Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by BrandonD87, Jan 8, 2011.

  1. BrandonD87

    BrandonD87 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 13

    when i start mowing this spring im going to mostly have residential lawns, how should i go about the payments? should i collect every week, 2 weeks or monthly? should i send them a bill or drive over to collect? also if i use contracts should i make family and friends sign it or just the people i dont know?
  2. xclusive

    xclusive LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,054

    Personally I send invoices at the end of the month and give my clients 15 days to pay. I would not ask for payment every 2 weeks or just show up to collect. I think that makes you look very unprofessional. As far as contracts go I would have everyone sign them this way they know what services they are getting at what cost and also it spells out the terms of the contract so you do not have "well i thought you were going to do this for this amount" etc.
  3. jbannick18

    jbannick18 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 490

    Invoiced the 15th, payment due the 30th. Its becoming more of a pain in the ass with people though, most just love to pay late. I avoided doing late fees for awhile because of the economy but starting February I'm doing $5 after 3 days and $1 each day thereafter. I got **** I need to pay but it seems most people think I live for free
  4. XLS

    XLS LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,038

    as a startup LCO working on residential properties only you may opt for pay per services where they leave the check at a specific location ( door mat) so when your complete you recieve payment ,it will not look un professional at all if it is disscussed up front . we have had clients for over 10 years who every visit we are paid this way .
  5. tlc1994

    tlc1994 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 290

    I have a new system set up for this year's work. I accept payments in cash or check form (I offer 10% off for cash payments), which I send out via email invoice or in person, at the last day of every month (I no longer do postage because it's an unnecessary expense). I give people 14 days to pay from invoice date, otherwise I stop service until paid in full with penalty. Try to be as strict as possible on late fees- it's not worth an extra customer who will be too much of a pain to work for. Monthly payment is more professional. I give contracts to all my customers, and while some may be friends and family, business is business, and eventually people will take advantage of you if you let them. At least with your friends I would highly recommend signing them into one.
  6. tlc1994

    tlc1994 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 290

    I had a question myself. In my last post I explained how I am no longer doing postage anymore, almost all by invoice via email. How (or when, rather) do some of you guys collect payments? I know some guys refuse to accept a check or cash while on jon for the last job of the month for a customer.
  7. kilgoja

    kilgoja LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 944

    i don't do email as most of my customers are older people and alot of them aren't very good at using a computer...really to be honest i've never asked...they just pay me whenever i am there to cut...if they aren't they leave a check or whatever... i know alot try to be professional by doing monthly billing and all but it's really not necessary unless you just have so many customers that's the only way to keep up with it....i would get payment the same time as you service or just ask the person what they want to do...if they are never gonna be at home and want to pay monthly i would set it up where they send you a check at the 1st of each month...say it's to protect you from people that try to take advantage by getting a month's worth of free cuts...because some people will do that...and get behind and not pay on time and such...everyone has their own opinions but for me personally i don't have time to deal with that...if someone can't pay on time i don't want them as a customer...if you get them to pay up front then it's never an issue...if they don't pay then you don't go cut...simple as that...if they pay then you hold up your end and go cut all month long.....that's just how i do it...most cut all month then send out a bill from what i've read on here but to me that's just an accident waiting to happen....but like i said some companies are so big that's all they can do to keep up with it since they have so many accounts and crews etc....even then i would still make them pay in advance or the same day of service...if they are gonna pay they aren't gonna mind either way...either way they are gonna pay the same amount each they won't mind paying in advance if they are a legit customer...that might even help you weed out the bad customers in some cases
  8. TheGoat

    TheGoat LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 273

    My clients pay for their lawn service in the way that is most comfortable for everyone involved. If they want to pay me every time I come by, ok. Once a month? That's fine too. My only requirements as far as payments go is never more than a month between payments and if they are out of towners who want me to mind their summer home, I require payment in advance.
  9. newjerseylandscaping

    newjerseylandscaping LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,174

    Question? Does anyone do a 2 week in advance at the start of each year and the two last cuts are free? that wayif people try to screw you they really get no were maby what 2 free cuts better than 4 no?
  10. fireman gus

    fireman gus LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 517

    We leave a statement at the residental properties at the end of each month. Commercial properties are sent a statement each month either by mail or by e-mail whichever they choose. We get Service Agreement Forms signed by ALL clients. These are considered permenent unless notified in writing for cancellation. If a price increase is in order we notify the clients and they choose whether to continue service or cancel

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