customers not paying

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by VogelLandscaping, Apr 25, 2007.

  1. VogelLandscaping

    VogelLandscaping LawnSite Member
    Messages: 3

    hey hows everyone. this is the problem. ive been cutting for about 3 weeks now and have not sent out any invoices for mowing. those invoices get sent out at the end of the month. but my landscape crew has been swamped and when i do a landscape job i require half up front. then when the job is complete i mail a specific invoice for only the landscape job the next day. well the problem im having is people are paying the half up front but not sending in the remaining amount. the invoices specifically state DUE UPON RECIEPT. when you have a few 3 grand jobs the balances really start to add up. so im wondering how everyone else deals with people not paying? thanks for the advice

    -Vogel Landscaping
  2. Woody82986

    Woody82986 LawnSite Silver Member
    from DFW, TX
    Messages: 2,128

    I would start putting a due date on the invoices. When I started monthly billing, I put DUE UPON RECEIPT on them and my clients took it as "pay when you get around to it". Now I put a specific due date on the invoices. Most of the time, I send out invoices on the 14th for that month and the payments are due no later than the 28th. That gives them about 2 days to get the invoices through the mail, 10 days to dilly dally and get the payment in the mail, and 2 days transit time for the mail. This sounds reasonable to me. DUE UPON RECEIPT just makes my clients slow payers. This season, if I have too many start being late with payments, I will start adding a late fee addition to my invoices. If you are getting worried about it, justgive your clients a call inquiring about their payment.
  3. VogelLandscaping

    VogelLandscaping LawnSite Member
    Messages: 3

    hey thanks for the input. yea that makes sense putting a due date. i think im going to use that suggestion. the only reason im kind of stressing the payments is because its early in the season and i havent even billed for any cutting yet ( we start cutting around april 15) and i still have to pay all my guies. you know what i mean. thanks again for the input!
  4. paponte

    paponte LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,366

    Maintenance we bill monthly. Any installs we do we are paid half up front, and the balance BEFORE we leave the job. Don't even ask me to bill you for thousands! Number one I don't have a lasting relationship wit hthe people as I do with maintenane accounts. Number two if they don't pay then I have reason to leave my dumpster in front of their driveway! :laugh:
  5. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    Well Due Upon Receipt means exactly that, I don't let them get up a high balance, maybe $100 but at that point it starts to bite... Grass cuts is per cut, if I don't get paid for the last I don't show up for the next... A few customers like to try and use that against me by delaying the payment so the grass can grow, but then if the yard's a total disaster when I get out there after they finally pay, I keep right on driving, too.

    Yup, and customers who call for one thing after the other, again they have to pay the last before I show up for the next... Until I feel confident that they won't stiff me, I won't let it go much past 1 service, they might get me for 2 (maybe 70 - 100 dollars) but that's it. Matter of fact, I got a long time regular who is behind and still calls every day or two talking about really needing some stuff done... Well, I done sent the bill and then an NSF-related letter, and until I get paid nothing happens (and depending how long it takes, when I finally get paid I reserve the right to refuse further services as well).

    That having been said, you still have to give them time to pay, whether you show up or not, regardless, I find 30 days is a reasonable frame of time.

    So that is why I would wait until 30 days passes and send one of these:

    Your Company
    1234 Your Road
    City, ST 12345

    Customer Name
    1234 Their Road
    City, ST 12345

    This bill is past due. Payment is due upon service completion, and while a partial payment was received, there remains an unpaid balance of $xxx. Payment must be received within 15 days so as to avoid incurring a $xx late fee.

    Thank you for your anticipated cooperation.

    btw you will need to track this stuff, some to most will pay at that time but a few may not (or won't) and you'll need to get up with this again at the 45-day mark, post again for further assistance :)

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