Guys! I can't believe more people haven't caught onto this. There is a simple and easy way to get rid of slow and late payers for good in this business. I see posts all the time about "How do I get people to pay me on time?" etc. Sheesh, we must see 100 or more posts like this a year. The truth is there's a simple solution - Automatic Payment. I've talked about it many times here but I'll explain it again. It's really the best solution out there. Before I get into how it works and such let me explain how I came upon this. I too was struggling with late payers about 2 years ago. I always had. But it wasn't as big a deal when I was smaller. But as our company began to grow the problem became much more pronounced. Late payers are a problem and always will be. They exist in good economies and in bad ones. And ours are usually the first bills to be ignored if money is tight because people know their consumer credit won't be effected by paying us late like it will if they don't pay Citi Bank. So we have to be smart. Let's take a lesson from others who are in our position - health clubs for instance. They are in the same boat. Many people sign up for a health club membership but then as their resolve to work out fades so does their interest in paying their bill on time. So most health clubs now require AutoPay in order to become a member. We should take note! I finally reached my breaking point 2 years ago when late pays accounted for over $4000 each month. I had had enough. And out of adversity often comes inginuity. So I searched for a way to rid myself forever of this problem. First, I began to look for a local Payment Processing company to process Automatic Payments (AutoPay) for me. Once I found one that was affordable I began to offer it to all of our clients - new and old. Now obviously most people aren't going to choose to have money taken out of their accounts automatically if there is no incentive. And I don't blame them. I hate it when things come out of my account automatically. But the fact is more and more companies are offering or requiring it nowadays. And people are at least used to the idea. They just need an incentive. The incentive I give to new clients is that I offer a $15 per month discount if they sign up for AutoPay. (In all actualilty I just penalize those who don't sign up by $15. I never lowered any of my prices.) Now, when I give an estimate it has two prices on the bottom. One for AutoPay and one rate if they "prefer to be invoiced" ($15 more). And guess which one 95% of new clients choose? I gave no incentive to current clients who had always paid on time. I don't mind invoicing people if they pay on time. But I did offer the program to all of them. I gave a good incentive to chronic late payers - sign up for AutoPay or we'll cancel your service (I worded it a lot more cordial than that.) Some did. Others chose to leave. I didn't care. And have been better off without them. Today, 2 years after we began this program, we have about 80 clients signed up on AutoPay. That's over half of our clients. And that percentage is constantly growing. Lawn and Landscape Mag says that LCOs turnaround their clientel almost 100% about every 7 years. So as we lose older clients (which is normal as people die, get divorced, move, etc) and sign on new ones, our percentage of people on AutoPay goes up every month. I fully expect to have 95% of our clients on this program in another 3 years. The results? Well, we get about 95% of our payments on time every month. And 99% within another 5 days. Accounts receivable are almost nothing. Guys I am telling ya, this is the way to go. Life is so much better when you don't have to worry about this stuff. If you are interested in doing this you can call around and find a local company to handle AutoPay for you. Or I can give you the number to the company I use. They can handle payment processing for you regardless of where you live. It's simple and very affordable. And it's worth checking out.