Lawn Care Business Forum Lawn Care Business Book Lawn Care Business Blog Lawn Care Software
Home Forum Contract & Flyer Templates Blog Software Videos Podcast Calculators / Estimators Store Mower Review Design It Yourself Lawn Business School

Go Back   GopherHaul Landscaping & Lawn Care Business Marketing Forum > Business > General Business Discussions

General Business Discussions A place to talk about general business discussions.

Collections at the end of the Season.


General Business Discussions

A place to talk about general business discussions.
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
  #1  
Old 01-08-2009, 01:03 PM
Totally Green Totally Green is offline
Gary
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Northwest Louisiana
Posts: 90
Rep Power: 7
Totally Green
Default Collections at the end of the Season.

08' was my first year in business. We made it through the whole season with only one client failing to pay. Now that the end of the season is here, I have several (previously prompt paying) customers who have failed to pay their final bill. Is this something out of the ordinary or is it common around the holiday season?
__________________
Totally Green Lawn Care, LLC
http://www.totallygreenlc.com
Reply With Quote

Stop guess-timating. Learn how to estimate and make money! $$$
Mow Time Estimator Lawn Care Price Estimator Mulch and Topsoil Calculator Snow Plow Estimate Calculator


  #2  
Old 01-08-2009, 02:52 PM
FaccLndscpng FaccLndscpng is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Phila PA
Posts: 118
Rep Power: 7
FaccLndscpng is on a distinguished road
Default

Lawn care business tipsLawn Care Business Book
This happens to me all the time, last season I had a property manager owe me $1,500.00 and it took him until Feb to finally pay. And as of now I still have some past due accounts but it is just normal and I know that after a few mailings or a phone call it will finally trickle in. The holidays, the economy and peoples ignorance are most likely the causes. Just remember it and either don’t work for them next season or just accept the fact they are late payers and you definitely have to keep on them!
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 01-08-2009, 02:56 PM
Steve's Avatar
Steve Steve is offline
Administrator
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 37,223
Rep Power: 10
Steve has disabled reputation
Default

Hi FaccLndscpng,

What kinds of things should a lawn care business owner do to get those bills paid that are lagging from last season and how long should they wait before they take further steps?
__________________
- Subscribe to my Lawn Care Marketing Blog Feed and get daily tips sent to you. Free!
Download your Free trial of Gopher Lawn Care Software.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 01-08-2009, 05:33 PM
FaccLndscpng FaccLndscpng is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Phila PA
Posts: 118
Rep Power: 7
FaccLndscpng is on a distinguished road
Default

Well this is what I do, first you get a copy of your invoice with “Past Due” stamped on it, if nothing after a few weeks then you go to a letter and remember to include you “Past Due” invoice (that “Past Due” really scares people its very powerful so always remember to make that stamp BOLD). If this doesn’t work you go to a phone call or stop by the house. Be persistent, that’s the key people will get so sick of seeing your face of seeing invoices in the mail that they will pay to get it over with. People are either forgetful of ignorant, sometimes the original gets lost in the mail and they pay by the second notice sometimes they don’t have the money and are embarrassed but eventually do get you the money. Just don’t forget it, and next season if you still choose to work with them raise your rates for the fact that they are a pain and don’t honor due dates. I have some people that pay their bills so fast that I didn’t even think they got the bill yet, these are the people that you take care of.
Now as for the Property manager that owed me $1, 500.00, I was just persistent with him and knew that I was getting on his nerves, I also knew that he was always in other states with his other properties and that he needed me for next season (he was too lazy to find someone else and have to show them around …) so I knew eventually would pay me, but if another month would have went by I would have been seen waiting outside of his house with a baseball bat! And going to court isn’t always the option because a majority of the money owed is under $100.00. Just chalk it up as timing, holidays, economy, and the fact that you cant dangle the “no more services until your account is brought up to date” factor over their heads, you will get your money just not as fast as you wanted it. Just face it we Landscapers are the bottom of the chain and that people will pay their other bills on time and get to us when their ready not when were ready besides we don’t have any bills right!?
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 01-08-2009, 05:41 PM
Steve's Avatar
Steve Steve is offline
Administrator
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 37,223
Rep Power: 10
Steve has disabled reputation
Default

Quote:
Just don’t forget it, and next season if you still choose to work with them raise your rates for the fact that they are a pain and don’t honor due dates.
Oh this is good!

Can you tell us, how would you suggest going about raising your rates once you get paid? Should you send out a letter to them the next day saying you raised your lawn prices by X%? Or how long should you wait to notify them?

