Deadbeats and end of mowing season??

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by JeffW0011, Sep 13, 2007.

  1. JeffW0011

    JeffW0011 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 182

    Do you guys find the likelyhood of getting stiffed on mowing services increases toward the end of the mowing season? So far I have made it through season one with only 1 confirmed deadbeat. However, I have a few customers that seem to be getting a little slower with the payment every month. One asked me if she could roll August and Septembers bill together (she has been my most lucrative account all year albeit usually a little slow). I dunno, my gut just tells me her money is funny despite her 400k house. Is it common for a few of them to take a shot at you toward the end of the season? I get the feeling a few my be trying to stretch me as far out as they can right now, figuring worse case they got to get the pushmower out of the shed once or twice and can replace me in the spring.
  2. Americal Vet

    Americal Vet LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 250

    This may be a phenomenon across the country given the state of things lately. You and I both know that this country was not made to run on the price of gasoline we have experienced to date. There is also alot of people that have had to resort to credit cards for day to day livning expense, and let me tell you that unsecured debt such as a credit card(s) suck big time. There is more unsecured debt in this country than ever before. Now I am not trying to take sides with the client who owes you money fair and square, but they may have found themselves in a situation that they are just barely hanging on. This worries me some what as I am afraid that more and more people will drop us and go the do it yourself route. All I can say my dear friend is that I hope you can collect what is rightfully yours. Best wishes and the warmest regards. I hope you will let us know if it works out to the satisfaction of all involved.
  3. KTO Enterprises

    KTO Enterprises LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,286

    American vet, I have to slightly disagree.

    If you take the cost of gas in the 1950 and do a price increase with the cost of living, our fuel prices are actually in line with what someone in the 50s had to spend in relation to their income.

    You are 100% on the money that people are having to live on credit cards.

    I believe this is in part to the fact that people have forgotten the difference between needs and wants. I bet most people if you go in their houses you see the story.

    5 thousand dollar tvs, all the latest electronics, eating out all the time, big fancy vehicles usually with 4 thousand dollar wheels and tires, most xpensive clothes.

    People have just forgotten how to live within their means.
  4. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    Yes, and no, deadbeats have sure had me going this year, but I found most of them to be 1 time deals or newcomers, the kind who also call late in the season, I've had more of these than any other year.

    I might suggest staying on top of things, don't let anyone fall too far behind, and those whom you've determined to be deadbeats go to collections, and keep working your system the way you always have, best I can tell you.

    Because you have to be careful, school just started and things are starting to gear up, this is one of the busiest times of the year as people get busiest from now until Christmas, at a slowly increasing tempo that about reaches a frenzy.

    Any late bloomers almost always raise a red flag, those who call in June just need me to cut it through the worst heat, then those who call about now really just wanted to slip onto the schedule in time for leaves, still some just go from one Lco to the next and never pay for a single service, and so on ... With regulars, I think I recall a few tried to get funny late in the season but it was in my early years, first or second maybe third year, after that I really can't say I've seen anything unusual of this nature, and even back when I don't think it was that bad, just something to keep an eye out for.

    So it may be something to worry about, it may be nothing, you never know.
    Keep doing the same thing, stay on top of things and don't let anyone slip away from you but just keep an eye on everything should be good. It's a little bit like supervising a big store come rush hour, you know someone will get away with something during the heat of things but it's a simple matter of staying in control and keep doing your job and all that, then everything should be fine.

    On another note I also fully believe the price of fuel is about where it should be, and if you really want to get technical it's actually not high enough yet, that is to say I also see people still want more than they need (me guilty too thou lol).
  5. Mr Priceless

    Mr Priceless LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 412

    very good point. We won't see high enough prices until NASCAR has to fight to live on, that is, if they aren't already.

    HOOLIE LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,981

    No, I find the worst time of the year is right after my June 30 and July 31 billing (for those I still invoice).

    The money's been coming in at a brisk pace right now that everyone is back home :laugh:
  7. lifetree

    lifetree LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,369

    This makes sensee !!

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