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Getting customers to pay

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by zeroman, Jul 16, 2017.

  1. Michael Ray

    Michael Ray LawnSite Member
    Messages: 214

    Excellent answer Patriot. Thanks for the detail.
     
  2. Guitargain

    Guitargain LawnSite Member
    Messages: 38

    Good info for a newbie like me. Thanks.
     
  3. grassmonkey0311

    grassmonkey0311 LawnSite Silver Member
    from MD/NC
    Messages: 2,947

    Lawn/Landscape companies will always be paid last. It's just the way it is. Figure out how to get paid first, or you will always be chasing your money.

    When I first started (after I got through all my payment problems) I billed in advance. A few others have suggest this. I did it with paypal, but you can easily do it with paper invoices, etc. As a smaller company, it works great. Any customers who won't/refuse to pay this way are generally the ones who pay slow or want to hold your money hostage until they get what they want- extra work for free. Anyone looking for a reliable service won't have an issue and will pay.

    As my business grew, the paypal/paper advance invoicing became a problem because to cancel, the customer simply doesn't pay. They didn't need to tell me, call me, write an email or a text....they just never paid. My policies covered payments, but the customers were really the ones in control. It didn't matter if I had a minimum amount of cuts or a yearly contract....to quit they stopped paying. It got to the point where it wasn't good because I didn't know who (if any or how many) were quitting at the end of the month and who were signing up knowing they would quit after a month or two. I've since switched to auto billing CC's. This puts me more in control of my business and my policies can be enforced.

    And before we get the comments about fee's.....let me squash this now.

    **Raise your rates to cover the fee's.** Your customers should be paying the charges, not you. It's just like gas, mower expenses, truck expenses or anything else associated with running a lawn/landscape business.
     
  4. jonnyz37

    jonnyz37 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 371

    i charge for that months services the first week...because i can. Once i explain why i do it, i have no issues with them understanding. late fees? i have no late fees. If they dont pay by the middle of the month, i stop service. So in affect, they can get two mows out of me before i stop servicing them. But that beats the hell out of mowing for a month and giving them till the 15th to pay...thats 6 or even 7 mows for free. And dont even talk about small claims court. It isnt worth it to persue. My system (and many others are going this way) makes my life easier and thats what matters most to me. Finally...how many clients do i lose? none, its not happened yet as a result of my payment policy. this way of billing clients only results in making my life easier. You guys can continue to chase money and get frustrated. I dont know why you would accept this fate??? ill take the easier road. you should to
     
  5. DIYOKC

    DIYOKC LawnSite Member
    Messages: 133

    Yep!!! Pass thru costs!
     
    zeroman and grassmonkey0311 like this.
  6. zeroman

    zeroman LawnSite Member
    Male, from Allentown, PA
    Messages: 64

    Training wheels thanks for the comment. That logo cost me 10.00 and they give you the file so you can put it on your business cards, tee-shirts, invoices. Go to fiverr.com you post what you would like to have done, the colors you want and artist will send you samples you pick the one you like and pay them 5.00 and then you also tip them 5.00. Well worth it.

    Don
     
  7. zeroman

    zeroman LawnSite Member
    Male, from Allentown, PA
    Messages: 64

    Thank you all for the great information, all day I was thinking about how I should handle this and I am going with prepay on my slow paying customers. One last question. When they pay by CC I have to eat that do you up your price for CC payers.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  8. Mitty87

    Mitty87 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 931

    Careful with fivrr. I got someone to do a cheap logo and it was unusable, deleted the file right away. It's only a small amount of money but the designers effort will reflect that it was only worth 5 minutes of their time.
     
  9. grassmonkey0311

    grassmonkey0311 LawnSite Silver Member
    from MD/NC
    Messages: 2,947

    Yes, raise the price. It's relatively inexpensive. 1 or 2 bucks per cut usually does it.
     
  10. weeze

    weeze LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,867

    i never bill monthly to anyone other than businesses. businesses always pay so no big deal.

    residentials never pay by the month unless it's a rare situation where they live out of state or something. i have one of those and he pays for 2 months in advance. he's done it for like 5 years now.

    most residentials pay by the cut. some prepay for 2 cuts at a time and that's fine with me. i've never had a residential customer that wanted to pay by the month. they either are at home and pay me that day or they leave a check or something along those lines. i never go making special trips trying to chase the money down. i usually text them the day before i mow so they don't forget to leave the money. sometimes things come up so they just pay for two cuts the next time i'm there so it works out.

    my goal is to never cut anything without getting paid for it. not even 1 cut.
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2017
    Charles and Wye Oak Tree like this.

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