Also, how much of a % should you raise your rates by?
__________________
- Subscribe to my Lawn Care Marketing Blog Feed and get daily tips sent to you. Free!
Download your Free trial of Gopher Lawn Care Software.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 01-08-2009, 07:15 PM
FaccLndscpng FaccLndscpng is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Phila PA
Posts: 118
Rep Power: 7
FaccLndscpng is on a distinguished road
Default

A lot of the customers that I have trouble getting paid from are renters and they have tiny yards, a lot of them pay $20 per cut, so after I would finally get paid for that season, the next seasons “Welcome Letter” which I haven’t written out yet, would just explain that we are raising our rates for “the cost of doing business” and I would go from $20/cut to $25/cut, that way if you loose them its one less headache if they still want to have you take care of the property then you make an extra $5 for putting up with them. On this small scale it’s too complicated to raise by (%) it’s just easier to raise like $2.00 or $5.00 per cut. I would usually go through the summer without raising the rates, as most of my late payers show up for the last payment. But you should just raise your rates starting with the new season, but if you had to raise during the season I would say give 30 days notice, like write a letter saying that as of June 1, 2009 you will need to now charge whatever. But I usually do contracts and it’s easier to just honor it for the length instead of going through the hassle of a new contract. And forget about charging late fees; just be glad that they pay their bill.

Sometimes the renter will not “re-lease” so you will have to deal with another renter but they eventually pay because they are afraid to loose their security deposit. Which reminds me; don’t do any work for a renter without talking to the landlord or property manager, renters in Phila come and go, a lot are college kids so they just disappear, drop-out, whatever. I think that one of the reasons that a majority of the bad payers are renters because when I am hired by a home owner I also get a lot of business from “Word of Mouth” and when you get one house you usually get a couple of the neighbors, so as you can guess if “Mrs. Smith” isn’t paying her bills and her house gets skipped this round of cuts all the other neighbors will start to talk and “Mrs. Smith” doesn’t want to look bad in front of the neighbors. Then you can look on the bright side, if the yard is skipped a couple of times, then the customer finally gets their bills paid then you have to charge them for a big clean-up, but try to get it up front because they will probably try not to pay this bill for sure.

Last edited by FaccLndscpng; 01-08-2009 at 07:23 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 01-08-2009, 08:21 PM
Steve's Avatar
Steve Steve is offline
Administrator
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 37,223
Rep Power: 10
Steve has disabled reputation
Default

Quote:
Sometimes the renter will not “re-lease” so you will have to deal with another renter but they eventually pay because they are afraid to loose their security deposit.
When you say they may lose their security deposit, how do you mean? Is this a security deposit that they pay to the landlord? If so how will they lose it? Would the landlord have to pay you the fee then?

Also do you have a suggestion for a welcome letter with a rate increase? How should a new lawn care business owner word it? Should this be sent out year after year to the same customer? Or is this only for new customers?
__________________
- Subscribe to my Lawn Care Marketing Blog Feed and get daily tips sent to you. Free!
Download your Free trial of Gopher Lawn Care Software.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 01-08-2009, 08:58 PM
FaccLndscpng FaccLndscpng is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Phila PA
Posts: 118
Rep Power: 7
FaccLndscpng is on a distinguished road
Default

Well I am not sure how things work everywhere else, but in Philly a tenant is supposed to care for the property especially the lawn and snow, some landlords will pay for it themselves to keep up appearances but most require the tenant to do it. So if at the end of the lease the yard is a jungle, the security deposit is held and used to get the property back in line, and whatever else went wrong, patch holes in walls… So if you previously spoke with the landlord or property manager, and told them the tenant stopped paying bills and you are terminating services until bills are paid then they will either get on the tenant to pay the bill or authorize you to continue services to be paid by the security deposit ( this is for some cuts not a whole seasons worth of cuttings but a few to finish out the summer or whatever it may be) but as long as you inform the landlord or whoever they usually take care of everything because its their investment, they don’t want to make the neighbors angry, or have a bad tenant who destroys their property, in a lot of ways you act as their eyes and ears. So “you scratch their back and they will scratch yours.”

In the end, when the lease is up, you submit the bill to the landlord or prop manager and they will pay you out of the escrow account. Most of the time, if a tenant looses the security deposit, its due to a lot of things not just the lawn, and if its just the lawn that the tenant owes the landlord will say something like “you must pay all bills or they will be paid by the security” and then you either get a check from the “Landlord Tennant Act” or something like that or you get the check from the tenant.

