Monthly Payment "up front" for maintenance

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Stone Crafter, Mar 15, 2005.

  1. Stone Crafter

    Stone Crafter LawnSite Member
    Messages: 15

    Has anyone here ever charged "up front" for lawn maintenance?

    I'm thinking of trying a new billing system, and am wondering what peoples experiences might have been in this regard.

    I'm going to be asking customers to be paying for maintenance services for the month, "up front". I figure that will save me from ever having to deal with customers who wont pay, or are just late paying.

    As it is.... to simplify my life, I have always requested my customers pay cash (sometimes I might let it slide and let certain good customers do a check made out to cash)... and I have not encountered too much resistance because my services are very good and customers are always happy with the quality.... so I figure it can't be that much of a stretch from going all cash, to getting people to pay up front.

    Any thoughts? Now all I have to figure out is how to simplify it, to give people refunds for 'rain days'. I'd rather not play the shuffle the money back and forth game.
  2. MMLawn

    MMLawn LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,569

    You only accept CASH or a few select customers a check made out to CASH? That isn't how to run a legitmate business and if I were the customer I'd be very leary of any "business" that saw the need to do that. No way I would do it as the customer nor as the LCO. You already have the customers so you know how they pay or don't pay so that can't be the real reason. It seems as if maybe you are cash strapped by wanting them yo pay in advance. If you really see the need to get some sort of advance payment, bill them on the 1st of the month, payable by the 15th of the same month and that way they have received 2 cuts on "credit" and paid for the next 2 in advance, but that is as far as I would take it. ALso by accepting nothing but cash you are a Poster Child for the IRS Audit system.
  3. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Messages: 10,178

    yes, get paid in advance, no, not cash. cash is a hassle to collect, and too easy to spend. let them mail a check, in advance
  4. Stone Crafter

    Stone Crafter LawnSite Member
    Messages: 15

    The billing system you proposed seems like a reasonable compromise which I might try. Thank you for the idea.

    As for your other comment about how supposed "legitimate business" are run... all I can say is that this country sure is going to hell in a handbasket. You know that it is a sign that capitalism has truly died the day when you can manage to convince 95 percent of population that cash is evil.

    Dont take offense at what I am going to say, if it might seem sarcastic or not.... but I don't know if you want me to offer you congratulations, or what. You have merely illustrated that you have been brainwashed into believing something which is outright silly beyond all levels of silliness.

    Real business dont deal in cash? Ummm okay. Sure. Cash is MY preferred method of payment, and as a business owner, thats my right. I'm NOT saying you dispute that in any way; just disputing wherever you got it in your head that cash is unscupulous but being beholden to the banking system makes you legitimate. The only criteria for a legitimate business is that they give the customer what was agreed upon for payment; regardless of the type of payment that is agreed upon, be it a bank check; cash, or even sea shells.

    That general principle being stated, I also want to say that I refuse to deal with the banking system.

    Long story made short; it is a political thing relating to extensive privacy invasive banking regulations which I disagree with as an old fashioned styled ultra conservative. Most people care less about politics, so I dont expect anyone on this particular bulletiin board to remotely understand.

    A bank once gave me a hassle because my drivers license was expired preventing me from gaining access to MY damned money.

    I am a zero tolerance BS* person. That was all it took to permanently disassociate myself with ever dealing with a bank again.

    My business is small enough at this point (only 2 employees) to where the cash-only policy thing presents no problem. I don't believe in running up tabs, or setting up accounts, or taking out bank loans. I'm the old fashioned type of person who believes if you dont have the money.... then dont take out loans or have credit extended to you because that usually leads to debt.

    So in otherwords. I have no need for banks or checks. I do not feel the need to have my world revolve around everyone elses system of values. Sorry.
  5. gramps

    gramps LawnSite Member
    Messages: 241

    With all that said,how do you feel about taxes. ;)
  6. LawnScapers of Dayton

    LawnScapers of Dayton LawnSite Silver Member
    Male, from Dayton, OH
    Messages: 2,572

    ah all documented right here on for the world and the IRS to read.

    Good luck with that.......

