Last months payment...overdue?

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by mkwl, Jul 5, 2006.

  1. mkwl

    mkwl LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,700

    Hey guys, I've got a question for you. I have a client (have had for past 3 years), who I billed for last months mowing 2 weeks ago. In the past, this client has paid punctually, though I still haven't received a check from them yet. I sent out another re-bill last week, thus far to no avail. How long do you expect to have a bill "hanging" before it is paid? What is your number of days after a bill is mailed, to when you expect to have a check in your hands? Should I be concerned for not having received payment for a bill sent out 2 weeks ago?

    Thanks in advance,
  2. lawnwizards

    lawnwizards LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,439

    i put net due in 7 days on the invoice. if its not paid by then, i'm going to their house. no more of this giving credit shizzle.
  3. JJLandscapes

    JJLandscapes LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 682

    some people pay the first monday some people take 2-3 weeks.. i have some customers who pay every other month because they dont want to pay a small bill and wait til it accumilates

    every customer is diff... some customers def the new ones we go new lee way too they stop getting cut if bill isnt paid
  4. gqnine44

    gqnine44 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 502

    If they always pay and have paid for 3 years I wouldnt worry about it. Although, last year I had a client who I had for several years just stop paying. She apparenlty hit some money problems and went kinda crazy. She wouldnt come to the door and never answered the phone. It was really strange. I finally got paid at least.

    We sent out a lot of bills throughout the month. It isnt uncommon for customers to not mail payment for 30 days or so. Most come in around 7-15 days but the more customers you get the more speeds of payment you will grow a custom to.

    HOOLIE LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,981

    It's not uncommon for customers to...go on the summer :) I too get some regular payers that sort of slack off June-Aug.
  6. dcondon

    dcondon LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,246

    Yup, Some can be even 3-4 weeks before paying.
  7. dvmcmrhp52

    dvmcmrhp52 LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Pa.
    Messages: 4,205

    Does this really mean you sent out a second invoice after only a week?
  8. toac

    toac LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 349

  9. firefightergw

    firefightergw LawnSite Gold Member
    from Texas
    Messages: 3,340

    After a couple of customers have tried to burn me, here is how I do it. Some customers pay weekly by CC. Those are no problem. Some customers pay weekly and some monthly by invoice. If the payment is due, we will provide one more service. At that time, we will call the customer and let them know that services are now stopped either A) we receive payment or, B) they call us to inform us of what is going on, that we understand that sometimes things happen. We call twice each week for the next two weeks. If, after two weeks and still no return phone call we go to plan C) which is one more phone call with the following message if they do not answer. "This is X with X company. As of this date, we have left you several messages in regards to your owing us a balance due of $X. As of this date, you have failed to contact us and therefore we are giving you your final warning. If you do not return this call by tomorrow afternoon, we will go to the courthouse and file a lien against your property and I promise you that once we do that it will be the most expensive two mows that you have ever had or ever will have. Again, we need to hear from you. This is your last warning. We are trying to help you rectify this the least expensive way possible."

    Not once, has plan C failed. Not once after plan C have we waited more than one week to receive payment.

    Hope this helps.
  10. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    No doubt, I don't usually get nervous until 60-90 days into it but you might check and make sure in any case that they still live there...
    But that's only with long-term customers that have been with me at least a year, newcomers I get nervous when the first bill goes unpaid.

    Any of the following is a good indication: Cars in the driveway still the same, you've seen the customer at least once, and I hate to do this but open the mailbox and see (just look, don't disturb contents) if the mail is still addressed to your customer. As a rule, even one important mail (such as the electric co.) is good, while junk mail is not a good indicator.
    Other things, too... Like suddenly there's toys in the yard when there were none before (or vice versa), just odd stuff you gotta look out for, as a hint or clue.
    The reason I say this I had a *&%^'er that moved away (without paying for ONE service) and the new owner never said a word, just let me keep servicing the yard except he never paid. That's just the kind of thing drives most of my attitude today, but it's also what keeps my eyes wide open anymore, I didn't get stuck with much but just enough to really wake me up.

    Also, if someone recently got married or found a S.O., sometimes this leads to financial demise (not as funny as some may think).
    Then I had a guy just paid up for the whole year, his first payment in full... I was starting to get nervous but he's been with me since day 1, all the above elements were in place (cars in driveway the same, etc), so that helped...

    So you never can tell upfront, but keep your eyes peeled, look for the clues.

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