Do you collect your payment first ???

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Turtle II, Jan 22, 2003.

  1. Turtle II

    Turtle II LawnSite Member
    Messages: 152

    Do you decline to do estimates for low end homes or "ugly" properties?

    EXCELLENT THREAD started by GARPA.........

    This leads me to ask, How many guys collect payment before performing services???

    I imagine you would not do this on each account, but for low-end homes where your wondering about the clients ability to pay, what do you do???

    On the other hand, I have heard many people in many different service feilds say that the richest folks in the biggest homes are the PITA ones who pay late or want to haggle over price.

    I guess this is why contracts are so important..........
  2. Turfdude

    Turfdude LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,899

    Yes - contracts, contracts, contracts. We have them for basic grounds maint (spring c-up, mowings & fall clean-up) and lawn care (6 stepbasic plus optionalgrub and/or fungicide). These services are billed at the endof each month. Landscaping jobs are also contracted and require a 50% deposit for jobs under $10K w/ bal. due upon completion and 1/3 down, 1/3 end day 1+ 1/3 upon completion for jobs over $10K.
    Mulching we sometimes require deposits from new accounts,or accounts w/10+ yards of mulch.
  3. BigJim

    BigJim LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 382

    Get the cash first on all one off or dodgy looking jobs,better to find out they can't pay before you do the job.Not silly to collect a month in advance on new accounts that need billing,otherwise you can get stiffed fo a couple of months work if they decide not to pay.
  4. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,062

    I get paid a deposit for hourly work. All regular sheduled work is paid in advance. All commercial and monthly accounts are billed and due at the 1st of the month in which services are to be performed. Weeklys are billed and paid a week in advance.

    There are some that pay when I arrive weekly as well. That's fine too. But I do like it completely in advance better.
  5. Turtle II

    Turtle II LawnSite Member
    Messages: 152

    Monthly billing in advance:::::::

    Man guys-----
    I feel a bite slow admiting it but "monthly billing in advance"
    -----its like a light just came on.

    I have been thinking of PaY-PAL and built in discounts to perswade them to use it (THANK-YOU JIM LEWIS) but a pre pay plan would be excelent too. Add five dollars to your price again, and discount it for the pre-pay.

    Now I can sell a "package deal".

    Where the customer can get an (A-1, Top-Notch, Four-Star, etc.) Lawncare plan.

    "I'll maintaine your lawn for 60.00 per cut, if you'd like to sign up for our lawn maintenance "no hassel" payement plan we can service your account for 40.00 per cut, etc............"

    Does this sound like a solid plan guys???

    I'm starting in the spring (getting my first exmark with tax refund)
    & I'm a little nervous about talking / trying to get the good paying customers.........

    Appericate all the help / advice from everyone here.......

    Turtle II
    Eastern, NC :cool:
  6. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,062

    Advance billing/pay stops soooo many problems, not just slow pay. I had a few problems before I realized this was the only way to go if you possibly can.

    I've found that it's much easier to get them to agree to this than bank draft when you offer the two options. People and business pay for lots of other goods and services in advance and I don't see why paying for lawn care should be any different.

    To be honest, I tripped and fell flat on my face into this idea. When I gave my proposal on my first big job, the thoughts of working my butt off and not getting paid or cutting time out in my schedule for the job only to get a call say to skip this week really weighed heavy on my mind even though the folks were rich. I offered them annual advance pay w/10% discount, semi-annual advance w/5% discount, quarterly advance, monthly advance, weekly advance or bank draft/EFT.

    They took monthly advance and I have offered those options only since.

    BTW $60 to $40 discount is way way too much!!!! Never discount that much! I've even had 1 or 2 ask why I couldn't give them a 10% discount for any pay option if I could do it for that any other way......I didn't contract with them either....
  7. devildog

    devildog LawnSite Senior Member
    from sc
    Messages: 270

    service agreement for maint, 1/2 for project / rehab & new installs work...........period. with regards... devildog
  8. Gravely_Man

    Gravely_Man LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,075

    I only ask for deposit on installs or on some new customers that give me an uneasy feeling. I will say that I always use a contract.

  9. Lawn Dog2001

    Lawn Dog2001 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,028

    Any new customers we take on get billed prepay monthly. I have been attempting to switch all of my regulars to this method as well. It works out well for me. There are always going to be people who pay late, or get behind a month. If a customer gets behind a month prepay, you are only out one months pay. If a customer gets behind a month regular billing, you are out two months pay. Prepay helps eliminate a lot of bad debt risks.

    I also take a deposit down on any landscaping jobs. Most times half down/final half to be paid the day of jobs completion.

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