  7. Stone Crafter

    Stone Crafter LawnSite Member
    Messages: 15

    Documented what?

    That I accept cash as payment, just like any deli or bagel store doesnt take a check or credit card when you buy lunch (which, if you have not observed, is why most Delis have a nice little sign by the register which say's <i>"In God We trust, all others pay cash"</i>)? I must be missing something.

    Besides, wherever did we get the notion that our business practices revolve around making the IRS's job easy? It doesnt.

    You do what makes YOUR job easier. Which may be accepting checks, or it may be accepting cash..... (and by the way, I'm not really arguing that cash is easier to manage, because more often its not) but in any case. If the IRS comes a knocking.... THEN you deal with them as needed... but your life certainly doesnt revolve around making their jobs easier.
  8. The Dude

    The Dude LawnSite Member
    Messages: 221

    With out checks, do you pay your employees cash? How do you handle their deductions?
  9. Updog

    Updog LawnSite Member
    Messages: 80

    I'm changing my name to Cash Landscaping. No really I know it is a pain to pay taxes I don't agree with alot of what the gov. spends but I do like having an army to protect me and nice roads to drive on and schools for my children. I hate paying taxes but I hate paying my other bills too. If you want to live in this great country and have all the freedoms we have you should pay your freaking taxes otherwise move. Those of you out there that take cash are no better than the folks on welfare. It cost money to run this country and you just take it all in for free not fair.
  10. Stone Crafter

    Stone Crafter LawnSite Member
    Messages: 15

    Unfortunately, if "roads" and "strict national defense" were all this country spent its money on, you would be paying about a 2 - 5 percent taxation rate; whereas now according to public policy groups, <i>CATO Institute</i> and <i>Heritage Foundation</i>, americans pay approximately 50+ percent when you take all the federal, state and local taxes into account.

    Furthermore, "educating kids" is not the federal governments job (as per the U.S. Constitution), nor is it the job of many states... because only states which specifically contain a clause in the State Constitution, which mentions education, have a legal obligation to provide education.... not all states have such a clause..... So lets just dispell that little straw man right off the bat... because thats not what your taxes are lawfully supposed to go to. You want to educate kids, send them to a private school. No taxpayer money needed.

    No group knows the exact amount of taxation in the US as its a rather complex matter to calculate, but 50 - 53 percent is a fair approximation by the experts. If people really understood the issues better, they would not be using <i>"road building"</i> as their straw man argument to support the entire federal government; as if thats all they do and thats all were paying taxes for.

    All of that additional 45 percent goes to either:

    (1) welfare in all its many guises including but certainly not limited to [a] personal welfare, corporate welfare and industry (i.e. airline) bailouts, as well as a [c] a trillion plus dollars in foreign aid to freeloading foreign welfare deadbeats who steal bread from the mouths of americans who work hard for their money, as I know all the people here do.
    (2) supporting and perpetuating the unconstitutional federal agencies which comprises approximately 90 percent of the federal government, which is what people who strictly interpret the Tenth Amendment often believe. In particular the Department of Education, but also the BATFE, the FDA, the DEA, Department of Agriculture, the Social Security Administration, the Transportation Saafety Administration, and pretty much almost any other federal agency you can name which the Constitution makes it pretty clear should not exist...

    Thats where your money is REALLY going. If we really spent our money just building roads, and defending our borders..... this country would be in a much better position finanicially.

    If you truly believed what you were saying, then you would have no moral problem whatsoever, cutting a check (for taxes) only to cover the costs of the things you mentioned, and you would not be perpetuating and "enabling" all the worlds freeloading welfare deadbeats by giving you YOUR money to all the unnecessary things this country spends money on.... because by doing so.... your perpetuating and aiding the worlds largest welfare state which you so despise.

    It makes no sense to me, to complain about welfare deadbeats and then you go helping them by contributing to the very system which you do not support. Maybe youd like to give some free cocaine to cocaine addicts, and then complain that they are cocaine adicts... because thats what your really saying when you get down to it. Instead of being a drug peddler, your advocating the legitimacy of being a welfare peddler by giving uber amounts of money to the worlds largest welfare state.

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