Question about monthly billing

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by inzane, Oct 18, 2013.

  1. inzane

    inzane LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,478

    I've had a few issues with slow payers this year, i know its the nature of the job.. But to make getting paid easier i'm gonna try to go to monthly billing next year for any new maintenance accounts. 7 month agreements from april-october, and require first month up front, then bill on the 15th due on 1st. for those who bill this way, or have tried. Wondering how it worked out? I am not going to require a contract, so they can have an easy out if they need it.. I'm hoping that will help make it atleast a little more appealing to the customer. I know i won't pick up as many new customers, but thinking of all the deadbeats i'll weed out this way.

    I have a few who still owe me for august, and i may never see that money.. And these are clients that i bill "due upon receipt" and they decide they want to pay monthly anyway. My fault for not handling it better i know.. I've gone from 30 mowing customers to 20 because i dropped my slow pays, and cheapskates. Hoping it will help me get more customers that will let me come weekly to mow rather than bi-weekly which made this year real difficult with the amount of rain.
  2. LawnsharkMB

    LawnsharkMB LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 650

    I don't think 15 days is enough time.

    I bill at the first of the month for the previous month and put due by the end of the month. A lot of people wait until later in the month and pay all their bills at one time.

    I have a few that go over but I'll just knock on the door or call and nicely ask if they received a bill and they pay on the spot or get it in the mail.
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  3. inzane

    inzane LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,478

    so you work for 2 months before you get paid for the first month?
  4. caseysmowing

    caseysmowing LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,137

    Looking to something similar next year. Curious on how to sell this to new clients. Would like to get away from billing by mail every month and do emailing. I have a hard time keeping up with the checks and getting them to the bank in a timely matter. Some pay in a day or two some two weeks some right at the end of the month. Three times to the bank and three time logging in payments. Then more phone calls for slow payers. Prepay would be great.
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  5. 205mx

    205mx LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,393

    I bill Net 15 and dot have a lot of issues. I have 60 clients. 10 of them pay within 5 days. 40 of them pay on time. 5 of them pay within 30 days. And about 5 are almost always slow or wait to pay until the accumulate 2-3 months worth
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  6. LawnsharkMB

    LawnsharkMB LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 650

    Most customers pay by around the middle of the month for the previous. Commercial accounts are the worst. They pay towards the end of the month for the previous month. Just how it is.

    I have a website and give them the option to pay online. A few of them do that so I get some right away.

    I only have about five or six stragglers that pay right at the end of the month and then a couple that will never pay if you don't stay on them.

    I write PAST DUE INVOICE in big red letters on the bill and knock on the door or call for those that don't like to pay on time. You gotta stay on top of some people or you'll never see your money.
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  7. inzane

    inzane LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,478

    I picked up 2 new accounts today and one of those pre-paid for a fall clean-up for next week already, and is gonna have no problem with the bill in advance on a 7 month maintenance contract next year. The other lady was on a fixed income, so I didn't even bark up that tree there.. lol. I am gonna offer monthly billed in advance, and then allow some to pay after the work is completed if they don't like pre-pay. I give them 15 days to pay. Its pay as they go, there is no contract, i don't see how that is unreasonable when they can drop me anytime. Most of the mowing customers i've had this year havent had a problem with that. I try to go with my gut feeling, but have been wrong before. I know when that lady today said she was on a fixed income, my first instinct was to run to the truck.. lol.
  8. LawnsharkMB

    LawnsharkMB LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 650

    About half of my fert/pest control customers pre pay, but as for the mow and go only I don't think it would work.

    If you start dropping people that are a little late on payments you'll start losing your presence in that neighborhood. You'll get your money sooner or later. I've had to go to a guys house at 8 am on a Saturday morning to get paid for $300 worth of mow and go's. He acted like it was no problem to pay it even though I had sent several bills through the mail and even stuck a couple in the door.

    Also it's sounds like you'll be doing a lot more billing/record keeping than if you just did everything all at once at the beginning of the month.
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  9. TX Easymoney

    TX Easymoney LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,109

    I bill on contracts for most all clients...residential I get a credit card number and charge their card monthly..invoices are emailed...QuickBooks tracks and I send followup reminders
  10. Dvasqz6

    Dvasqz6 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 45

    I'm currently cutting 60 residential a week and they pay one month in advance. My billing cycle consist off on the 1st of the month for one half of my clients too pay by the 15th. for the other half of my clients on the 15th. off the month too pay by the 30th any time after that they would pay a ten dollar late fee. By doing the bill cycle this way I have money coming every week in stead at the end off the month. Been doing this for 20 years now with no problem with the exception of one or two occurrences and they sent the extra fee when that happens.

    As for the invoice I have it set up in a two envelop system, a #10 & #9 with see through bottom right window purchased at Office Depot, one part of the invoice is for them to keep for their records and the other is with self-address envelop to me along with their check so as to keep track of record on my part. ( Record everything, Inv #, Chk# , Date recieved, Etc...)

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