As for the “Welcome Letter” I will submit one but I don’t have anything ready for it yet… I will see what I have in my archive, and yes I send one to all customers, the letter is a welcome, a “what’s new with us”, an introduction to the contract and so on so it keeps us in touch with our customers.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 01-09-2009, 09:47 AM
Totally Green Totally Green is offline
Gary
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Northwest Louisiana
Posts: 90
Rep Power: 7
Totally Green
Default

Hi FaccLndscpng,

You've given a lot of great information. One more question. Do you use contracts or service agreements? I don't and it seems to be a problem when I try to collect. Without documentation, it's really my word against their's if they refuse to pay.
__________________
Totally Green Lawn Care, LLC
http://www.totallygreenlc.com
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 01-09-2009, 11:00 AM
Steve's Avatar
Steve Steve is offline
Administrator
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 37,223
Rep Power: 10
Steve has disabled reputation
Default

Quote:
As for the “Welcome Letter” I will submit one but I don’t have anything ready for it yet… I will see what I have in my archive, and yes I send one to all customers, the letter is a welcome, a “what’s new with us”, an introduction to the contract and so on so it keeps us in touch with our customers.
Oh that would be great! I'd love to see them!

So this is something that is sent every year to the customers, new and old? And it would include any price changing? Also how do you deal with getting customers to resign their lawn care contract or do you just have it roll over from the last year until they call you to cancel it?
__________________
- Subscribe to my Lawn Care Marketing Blog Feed and get daily tips sent to you. Free!
Download your Free trial of Gopher Lawn Care Software.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
whole season statements Becca30251 Community Assistance 5 02-12-2008 03:45 PM
End season is near pnplawn General Talk 18 10-15-2007 10:15 AM
Season not over tiedeman Truck, Trailer, and Outdoor Power Equipment Discussion, Repairs. 10 04-07-2007 07:03 AM
Season Results tiedeman General Business Discussions 2 08-25-2006 09:14 AM
Season Notes Lawn Magic General Business Discussions 7 06-16-2003 05:34 PM

