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Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by coyote10, Feb 17, 2011.

  1. coyote10

    coyote10 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 13

    I'm thinking of changing my billing to sending out invoices on the 1st of the month with balance due last day of the month before late charges apply. I always hate fronting a month of service and then waiting a couple more weeks til I'm paid. Not to mention the slow pays now your 7 or 8 weeks behind. Plumbers, electricians, heck even your dealer expects payment at the time services are rendered! :hammerhead: Guess I just talked myself in to it! Thoughts, opinions?
  2. walker-talker

    walker-talker LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 4,771

    The policy I state on my website is similar. If I send a bill on May 1st for mowing the month of April. I expect payment by the end of May or services will be suspended until payment received. I have let this go if the customer has been with me for a few years.

    When taking on new customers, I am almost to the point of asking the potential customer if they are renters or home owners. If I get the shaft, about 90% of the time it has been from a renter.
  3. vencops

    vencops LawnSite Bronze Member
    from NC
    Messages: 1,537

    "The policy I state on my website is similar. If I send a bill on May 1st for mowing the month of April. I expect payment by the end of May or services will be suspended until payment received."

    I'm just asking....and not questioning/judging. I have no experience in this industry.

    But, wouldn't you potentially be out for 8 - 10 service visits (weekly), if the customer stiffs you?
  4. GunnPropertyServices

    GunnPropertyServices LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 374

    i bill on the 15th of every month and its due by the last day of the month. services are suspended if payment is not received by the 10th.
  5. Az Gardener

    Az Gardener LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,899

    I have always pre billed from day one on my own and here is why. Its not that big of a deal to float 2-3 or even 5 -K a month for services rendered. Wait until your billing out 70-80-K a month and you will be screwed if you are trying to float that much for 4-6 weeks or longer. It will probably get you into trouble at about the 10-12-K per month range.

    I will try and get my March service and Feb extras bills out by the 24th-25th of Feb. and the checks will start rolling in at the end of the first week of March. It really helps cash flow. I have only had one client in 15 years that made a stink of it and he was a custom home builder who probably would have stiffed me anyway. My avg client is just under 1-k per month so its not chump change.

    I don't know why you wouldn't do it myself. It just makes good business sense, you have to get over your comfort zones when dealing with the money in a business. If you don't value your services neither will your client. When you allow them to drag it out that long 4-6 weeks after service you are really telling them you hope to get paid not that you expect to be paid.
  6. coyote10

    coyote10 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 13

    Thank You for your opinions! Az that's what I have been thinking lately. I want to improve my cash flow this year, not be constantly looking back 6 weeks. I figure I'm still giving them a good deal, allowing in most cases 2 extra weeks to pay without a late charge. I am solo and constant cash flow is much more important! I also feel that billing after the fact is not very professional and not very good business. When other contractors do work for general services they expect payment at the time services are rendered, not 6 weeks later! So, my billing policy is going to change this year! Thanks everyone!

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