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Starting a lawn care business. How to start a lawn mowing business, lawn care business, or landscaping business. If you are starting a lawn care business, ask your questions here.

What way is best?


Starting a lawn care business.

How to start a lawn mowing business, lawn care business, or landscaping business. If you are starting a lawn care business, ask your questions here.
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Old 09-07-2008, 12:30 PM
SC93
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Default What way is best?

Back in the mid 90's I had a lawncare business and will be starting another one in 2009. My question is this. How do you guys think is the best way to collect payment?

By reading some of the other posts I know that some of you might ask why I'm waiting until 2009. I also own another service business and we are 100% full as far as clients go. Not to mention that our busy season is coming.

Thanks for your help.
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  #2  
Old 09-07-2008, 12:40 PM
quickcleanlawn
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what other kind of service business do you run ?
I collect payment in two ways check by mail, or cash/check on site, I use all of my monthly payments to take care of expenses, and the cash for just day to day stuff. It works out fine for me, just have to make it balance out.
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Old 09-07-2008, 04:02 PM
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House cleaning & carpet cleaning. The thing with my business now is that if payment is not on the counter, we do not complete the work. I just worry about getting ripped off in the lawn business.
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Old 09-07-2008, 07:50 PM
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My brother started to get pre-payments. He got tired of being stiffed and it was easier to stop an account when the money runs out.

Personally, like above, I bill them except for those few that want to pay right on the spot. My brother-in-law hates it when folks pay him while he's there. He feels it takes up too much of his time. Me personally, I don't mind at all. It keeps me in front of them, no ditching the bill and they would be pretty unlikely to fire you because you will always have an opportunity to hear what's on their mind.

I offer to all my accounts that they are to call me if I just pulled away or it's several days later - I will be right there to take care of whatever they need. It is those folks that don't tell you they are unhappy that are most dangerous to your business. You never get a chance to fix whatever is on their mind. You will lose opportunities to gain referrals. You will also lose the opportunity to improve. I feel that every time I show up and do a lawn I am working to keep that job all over again. I take it very seriously and want to know the minute they are unhappy.

But then again, I plan to be one of the biggest LCO's in the area. Sorry I got a little side-tracked there but you got it.
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Old 09-07-2008, 07:58 PM
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...and thats another thing I hadn't thought about. Those that want to pay while it is being mowed. This will be an all employee type of business...I won't ever be there when it's being mowed. I guess another potential problem with payment...sigh...
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Old 09-07-2008, 08:21 PM
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I highly doubt this will be problem. You either let the accounts know they are to mail it, or you trust your guys. I have always felt that if you cannot trust the people you hire, why did you hire them or why are they still working for you?

That is not to say you don't systems in place to keep people honest.

If anything, it will be those times that the crew picks up a new account and you don't even know about it. Every week they use your time and equipment but collect the money. A couple of those and they could have a pretty nice side job. If they spent an extra 20 mins a day doing other accounts, how would you know? That is a possible $100-$150 missing per week for you and yet you could be paying 1/3 or more of that in wages, not to mention other liabilities like comp.
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Old 09-07-2008, 09:27 PM
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Well, I've owned a cleaning company since 1998 with others actually inside of clients houses....do I trust people? I trust them but do I TRUST them? I never trust anyone...if that makes any sense. I do because I must...but I've come to know workers all too well. lol Almost have more problems outside the house then there is inside the house. lol When I had a lawn service before I did all the work, thats why this is all new to me with workers.
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Old 09-08-2008, 04:46 AM
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Quote:
My question is this. How do you guys think is the best way to collect payment?
Some lawn care business owners will offer a 5 or 10% discount if you prepay for the year, early in the season.

Or you could accept credit cards.
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Old 09-08-2008, 09:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SC93 View Post
My question is this. How do you guys think is the best way to collect payment?
Just starting out you might want to think of weekly, (you cut or service the customer you get paid) this will keep money flowing. this way will help allow you to keep up with expenses.

After you get established better then you can go to the Monthly billing.

I would never take a season's "pre-payment", to many things and go wrong to get yourself into trouble with this type of business practice.

Business's can't survive with out monthly cash flow.
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Old 09-08-2008, 06:47 PM
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"Monthly cash flow"

Tell me about it. Last winter I did many of my snow accounts at a 3 month billing. By the end of winter I was working with my own money - well sort of. It sucked anyway.
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