How Should I Bill

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

  1. nozzy

    nozzy LawnSite Member
    Messages: 67

    When you start having some customer paying each time, others skipping a week here and there and then hopefully catching up later, and still others on monthly invoicing, some paying cash, some writing personal checks to you, and so on - pretty soon you have no real system in place, things easily get over-looked, mistakes become inevitable, and everything starts taking way longer than it needs to.

    Every legitimate company has a consistent clear system in place to handle their billing on the terms they have established. When you let everyone just decide when they feel like paying you, pretty soon things turn into a big mess - most likely resulting in you getting screwed.

    Even when you are small, get a clear cut system in place and stick to it. It is MUCH easier to see who owes you money and plan for when it should be coming in when you are consistent in your processes.

    In fact, while you are small is the best time to be getting all of your systems perfected. You have more time and it is easier to change things that aren't optimized. Always be thinking, "if I had to do this task for 10 times as many customers would there be a better way to do it?" If the answer is yes, then start working to implement the new system while it is still easy.
  2. weeze

    weeze LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 12,743

    i always write on a huge calendar what yards i cut on what day. i put boxes by each name to check off. one box to check off when the work is done and another to check off after they pay. it's easy to keep up with that way.

    i'm solo though and the most yards i would cut in one day is 5. our yards are big around here. it's not much to keep up with to be honest. i've never had to go chasing down my money or anything.
  3. nozzy

    nozzy LawnSite Member
    Messages: 67

    Not sure what that means, but from a brand NEW customer's standpoint I would find it really weird when you have been to my place one time and now I'm already getting a bill for a whole month. Now suddenly some work has been performed that I'm already being asked to pay for but there is a bunch more that I'm now being asked to prepay for? As a customer I would find this annoying and confusing.

    I guess if I'm that worried someone isn't going to pay me that I can't trust them for one month's worth of service, I just wouldn't work for them period. There are people you will encounter like that and you have to trust your gut. If you get that feeling from talking with them, just say something like, "after looking more at this job and property I don't feel like my company can provide you with the services you are looking for. I wish you the best of luck." Shake their hand, wish them a good day, and get back in your truck - simple as that. You don't have to work for anyone you don't want to.

    9 times out 10 that bad feeling you have is dead on. The longer you do this the easier it is to spot that undesirable customer and avoid them before they become your problem.
  4. cpllawncare

    cpllawncare LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,659

    Very good point Nozzy, That's one of the biggest reasons I like AL, I get high quality clients, no riff raff! so I don't have to worry about trusting my gut feeling,which is apparently not very good LOL! because I did have three no pays last year ,none of which came from AL but am now down to two since I implemented a collections system. I wouldn't feel comfortable asking for pre payment of services. I probably wouldn't take someone to small claims court over $100 but I don't have anybody that only pays $100/month all my clients are $200+/month

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