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Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by pennyan, Jun 26, 2007.
After sending out monthly bills,how many days before you say something or stop service,
You know, it's hard to answer a question like this. There are a number of factors that have to be taken into account, such as how many customers do you have, how long can you go without getting paid, how many times do the late paying customers always come through, etc.
Towards the end of last year, we had new invoices printed up that said payment is due with 15 days of receipt of bill and a late fee will be added afterwards. This wasn't meant so much as a money generating device as it was a notice to those that are chronically late, that we have instituted a new policy. It has helped get a lot more customers to pay quicker. It's even been used a few times to bonk the bad ones over the head.
All invoices are due upon receipt. After the 15th of the month they are called, and asked where the payment is. Very courteously, but firmly. I will not put up with non payers. If by the end of the month still no money, then service is stopped. Later, Tony
As long as you are well established and your customers aren't new or problematic, think about this.......I used to cut for a month and then give my customers 30 days from receiving the bill. They were the wealthy people in my area, and I felt it fair to bill as other services would. The problem was the ones that were habitually late......were really late. After speaking with the more successfull Landscape businesses in my area, I was informed that I was financially operating as a bank...not a landscape business. The next year I required 1 month advance deposit prior to starting any service work. Kinda like how rent is paid. If someone didnt pay (rare) I could cut them off on the 30th day and we would be financially even. Getting paid in advance makes cash flow management a breeze. Deposit goes to last month of service. All of the top guys in my area currently bill in a similar way...some 9 months...some over 12 months. Isn't it funny how quick you get paid when the lawn "all of a sudden" isn't being cut anymore....
Bills are sent or dropped off on the last day of service for the month. They are due on the 15th and late on the 20th. If payment is not received by the next billing cycle then a finance charge of 1% of the total amount is added to the bill. If full amount is not received within 10 days then a call is placed or service is stopped.
99% of the time I do not have a problem collecting.
I think I'm operating as a bank too at this point...I have good customers and I've been lucky so far. I bill at the end of the month and give 30 days. Never dumped anyone.
I've always accepted credit cards, so for the chronic late-payers I just told them they had to give me a CC or find someone else. Now I put all new customers on CC's, which works out well. Seems like those still paying by check are taking longer and longer as the years go by. I was shocked to find a nice bit of money in the mailbox today and yesterday though.
I, too, felt like a bank last year. This year I started billing on a weekly basis. Balance being due prior to their next service. I do e-invoicing through Quick Books and most of it is automated. What a difference in cash flow this year!!!
This season I started billing at the beginning of the month for all of the regular services (mowing & chemicals) and then it is due by the last day of the month. If it's late after that, they get hit w/ my credit card's current rate. They definitely don't want that & I haven't had a late one this year.
For occasional services like landscape maintenance & snow removal, I bill at time of service & it is due in 15 days or on receipt depending on who it's for.
i stop service after 60 days of non payment