be singned before i cut and if they do not want to sign a contract payment will be due right after service done. :gunsfirin
     
  3. lawnman_scott

    lawnman_scott LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,547

    bill once a month, in advance, due 1st of the month. You will not regret that. ps dont waste your time with a signed written contract for trailer park residents. Sorry if i offended anyone.
     
  4. MudslinginFX4

    MudslinginFX4 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,170

    Yeah, I'm thinking about a contract in this area, even though I have never been big on residential contracts. I know I wouldn't sign a contract if someone wanted to cut my grass (JMO). How do you think they would react if I asked for them to pay a month in advance? I think this may turn them off also. I'm not sure what to do here.. sounds risky but it would start my new crew off good for the new season.
     
  5. satxmow

    satxmow LawnSite Member
    from tx
    Posts: 51

    lawn service is a risk itself. your looking at quite a bit of money if they do not pay. question yourself why managment does not want to deal with them, maybe they have had trouble collecting themselves. maybe the management can give you a heads up on the situation. i know i use to hate to collect before service is done but you have to realize you are not looking to rip them off. at least ask for the half upfront then bill them for the rest at the end of the month after service. either way you have to weed out the bad payers.good luck:drinkup:
     
  6. sildoc

    sildoc LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,925

    I had a similar situation this year. It was a 55+ park though. Started with one person and by the time the 3d week came I had 25 all I could do in one day with the other 5 major lawns I had on that side of town. Any ways Contract from the very start. That way they don't know the difference. I charged 17.50 and could do 5-8 lawns an hour give or take the season grass growth. I don't think one person was more than 6 days past the first of the month reguardless if I left the bill on the 30 or not.
    One problem that you might run into that I did not have are toys and more toys if it is a regular residential trailer park. Every one hates these little plastic things cause they cost us time. Good luck and rember contract right off the top cause they do not know the differance.
     
  7. Navig8r

    Navig8r LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 477

    OK..... I dont use contracts at this time, but in your situation I would...... There's a lot of your eggs in that one basket if payments become a problem... also, as sildoc mentioned... toys or other items can be a problem... so maybe a clause in a contract stating what will/wont be moved to mow, or cost to move/cleanup obstacles..... I would search LS for possible contract wordings, and maybe post a thread on the "Elements of business" forum.................

    Sounds like a great potential.. but keep it great by CYA!
    Good Luck!
     

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