How Should I Bill

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Mowin4Dollas, Jan 2, 2013.

  1. Mowin4Dollas

    Mowin4Dollas LawnSite Member
    Messages: 87

    I think I will just have a chat with every customer, and ask how they would like to be billed. When mowing season starts I will see how they do with the payment option of their choice, and adjust accordingly.

    GSO LAWNEN4CER LawnSite Senior Member
    from GSO NC
    Messages: 325

    And skipping payment!

    GSO LAWNEN4CER LawnSite Senior Member
    from GSO NC
    Messages: 325

    If you hire a plumber to come out and fix a pipe.He gets paid after he's done.If you hire a auto tech to fix your car.He's paid after he's done with the car. If you go to the barber shop,he's paid after cutting your hair.

    Why on earth would you cut someone's grass and wait a month to get paid? Thats insanity. IMHO your a fool to wait 30days for payment.

    I bill by the cut, for the cut. No money no cut. Your customers know the day your coming.Leave the check at the property. Gonna be outta town? Pay in advance for the services needed. That 30 BS puts your neck on the chopping block. Before you kno it its 60days and no payment. And by that time,you've cut the property 8-9 times. All the fuel/windsheild time/labor/ wear & tear on the equipment. You just lost a ton of money! At this point good luck getting them to pay for 9 cuts at one time.
  4. Patriot Services

    Patriot Services LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,492

    You can't compare this industry to any other in terms of payment. back when I was solo I sent invoices due on 30th of invoiced month. After I grew enough to be pickier that changed to due on the 15th of invoiced month. Now we are sitting at 286 full time customers that are all on pre-pay year round. Today is Jan 4th, I am waiting on ONLY 5 customers to pay. I'm sure they will be in the box NLT tomorrow. If not I will send a couretsy call and email. I guarantee pay per cut will have you chasing your tail to get paid. Contrary to what a poster replied your customer base will not be stay at homes and retirees. This is a luxury service that is used by dual working parent, single parent, no time for the lawn types. In other words, busy people that have more on their plates than remembering to pay the lawn guy very week. Proven fact, the easier you make it for your customers to pay you the better customers they will be. It's called service. Why wouldn't the utilities use more frquent payment systems? Because it takes time to invoice and mail every week. Another item is you dont want to be on their schedule. We never guarantee a specific time or day of week. Way too many other things happen to fall into that trap which gives the customer a reason to have missed your check. Since I know somebody else will bring this up before long. Any additional light services are invoiced and due at time of completion. Large projects and installs are 50% down and balance upon completion. Explain to the new customer your terms when meeting for first time. Mine are always " we need to paid for first months service at time of first cut", of course it's prorated if mid month. Train your customers early on, getting them to change terms after you've begun can be difficult. I know monthly is unheard of way north, but it's the standard down here. There are good and bad points to both. Think farther down the road too. Do you really want the employees handling customers checks. I can tell you most of mine wouldn't want to leave personal info laying on their front porch. The savings in toner and printing time is enough to make me not want to do it. Not a huge deal when you have 12-15 customers, pita factor comes in at about 40 and then you find a limiting factor to growing. Never build your business around the assumption that you WON'T get paid. I hear this so often you would think everybody is out to screw the lawn guy. I'm well over 20 years into this business, worked in 3 different areas and I have lost maybe a thousand in all that time to stiffs. Do what you want it's your business, we can only tell our personal experiences.:usflag:
  5. GreenI.A.

    GreenI.A. LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,131

    You are comparing apples to oranges here. I'm willing to bet that 99% of the time you call a plumber or electrician to your house, some one is home at the time of service. When you go to the barber, you are walking in their with your wallet in your pocket. The barber is not going to waste his time to collect your name and address and send a bill to you, how many one time customers run in to get a hair cut and wont be back for months if ever at all again? Be realistic hear. Getting paid at the time of service works for some lawn companies, if your clients are home or will remember too leave a check under the mat every 4th tuesday. But once you get cash flow, then waiting the extra 2 weeks for them to receive the invoice and send a check shouldn't kill anybody.
  6. Mowin4Dollas

    Mowin4Dollas LawnSite Member
    Messages: 87

    Thanks guys! Y'all are great!!!
    Posted via Mobile Device
  7. ryan41

    ryan41 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 326

    A lot of my clients are older people who are retired. They are normally home during the day and just pay me the same day. If they are not home they usually leave a check for me in the door or i will leave a invoice on the door and they pay me in a few days via mail. For commercial, bank owned & some residential accounts i always bill monthly for lawn maintenance. It is a lot easier to keep track of but its also nice to get paid when you are done. Especially if you NEED the money.
  8. scotts lawn care

    scotts lawn care LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 468

    I use the Groundskeeper Pro program. It's in the neighborhood of $400 - not bad for all it does.

    Billing, customer list & info, track expenses, employee wages, company info, accounts payable, estimates, ect.

    I bill at the end of each month, I usually have checks coming in all month because some customers pay quick, some middle of the month, some end of the month.

    I'm able to set the specific due date each billing cycle - if I want it changed. - Check it out, you may like it.

    GSO LAWNEN4CER LawnSite Senior Member
    from GSO NC
    Messages: 325

    Good points! But just as you stated about the one time only hair cut.What about the one time only lawn cut? You've cut the lawn and now your stuck waiting on payment. I dont play that game.
  10. Mowin4Dollas

    Mowin4Dollas LawnSite Member
    Messages: 87

    I have a feeling you have to cater to the type of costumer that you are servicing for. If I have a family that is on vacation, and need lawn maintenance while they are gone, I will need payment before they leave. If I have a regular weekly customer they may be billed on a monthly basis. If I have a weekly customer, but they are not as quick to pay as my others I can work out a plan for them. I think a big thing here on how to bill is just learning how to deal with people.... Maybe I'm wrong. You guys have really helped me out! Thanks a TON!

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