better way to bill???

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by bobbygedd, Jun 20, 2001.

  1. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Messages: 10,178

    its getting to be a bit of a nuisence doing once a month billing. i mean the bills go out at the end of the month, some people dont send them in till 3 or 4 weeks later. that means ive waited 7 weeks to be paid for that first cut. gets to be a bit much on the wallet having to finance the business and do work for people on credit. ive been thinking about sending out half the bills at the middle of the month, but for the whole month. example: do 2 cuts, 15th of the month send out bill for 4 cuts, by the end of the month when i complete the 4 cuts the check should be there and we r even. what do u all think? any other ideas?
  2. curlawngreen

    curlawngreen Banned
    Messages: 309

    Why don't you get some commercial accounts so you can wait till they want to pay you. They may even say we are going to pay after 3 months and you are into them for 6 weeks already. Can't tell them to take a hike can you.You should have enough reserve to cover a couple of months if you are really in "business"
  3. Fantasy Lawns

    Fantasy Lawns LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,912

    cash flow is a killer ;->

    we send out on 1st of Month ......due by 20th .....cronic late gets 1 warning ......than late fee of $10 ....or suspend service's too hott ...not to get paid on time .....Good Customers are like Flower Beds .....You gotta weed em'

    ALL NEW Customers need to be "Educated" from the Start
  4. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Messages: 10,178

    well, that is not the piont. i dont know any other contractors that work on 6 or 7 weeks credit besides us. just looking for a better way
  5. jeffyr

    jeffyr LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 876


    I started out this year with a flat monthy price (all services performed last year totalled and divided by 10 equal payments--march through december). The first payment was due by March 30th, and was billed on March 15th. Since the work didn't start until the end of March, I was ahead 1 payment from everybody giving me startup cash for this year (each month I bill on the 15th net 15) I did have to verbally explain it to a couple of people (why am I paying you when you haven't done any work yet ?) but I didn't lose anybody and only had 1 say she liked the old method better.

    Hope this helps.

  6. smburgess

    smburgess LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 467

    I'd say performing the work, then invoicing at the end of the month is pretty much how it's done in this business. You do have some real small LCO's that actually go up to the door when their done to collect! They must have a real cashflow problem! One thing I do is at the bottom of the invoice I put a line saying that if it's not paid by XX there will be a 1.8% finance charge assessed on that date. It works pretty good. That way if they are late in paying, at least you are being compensated. My "pay-as-you-go" accounts are due by the 15th, and my yearly and commercial are due by the 30th. I even put it my proposals, so it is never a surprise!
  7. TGCummings

    TGCummings LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 773

    I do it pretty much the way you're suggesting, bobby. Starting this year, I try to start passing the bills out by the beginning of the third week of the month, with a due date marked 15 days from the time I make the bill (generally from the 30th to the 5th of the following month). In the past, I usually got paid at the middle to end of the following month. Now, most customers get me paid for the full month before the beginning of the next.

    The change has worked out real well in my case...

  8. Vandora Lawn & Landscape

    Vandora Lawn & Landscape LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 386

    I bill monthly on the 15th of month. That helps alot in april. I get my first checks after 3 weeks of work. 95% of my customers pay in 10 days. A couple after that, the rest a little chasing helps. Occasionally a customer will stop me while I'm cutting or doing work and give me a check. I don't complain, but I don't ask for the check.
  9. thelawnguy

    thelawnguy LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,411

    Unfortunately this business is fairly unique in that you return at regular intervals to perform the same services over and over-unlike say, a roof every 20 years or painting a house every 5.

    Maybe divide your customers into 4 groups, bill each group at a different time ie first week, second week etc then your cash flow will be more evenly distributed.

    But my gut feeling (based on other threads and posts made by yourself) is that you lack the experience to properly manage your finances. Maybe a night class at the local CC would be in order?
  10. guntruck

    guntruck LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 527

    Apply late fees and enforce your payment methods politely with consisten phone calls, that will make a difference. If you have continual problems from the same client just cancel and get another to replace him or her.

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