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Charging Monthly - Payment Books

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Sean Adams, Aug 8, 2002.

  1. Sean Adams

    Sean Adams LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,597

    I know there are a lot of people out there that charge flat monthly rates for thier service. A lot of people I talk to that bill in this manner ask how to guarantee payment and avoid chasing people each month for their money.

    Something we did years back was create a "Payment Booklet" just like you get when you buy a car. It worked wonders.

    Once we agreed to a set monthly rate that did not change unless there were add-ons (which were then billed separately), we had our local printer make payment booklets with stubs. Their amount, date address and our return address were all located on the stub. Their due date was also listed and they always knew when to pay.

    We avoided so much time in billing and dreaded chasing. We lined up our clients in groups - some payed between the 1st-10th, others 10th-20th and others 20th-30th. We made it clear in the contract that there would be a penalty for late payment as well, which no one ever questioned.

    Our clients truly appreciated the convenience, and some even were ambitious (or generous) enough to pay several payments in advance so they did not have to worry about it during vacation months, and so on.

    Just thought I'd throw this out there. Hope it helps.
  2. 65hoss

    65hoss LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,360


    Now thats something I haven't thought about. I think I like it. Gives me something else to think about.
  3. Diito very good thinking!! this would save a lot of head aches and paperwork.
  4. Sean Adams

    Sean Adams LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,597

    It was a big step in my business. I had the work, had the great employees, the trucks, the toys, everything but consistent steady cash flow. Once we started the payment booklet, the business was rejuvenated. Money was stable and for the first time in 5 years I could actually put together and follow a budget for the business.
  5. JML

    JML LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 415

    I would love to see a picture/copy of your coupon book, sounds like a great idea..
  6. Sean Adams

    Sean Adams LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,597

    Give me some time and I should be able to post a picture of one....or make it a link so everyone can see it. Everyone's will be different, but what we created was simple, to the point and worked for me.
  7. spomerhome

    spomerhome LawnSite Member
    from Arizona
    Messages: 39

    I guess I'm different than almost everyone on this site.

    What I did when I started my company was to tell my customers rather than try to lock anyone into a "term" contract period I have a 30 cancellation clause so if there's any problem they are comfortable about cancelling service. Guess what, in the past year I've only lost 3 accounts!

    Here's the good part...

    Back to when I started, I told them what I said above but I bill all my residential customers 1 month in advance. I bill on the 15th for payment on the 1st of the following month. (i.e. bill June 15th for July's service).

    Again, guess what! Not one customer had a problem with it!

    I don't know, maybe I'm just a good salesman but... You don't get what you don't ask for.
  8. A contract is a peice of paper stating and outlining what you will do and the customer will pay in a timely manor.

    Next question, I would love to do the present bills, but how do you know the dates the services will be performed? Itemized bills are next to impossable to do this way.
  9. spomerhome

    spomerhome LawnSite Member
    from Arizona
    Messages: 39

    In Arizona (with the great weather we have) most work can be planned out pretty well in advance.

    For service items (i.e. irrigation repairs, etc.) we just invoice as we run into them.

    In the fall when we overseed I invoice ahead for all of my expenses (seed, fertilizer, plugger or verticutter rentals, etc.).

    Did I answer your question ok? Let me know.
  10. Kent Lawns

    Kent Lawns LawnSite Senior Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 870

    Some of the better software programs offer this feature built right in. They even have coupons you print on and mail out at the start of the season.

    We've billed our monthly's that way for some time now.

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