non-newbie with new collections problems

Discussion in 'General Industry Discussions' started by ariensman, Jul 1, 2007.

  1. ariensman

    ariensman LawnSite Member
    Messages: 25

    I have thirteen years under my belt and have not ran into any major collections problems until this year. I have two accounts(residential) that I want to keep because of ease of mowing, but they don;t like to pay on time or only with serious effort. what do other companys do. I work by myself with my wife doing the bookwork. suggestions??????????????/
  2. Supper Grassy

    Supper Grassy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,582

    have them pay for # mowing in advance
  3. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    Those I have to chase every time, that I can't deal with.
    Like yourself, I run into those I'd like to keep, and it presents a dilemma.

    With an account I like to keep for reasons such as yours, my first attempt at collecting includes a 2nd bill with the note 'Prompt payment ensures continued service"

    It has solved more than a few for me.
  4. Mountain Peak

    Mountain Peak LawnSite Member
    Messages: 203

    This is only my third year but I ran into the same problem this spring. After looking through this site to see what others have done I started adding a 20 dollar late fee on the 15th and ENFORCE it. I have kids to feed so I can't wait to get my money from slow pays. I also started getting weekly credit card payments from a few customers and sent out a letter with my last invoice to try and sign more people up. ALL of my new customers are on weekly credit card payments.

    Just doing this the last two/three months has helped my cash flow a bunch. The only ones I don't do the late fees with are my commercial accounts and they get 30 days instead of 15.

    HOOLIE LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,981

    If you accept credit cards, just tell the chronic slow-payers they have to pay by CC or find another company. Anybody I've signed up in the past year and a half, they go on CC...
  6. americanlawn

    americanlawn LawnSite Fanatic
    from midwest
    Messages: 5,955

    We do not take one-time mows. We require a signed contract. We bill mowing accounts once a month. 15 days after billing, if they don't pay, we stop service. After that, we either file small claims or else put a mechanic's lein on their property.
  7. ariensman

    ariensman LawnSite Member
    Messages: 25

    Quick note to all, I truly appreciate the input. Alot of the ideas I have been mulling around but just wasn't sure. I am checking into starting to take credit cards. Once again thanks
  8. fiveoboy01

    fiveoboy01 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,988

    Well I'd think that if you have this many years under your belt, you should have more than enough customers that losing 2 won't put that large of a dent in your income.

    Give them one last chance, explain that you show up on time every week to cut their grass, and that you expect them to pay on time. Let them know that if it continues, you are going to discontinue service permanently. Then if the problem persists, drop them.
  9. DiyDave

    DiyDave LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,695

    Try this on the slow payers, or those who "forget" to pay on time. It helps, if you don't give a damn, whether they stay or go with someone else! Leave a strip unmowed from the front door to the mailbox on your next (possibly last) cut. Make it say 2 widths of your mower wide. When they call to complain (they will, trust me!) you say I must have forgotten to cut that area of the lawn, I will be right over to cut it, and at the same time I can pick up your check from the last X mowings (X being the # of mowings they owe you for). Be polite, and practice saying this with just the slightest trace of a smile. If you start laughing, this ruins the effect, and takes all of the fun out of the technique. I have converted an out of control customer or two with this method, and one even complemented me on the method. Be the one in control- the most you can lose is a deadbeat customer!
  10. prizeprop

    prizeprop LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 822

    Thats pretty good!!!! I like.

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