» Recent Threads
  RatingTitle, Username, & Date Last Post Replies Views
Poll & Discussion...
CHEESE2009
09-16-2011 06:16 PM
Today 06:54 PM
by avetslawncare
24 5,419
Pictures of commercial...
avetslawncare
04-01-2015 09:47 PM
Today 06:51 PM
by avetslawncare
21 737
bidding a cemetery....
NPM_LLC
03-28-2015 10:56 AM
Today 06:29 PM
by kslawn
21 831
lawn care business...
holymoly
Today 02:56 PM
Today 02:56 PM
by holymoly
0 19
color fliers?
holymoly
Today 02:32 PM
Today 02:32 PM
by holymoly
0 16
Hustler Raptor
SGL1
04-13-2015 09:27 PM
Today 07:53 AM
by SGL1
15 336
is craiglist good to...
JBENI
04-16-2015 11:11 AM
Yesterday 10:25 PM
by Wolf4dk
11 216
Could be great news for...
SC93
04-14-2015 11:06 PM
Yesterday 08:58 PM
by SC93
10 279
These are the days on...
ExtremeLawncareServices
01-11-2015 10:41 AM
Yesterday 08:40 PM
by ExtremeLawncareServices
53 4,938
Am I missing something...
googus
04-11-2015 06:33 PM
Yesterday 08:01 PM
by avetslawncare
10 367
weed
avetslawncare
04-16-2015 07:56 PM
Yesterday 07:59 PM
by avetslawncare
3 88
Aerating / Dethaching...
Hard-Body lawn & garden
04-12-2015 07:53 PM
Yesterday 07:27 PM
by biglee
14 384
Hello
sonny54
04-16-2015 09:49 PM
Yesterday 03:10 PM
by Steve
1 62
Unreal
Chilehead
04-09-2015 09:12 PM
Yesterday 08:27 AM
by Chilehead
11 418
starting a lawn care...
JBENI
04-14-2015 09:03 AM
Yesterday 08:03 AM
by JBENI
14 374
Finally got a warehouse
avetslawncare
03-12-2015 07:52 PM
04-16-2015 07:52 PM
by avetslawncare
23 1,198
New 14 x 7 Enclosed...
whitepropertydetail
04-15-2015 06:46 PM
04-16-2015 03:40 PM
by Steve
1 111
quick pic
joshlawncare
04-14-2015 07:49 PM
04-16-2015 03:38 PM
by Steve
3 170
older used dump trucks
SECTLANDSCAPING
09-22-2011 12:33 AM
04-16-2015 12:41 PM
by biglee
21 7,896
Tax Poll
Steve
04-15-2015 02:13 PM
04-15-2015 02:13 PM
by Steve
0 119
lawn care by Aj
aj10261984
04-14-2015 06:50 PM
04-15-2015 01:43 PM
by Steve
2 142
Contact last years...
googus
01-28-2015 08:13 AM
04-15-2015 12:54 PM
by SC93
7 1,130
Start LIKING FACEBOOK...
rlclawncare123
02-26-2015 12:06 AM
04-15-2015 08:35 AM
by Bradcook21
7 820
trying to sign up for...
JBENI
04-14-2015 10:20 AM
04-14-2015 12:11 PM
by Steve
1 330
Charging customers for...
Hard-Body lawn & garden
04-14-2015 07:34 AM
04-14-2015 10:35 AM
by Steve
1 154
New member
Jdlandscaping,LLC
04-11-2015 03:24 PM
04-14-2015 05:45 AM
by Jdlandscaping,LLC
2 197
hello
oasis_greenscapes
04-01-2015 06:18 PM
04-13-2015 12:03 PM
by Steve
8 434
New Member
Greenturion
04-11-2015 02:00 PM
04-13-2015 11:59 AM
by Steve
1 162
Client with...
OldSalt
04-07-2015 09:47 PM
04-13-2015 11:57 AM
by Steve
8 371
Getting rid of "mulched...
Mr. Mow
04-12-2015 04:21 PM
04-13-2015 11:26 AM
by biglee
3 193
String trim BEFORE mow...
Mr. Mow
04-12-2015 08:13 AM
04-13-2015 11:11 AM
by biglee
7 300
Billing methods
jcurr33
03-26-2015 01:33 PM
04-13-2015 11:07 AM
by biglee
15 801
Landscape Fabric
CurbAppeal1
04-10-2015 03:58 PM
04-13-2015 08:02 AM
by Chilehead
4 254
I lost a long term...
Sprinkler Buddy
09-04-2011 02:24 PM
04-12-2015 04:27 PM
by Mr. Mow
17 3,869
I'm Back With The Best...
aduttonater
02-21-2015 12:41 AM
04-10-2015 12:05 PM
by Just for Cuts
45 2,088
Snow removal contracts
CDLAWNCARE
03-31-2015 02:57 PM
04-10-2015 11:37 AM
by kslawn
6 451
Do you have medical...
Steve
09-10-2011 11:46 AM
04-10-2015 11:28 AM
by Steve
17 5,167
Shopping Centers
avetslawncare
04-07-2015 07:16 PM
04-10-2015 11:27 AM
by Steve
7 357
Leaf Vac's?
ABurlison
11-07-2007 10:18 PM
04-10-2015 06:12 AM
by RSE
14 5,662
Grass and Leaf vacuum
captain200
04-07-2015 07:05 PM
04-10-2015 06:02 AM
by RSE
4 319
Covering a landscape...
Dan Tanner
03-29-2015 09:01 AM
04-10-2015 06:00 AM
by Dan Tanner
19 914
I have a great idea!
biglee
04-05-2015 06:20 PM
04-09-2015 12:54 PM
by Steve
4 365
lawn care school
kevinburch48
04-09-2015 09:13 AM
04-09-2015 11:27 AM
by Steve
1 220
What do you suggest?
Growing Green
09-20-2011 09:56 AM
04-08-2015 03:09 PM
by Steve
8 3,092
Survey
Ducke
09-20-2011 07:27 PM
04-07-2015 11:33 PM
by SGL1
12 3,417
DOT Number
acrajchel
03-20-2015 05:56 PM
04-07-2015 10:55 PM
by SGL1
14 1,226
Avoiding Clients
CHEESE2009
09-08-2011 10:58 PM
04-07-2015 06:05 PM
by GLAN
24 6,376
Mass/New Hampshire...
jcurr33
04-06-2015 09:48 PM
04-07-2015 04:19 PM
by jcurr33
2 265
Ferris FW35 questions
Chilehead
03-10-2015 08:31 PM
04-07-2015 05:19 AM
by Chilehead
9 788
Dethatching attachments
jcurr33
03-29-2015 08:56 PM
04-06-2015 09:21 PM
by ExtremeLawncareServices
6 506
» Popular Tags
aerocore apartment complex auger bark billy goat brushcutter blades bush collections deliquentaccounts design edging employee problems equipment rental ferris flyers foreman free advertising grass growing a lawn care business hills hiring husqvarna john deere quik trac landscape landscape services landscaping training lawn lawn care lawn care business seo lawn care business website lawn care business website seo lawn care seo lawn care website lawn care website seo lawn mowing marketing marketing secrets more customers business mr dave mulch new business past due per hour charge per hour service pricing profit on employee pto push versus ride running a business scripts secrets to landscaping sell the vision seo shell small engine repair square foot steep lawns sulky theft toro grand stand trailer tree trimmer rack truck new used landscape up sell employee web design website website design winterization won't return
Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.1.0

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 07:36 PM.


(C) 2011 Riggs Publications - Terms of use & Privacy Policy

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 07:36 PM.

(C) 2011 Riggs Publications - Terms of use & Privacy Policy