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Operational Excellence! Billing?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by cpel2004, Feb 6, 2005.

  1. cpel2004

    cpel2004 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,415

    I need your help with controlling my business. I have been in business since June 04. I currently have forty-five accounts out of the forty accounts my 4 newest account are on a 12 equal month billing plan, the rest of the accounts are per cuts basis. To ensure my success I would greatly appreciate your knowledge as to the best way to change the following:

    1.To change per cut customers to monthly installment customers?
    2.Training monthly customers especially in the colder months to pay on time?
    3.When would it be a good idea to change from per cut billing to equal payment billing?
    4.Handling slow paying customers?
    5.For per cut billing and installment customers when should the bill be presented? Should the bill be sent out after I have completed all of the cuts per that month or during the middle of the month, if so how do I handle the second half of the month if your not able to mow due to the weather conditions but I have already included that service in their per cut bill.
  2. thill

    thill LawnSite Member
    Messages: 245

    We might be able to help on a couple of your questions:

    The best time to sell or convert to a 12 month billing plan is in the spring. When they see how much less they will be paying on a month with five cuts.

    If you miss a cut due to weather, take the price for one cut it out of the next months billing.

    We send all bills on the first day of the month for the cuts that month.

    Slow pay in the fall and winter is easy. You have more time to stay on top of slow pay folks and follow up with them before it becomes two months of slow pay.

    Hope this helps some.
    Good luck
  3. KINGjosh

    KINGjosh LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 531

    1. just right them a letter explaining that there is no difference, except for better cash flow for you and them.
    2. Hard one!
    3. spring
    4.another hard one, you dont really want to drop these customers just yet, wait untill you reach a nice customer base
    5. I do at the end of the month after all services were renderd, you could also bill some at different times of the month. still billing after services were performed but different times of the month , like the 1st for one set of poeple and the 15 for the ohter.

    Where abouts in pompano do you service? How much are you getting per average size lawn? Are you doing just residential? What kind of mower do you have?
  4. cpel2004

    cpel2004 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,415

    Thnaks for the response, my name is Antwan, just started in June 2004, We cut in WPB, Boca Raton, and Sawgrass. We have 45 residential accounts and zero commercial accounts. I'm always looking for ways to top grade every aspect of my business. I love this business and the potenial it offers. My goal is 50-75 high end customers. Those are the only customers I want! Less cutting and more trimming What about yourself...
  5. Precision

    Precision LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,995

    1. don't know haven't needed to do it. But my suggestion would be to incentivise them. As in raise rates, but offer not to if they switch to monthly billing.
    2. I bill all my customers 1 month in advance. They are due 01 Feb for February service. Get service suspended for lack of payment by the 7th. That seems to help. I also charge a 15% late fee if they are more than 15 days late.
    3. Spring is a good time, but as in #1 raise rates time would be the best so it seems like you have given them a discount. for going to monthly.
    4.Implement a late fee. may not work if not already in the contract but you could send a letter stating the new policy then give one month grace (with a letter sent) then hit them with the fee the second time. Just be aware that late payers may walk when you get tough.
    5. I always leave the estimate with a check in hand if they agree to service. One month worth. I signed someone today for $190 per month. got a check and she will be billed for next month ahead of time as well. Why extend credit? People who demand that are the ones who know they are going to screw you at some point. Don't apologize, don't make a big deal. Just say what you do and let them respond. Most of the time I hear "oh, ok. How much do I need to give you today?"

    Monthly billing is for the month, not the number of mows. NO CREDITS given. Run a professional business and do the work right. If you get monsooned out, the clients realize that.
  6. stumper1620

    stumper1620 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,889

    This is a great way to manage all of the issues you mentioned read this thread by jim lewis about autopay.

    I haven't tried this yet myself but it sure sounds like a great way to encourage customers to use a installment plan plus it addresses slow pays. :D

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