Originally Posted by GreenBlue
Finally we are getting somewhere, that takes care of input from SNethercutt LOL.......LawnBoy where are you, how do you go about doing this?
Here is how I do it, and I just did it again yesterday and it works.
Customer: Can you mow my crap filled weed yard?
Me: Of course!!!!!!! The charge is $40 per cut. How does that sound?
Customer: Great! Its in the same ballpark as everyone else. How do you bill? Me: Our billing is very easy. We accept cash, check, debit/credit. I send bills out the first of every month to be paid by the 20th of the same month. For example, April 1st invoices go out (due April 20th) that cover May services. May invoices go out (due May 20th) for June services. At this point, the advance billing will click in their head!!!
The reason we do this is so we can spend more time with our customers making sure things are done right. It's easier and our customers prefer it. It's no different than cell phone companies. But please keep in mind that your last invoice will be due October 20th, which is great because the holidays are coming up!
I know Cheese and a few others on here can get customers to pay a few months in advance, I can't. Its a high cost living area and some people just don't have the cash to throw down up front. This is the best way for me....so far. I also like it because I get the warm and fuzzy in my stomach showing up to a job that I've already gotten paid for. Anything other than mowing that a customer wants done, I look at it from the money side. For example, I got a call yesterday from someone who wants their shrubs trimmed and small garden weeded. I told her I'll send her the bill of $100. This is the total cost of the job. She'll pay it before I do the job. Now, on the flip side, I have an aeration job I'm doing today, the total is $220. I told the guy 50% is due up front, then 50% is do upon completion. I figured that was fair so it'll give him time to come up with the money or whatever. I try to work with them!!! He asked if he could pay in full after I was done, I said yes of course. If you keep your billing simple, clear cut, and to the point, its easy. Even if they try to stiff you (if you bill out monthly after services are performed)......which brings me to.....
Emails. Believe it or not, emails are considered mail. It is illegal to hack into someones email. Courts also count email as certified mail. I WILL TAKE NO JOB UNLESS APPROVED BY THE CUSTOMER IN AN EMAIL! Every quote I do is emailed to them with the details and scope of the work, as well as billing and the total. I never tell prices or quotes over the phone....it must be email.
This is how I bill full service customers. To give me an upper hand on things, I don't bill them for 12 months. I only do the mowing season (for me, about 7 months). There are 2 reasons I do that....its very hard to collect any money in December, January and February (especially when they haven't even seen your face in a few months!). It also makes the customer feel like they are getting a deal. I break my price down into 7 month totals and bill the same price every month. But again, EMAIL THEM THE QUOTE!
I don't do contracts (although they should be called agreements...). I never tell my customers I don't do them, but if they ask, I say " Well Sir, I don't do contracts because I want to earn your business every week." Little do they know when they confirmed my email, they entered an angreement. Bidding and quoting accounts are no good unless you can sell. But remember, the more you talk, the deeper the hole your digging for yourself. I was always taught to give your sales pitch THEN SHUT UP!