how long till you send a notice?

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by mdb landscaping, Dec 26, 2001.

  1. mdb landscaping

    mdb landscaping LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,205

    i have a few customers who i billed a month ago and still havent payed. how long do you wait before you send out a notice for payment? these are good customers and always pay, but it takes them forever. i have some customers who pay me within 3 days, while these two take a month.
  2. Richard Martin

    Richard Martin LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,699

    Well, a good time to knock on their door has already passed. If I have customers who are past due in the Christmas season I usually let them slide until a day of two before Christmas and then collect. One of mine the other day got generous to the tune of 50 extra bucks.

    I usually let them go a month and then send a bill marked "duplicate".
  3. Randy Scott

    Randy Scott LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,915

    Same here, let them go about 30 days.
  4. Indiana

    Indiana LawnSite Member
    Messages: 246

    I had a customer who was cronically late every month. Good customer very generous and friendly except she was on the road always for work.

    I sent her some notices, etc... no difference. Finally I called her and caught her while she was home. I explained the situation to her and that waiting for my money was killing me.

    We came up the arrangement of her paying the same amount every month automatically online and I would bill her for the balance (if there was one). It has been over a year now and it has worked great.

    Talk to them, is my advice. Explain it in person or by phone call. Sometimes notices, late charges, etc... don't work. Some people just honestly don't think about it. Some don't care. Either way you have got to talk to them and see what they say.

    My situation was a little different, she is a good customer just needed a different arrangement. She gives me free reign of her property which is a 6 acre estate. I don't abuse her trust, do things for her for fair prices when they need to be done.

    SCAPEASAURUSREX LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 835


    Do you use contracts ?? Have terms of payment specified ?? I give my clients 15 days from the time I think they should have received the bill from me.. If not then I tack on a late fee and resend the bill untill it gets payed.. I also follow up with phone calls and such.. But dont let it go too long.. the longer you wait the harder it is to get payed...My good clients I give alot of leway to .. Dont want to make them leave me.. So I'll give them up to 2 months without hassles.. But never had to go that long.. Yet ??
  6. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,876

    Well, of course my answer is put them on Automatic Payment. But I've already gone over that plenty of times here so I won't go into that again.

    If you're not interested in Automatic Payment for some reason, then you need to either

    1) except the fact that their will always be late payers and plan your finances accordingly

    2) Begin harrassing people for money on a regular basis.

    3) Get rid of chronic late payers.

    Because as you grow, this problem grows. It just gets worse. Some guys just figure in that a certain percentage of their income will be late on a regular basis.

    Personally, that kind of stuff drives me nuts and I don't like any of the options above. So I came up with my own solution that has worked wonders (autpay). We went from about $4000-5000 per month in late payers to almost nothing nowadays.

    Those are pretty much your options.

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