new customer-how long should you go without getting paid?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by AboveTheCut, Jun 15, 2005.

  1. AboveTheCut

    AboveTheCut LawnSite Member
    Messages: 137

    I have a customer (new this year) that since we started mid month, I didn't bill them in April. I sent them a bill on June 1 for 2 cuts in april and 3 cuts in may for a total of $450 ($90 per/cut). I have been faithfully cutting every week and have not seen a payment. I realize its only the 15th but most everybody else has paid already. How long should I let this go? Should I stop mowing until I get paid? I don't want the grass getting tall because it will end up My problem. any advice appreciated.
  2. 1MajorTom

    1MajorTom Former Moderator
    Messages: 6,073

    Your first mistake was you should have billed him for April especially since he was new, and you don't know his payment habits. Secondly, did you put a "due date" on his invoice that you mailed out on June 1st? All bills need to have due dates. We give our customers 15 days to pay. If there is no due date, then most customers will drag their heels so to speak.
    I would definitely touch base with this customer tonight on the phone. Especially if you didn't go over your payment plan/arrangements with him when you signed him on this April, now would be the time to do it.
  3. AboveTheCut

    AboveTheCut LawnSite Member
    Messages: 137

    as far as a due date. My invioces have a line at the bottom that says "payment due upon receipt" or something like that. I guess I'll have to call him. I just don't want to sound like a jerk but on the other hand.....
  4. The Captain

    The Captain LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 607

    I think I would call them to see if they indeed did receive the bill. (You know lost in the mail or some other actual snafu.) Do this as a quality control check call, (is the work satifactory?, is there something additional that needs attention?) and then remind them of the payment agreement, assuming you have one. Then I'd set back and wait a few days fo the check. If the grass grows and you have to raise the cut height one time or double cut it once, so be it. I'd rather do that than risk possibly being cheated out of more money. If they don't show any signs of payment, you sadly, may have your answer.

    Good luck......

  5. Tn Lawn Man

    Tn Lawn Man LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 479

    Always invoice promptly

    Always put a due date on your invoices

    Most deadbeat customers never pay from the very start. It is very rare that you will get a good payer and then months/years later they become a deadbeat.

    Get on the horn and make sure he knows that payment is due upon receipt of invoice.

    Then....change your billing habits.

    Our company does mid month billing. So the worst we are ever out is one month of service....not 7 to 8 weeks like most end of month invoicers.
  6. dishboy

    dishboy LawnSite Fanatic
    from zone 6
    Messages: 6,269

    Thirty days if they look like responsible people. My invoices say due upon receipt, most are paid within two weeks and a few trickle in. A couple get behind every year but always catch up.
  7. Todd's lawncare

    Todd's lawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    from P.A
    Messages: 548

    So if you stop and then they payup and its tall its your problem ???????????? STOP IT NOW 450 IS ALOT TO FORK OUT at one time . and if you stop and they pay and wanna keep you my 90 cut would jump to 180 .
  8. Tharrell

    Tharrell LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,967

    Paying for grass cut 6 weeks or so ago is sort of like paying for a meal you ate last month. Especially if it's a residential.
    I wouldn't wait that long to get paid.
    Doctors have the right business model. Pay when services are rendered.
  9. Precision

    Precision LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,995

    What is wrong with paid in advance. Works for me.

    Start mowing when I get one months worth of mowing paid. Then next month the same thing. I approach this last thing. " Now to get started I need a check for the first month".

    Usually they go and get the check book. If they complain. I say, it is the same way you pay for cable. If they continue complaining. "If I don't do the work, you are out $100-200 and you will find me. If I don't get paid by 10% of my people, I am out of business. What would you do?"

    Most write the check out quickly. Those that don't 50 - 50 they planned on stiffing you. So good riddance IN ADVANCE.
  10. jt5019

    jt5019 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,432

    I picked up a new guy yesterday he paid me for the first month and i didnt even start yet wish they would all be like that!Hopefully he keeps paying after the first month :rolleyes:

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