Telling them to "PAY UP"

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by proenterprises, May 12, 2005.

  1. proenterprises

    proenterprises LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,296

    I have this customer, new this year, and I am already sensing a problem coming on. If any had read the thread I posted last week about the mulch mishap, this is the same customer.

    So far this season-I have done: Spring Cleanup, Fert. App., 2 mowings, Mulchin delivery. I have invoiced all of these services, but received payment thus far only for the cleanup.

    On the last invoice, I stated the the balance must be paid prior to further services ($250.00). I have yet to receive a check and the was invoiced at the start of the week. I will be calling her tomorrow.

    First and foremost, I want what I am owed. But for the future, I want her placed on weekly payment, meaning, that when I come and mow, I want a check that time, that day. I can see this unraveling into a massive bill overtime, and want to stop it now.

    How do I approach telling her that she needs to pay every week. I dont want to insult her (having herself think she is a "credit risk"), but at the same time, I know she may be?

    Any suggestions?
  2. QualityLawnCare4u

    QualityLawnCare4u LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,758

    Is this the same person that put out the mulch theirselves? If so they are stingy tightwads who will cause you nothing but stress and aggravation. If you want to keep them like you said get your money BEFORE you even drop the tailgate. I personally think you would be much happier without this one. Best to end it right now. I know I put up with a lot but I have learned to spot these kind real fast. Did you read about my client that wanted to pay me cost on all material? She is GONE!! Still owes me 87 bucks and I wont think one second about slapping a lien on her house. I aint taking no crap this season.
  3. SodKing

    SodKing LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,641

    ..are you the neighborhood kid or something? When you sign up a client they expect a 30 day line of credit. Collect every week??? Please! Is this a legitimate business or a fly by night deal, every respectable company I know of gives a 30 day grace period from the date of receipt of the invoice. If you can't live with that find a new line of work.

    oh I just read your are the neighborhood kid...
  4. QualityLawnCare4u

    QualityLawnCare4u LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,758

    Hey, lighten up on the young folks. I see a lot of critisizing on this site toward the young folks. I admire any 15-17 year old trying to get off thier butts and go to work instead of laying around the house all day watching tv and playing video games. And just like anyone else, they have to learn like us older folks do and I learn something new everyday. I was 17 one time and had a lot to ask/learn.
  5. Brianj

    Brianj LawnSite Member
    Messages: 196

    then if they dont pay after 30 days, now they are into you for 2 months,and that hurts if they dont pay, if u think they are a risk get your money weekly
  6. DFW Area Landscaper

    DFW Area Landscaper LawnSite Silver Member
    from DFW, TX
    Messages: 2,116

    I'm telling you day credit cards are the way to go.

    You give up 3%, plus a monthly fee of $20. That's cheap compared to the benefits of cash flow and not having to manage accounts receivable. The most you'll get stiffed on is one mow. If you get a decline for a cut, take them off the schedule immidiately. There is no guessing game with next day credit cards.

    Yes, you can always get stiffed on larger dollar shrub trims and clean-ups. No one has figured out a solution for that yet. But we have figured out a solution for getting stiffed on several months worth of cuts. The solution is next day credit cards.

    Mowing lawns, you'll get stiffed on at least 3% anyway. Collecting money is work. No other way to describe it. Large corporations have entire departments dedicated to managing only accounts receivable. So why extend credit when you don't have to? Let the banks do it.

    DFW Area Landscaper
  7. olderthandirt

    olderthandirt LawnSite Platinum Member
    from here
    Messages: 4,899

    MECHANIC LIEN, 10 min. of your time and if your lucky they WON"T pay for yrs. Cha Ching.
  8. jt5019

    jt5019 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,432

    I bill at the end of each month and give a due date as the 15th.Most people pay by the tenth.Theres always a couple who wait until the 15th.If i have no payment by the 15th i send out a past due notice. I normally wont cut them off unti afterl the second past due notice.
  9. pagefault

    pagefault LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 492

    Nope. Most respectable companies I know of require a credit app for net 30 terms.

    Buying a car? Pay when you pick it up or apply for credit.

    Buying a computer? Checkout: aisle 5.

    Plumbing emergency? Payment due when services are rendered.

    Oil change? Pay me now.

    Going out to eat? Here's the bill, I'll take that whenever you're ready.

    I pay for compost when I place my order and I pay the delivery guy when he drops it off. I can't think of many businesses that let everyone pay in 30 days. The utility company wants theirs in 14 days and they make you pay a deposit when you first sign up. After a few years of timely payments, they refund the deposit, but that is because they have done the equivalent of a credit check.

    This is how it worked when I was at a large company whether I was buying or selling.
  10. turfinator

    turfinator LawnSite Member
    Messages: 78

    Back when I cut residential lawns I had several new customers for the first couple years that would drive me crazy trying to get them to pay up. I came up with a plan that worked well for me. I told all customers new and old that they were required to pay at the 1st of the month for thats months service. So basically the first cut of that month there would be a cheque waiting for me and if there wasnt I would presume they did not require my services for that month. Old customers understood after I told them how I got "burnt" by nonpayers and new customers have a choice they can pay you for your services or not but if they dont pay, you dont lose.

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