How do you bill/invoice

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Mortymower, Oct 3, 2005.

  1. Mortymower

    Mortymower LawnSite Member
    Messages: 64

    How do ya'll leave the customer a bill if they aren't there, and then how do you track whether or not they have paid yet??
  2. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    If my scanner worked, I'd show you how I fill in my paperwork but basically I went to staples and bought some:
    National Brand Premium Analysis Pad - 6 Column, Item No. 45-306
    (by Avery Dennison)
    I looked it up and you can see a pic but it is a 12-column wide-style, I like the 8.5 x 11 better but whatever, here it is:
    (you can click More Views to get a better look)

    So it is like a spreadsheet, ok put day of week on top (6 column = Mon-Sat), customer's name to the left side (either alphabetical or by location), then cross-x jobs between those two, fill it all in with a pen and you got a schedule!
    When a job needs doing, it's written in plain sight.
    Once a job is done, one line through the word lets me know it is done.
    When a job is paid, an X mark takes care of this.
    There's a little column on the far left you can use for other info (I usually put a number there which tells me how OFTEN it needs doing).
    Or you can use the little left column for things like 'Paid' or whatever, it's got room for plenty little details, I like using the letters O, X and the checkmark as well: Checkmark means it needs doing, O means done, X means paid.

    If you get REAL good, you can squeeze two weeks in there (I do) but start out with one week and use the extra space to learn.

    Far as billing, while I was at Staples I picked up a butt-load (about 6 or 10) of the cheapest, generic receipts (non-carbon copy because it's THEIR bill, I have my own records on the pad), so when they're not home I fill this out with a pen (wipe hands on pants first) and neatly fold it and stick it somehow about eye-sight in their front door / screen-door: Remember to put your address on it so then they send me check in the mail.
    To save some time, I bought a pre-inked stamp online from qwikmark which costs about 20 bucks but so then I take a pad (or 3) and neatly stamp my address on each one so in the field, all I do is fill in the rest.
    Hope that helps.

    PMLAWN LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,534

    You have Internet access so you must have a computer.
    Quick books will work well for you and Gopher is great at tracking the job, making a schedule, and tracking billing. They give you a free trial and are at the top of the page, look up.

    Try not to get paid at the job as it will eat a lot of time.
    I bill monthly
  4. Tvov

    Tvov LawnSite Bronze Member
    from CT
    Messages: 1,157

    I use QuickBooks. Bill monthly by mail. Most of the time customers are not home when I am on the property, and I don't want them to give checks/cash to employees.
  5. walker-talker

    walker-talker LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 4,771

    I bill once a month using Lawn Monkey scheduling/invoicing program. Grant it, you don't need to spend $1200 on a program. Look into Gopher, it's offered at a resonable price and I hear they have great support.
  6. lwcmattlifter

    lwcmattlifter LawnSite Senior Member
    from NC
    Messages: 859

    I use Quickbooks also. This is by far the most time saving investment I have made for the business. I send out invoices monthly. Who wants to cash 4 checks a month when you could only do it once? QB lets you select your terms of payment and it tells you if you have not received payment and how many days late it is. You can set QB to print out collections letters for the late payers also. When I purchased QB it came with Customer Manager. I have not used it yet but it's supposed to track service work. Currently I have spreadsheets with customer names and addresses all you have to do is write the date the work is performed. I have separate spreadsheets for mowing and landscaping. I'm working on switching to customer manager this fall which means the laptop is going in the truck.
  7. Tn Lawn Man

    Tn Lawn Man LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 479

    I designed my own stuff on excel mostly.

    I made a spread sheet for each route with empty colums labeled for example (visit 1, visit 2, etc...)

    At the end of the day the crew writes todays date in the space next to each property they completed. This way if there is a rain delay and the property is serviced the next day it will reflect it correctly.

    I bill once a month. Weekly billing too much work as far as I am concerned. And, if you accept credit cards then weekly billing is much much more expensive.
  8. FiremanDud

    FiremanDud LawnSite Member
    Messages: 93

    I'm new to the business and I considered all of the one's mentioned above. Being new I have a very tight budget so I did a search on google for lawn care programs and came across lawn pro. It's the most simply to use program I have ever used. It's only 54 dollars and it does everything I want from invoices, scheduling, letter writing, estimates, and tons more. If your on a tight budget like I am then you should really look at this program as a start up software.
  9. LB1234

    LB1234 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,208

    Ahhhh....but you WILL get paid. And, time is money...
  10. hole in one lco

    hole in one lco LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,793

    Ill give you a good tip scan and print copies of all checks for your records
    I have files for all my customers billed monthly

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