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: 8
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: 37,569
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: 37,569
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: 37,569
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: 8
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: 37,569
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
SCAG Tiger Cat DECK...
rower30
08-24-2013 10:07 AM
Yesterday 02:51 PM
by Sunpointair
12 4,900
John Deere 667a
acrajchel
08-30-2015 10:00 AM
Yesterday 11:06 AM
by Steve
4 99
Your 2015 summer review.
Steve
Yesterday 11:01 AM
Yesterday 11:01 AM
by Steve
0 28
Dane Scag
Steve
08-28-2015 12:29 PM
08-28-2015 12:29 PM
by Steve
0 82
24 and 50 acre cemetery...
grassmasterswilson
08-18-2015 10:09 AM
08-26-2015 02:42 PM
by Steve
13 559
Rookie business question...
WarriorLandscapingCAN
08-05-2015 05:20 PM
08-26-2015 02:33 PM
by Steve
3 412
How to clean an old...
rmccutchan
08-16-2015 05:23 PM
08-26-2015 02:31 PM
by Steve
9 431
how to make customers...
Bradcook21
05-27-2015 05:04 PM
08-26-2015 12:25 PM
by kslawn
19 3,770
Needing a website built
burtle
06-17-2015 09:02 AM
08-25-2015 11:31 AM
by acrajchel
9 2,486
Big mowing job
Bradcook21
07-30-2015 03:57 PM
08-25-2015 11:23 AM
by acrajchel
17 1,004
ZTR Review
Shark1611
05-31-2012 10:42 PM
08-25-2015 11:16 AM
by acrajchel
8 3,776
Hi Everyone
mmays29
08-25-2015 08:16 AM
08-25-2015 11:15 AM
by Steve
3 130
Should I buy this Exmark...
googus
07-03-2015 09:22 AM
08-25-2015 11:08 AM
by acrajchel
11 1,206
Old Business New Owner
Toyman
06-17-2014 08:57 PM
08-25-2015 11:00 AM
by acrajchel
17 1,597
Hi everyone! We're new...
alltrades
08-22-2015 12:46 PM
08-24-2015 10:41 AM
by Steve
2 177
CAn I get some help with...
rootytalbot
08-11-2015 06:14 PM
08-24-2015 10:36 AM
by Steve
12 525
Hi
Wemowjunction
08-16-2015 08:45 PM
08-20-2015 01:46 PM
by Steve
11 423
Drive cable bad?
SGL1
08-10-2015 11:16 PM
08-20-2015 01:41 PM
by Steve
5 381
Hey there everyone
Cole8999
08-16-2015 04:42 PM
08-18-2015 04:35 PM
by Steve
3 263
Help with a truck
bdodson89
04-27-2015 08:15 PM
08-18-2015 11:47 AM
by rmccutchan
7 980
I need some aeration...
rootytalbot
08-14-2015 12:32 PM
08-18-2015 07:59 AM
by rootytalbot
7 404
Say Hello !!!
Steve
03-19-2007 11:18 AM
08-17-2015 04:34 PM
by Steve
1,229 406,187
Whats wrong with this...
GreenWorx
07-28-2015 07:56 PM
08-16-2015 11:42 PM
by rmccutchan
3 605
What's your next...
Steve
05-15-2015 11:54 AM
08-16-2015 11:09 PM
by SC93
16 1,259
These are the days on...
ExtremeLawncareServices
01-11-2015 10:41 AM
08-14-2015 11:08 PM
by scaypa
95 11,497
New Biz
kufnerins
08-14-2015 05:52 PM
08-14-2015 08:56 PM
by Steve
1 220
Chemical and Fertilizer...
rmccutchan
08-09-2015 10:36 PM
08-13-2015 11:11 PM
by rmccutchan
6 418
String trim BEFORE mow...
Mr. Mow
04-12-2015 08:13 AM
08-13-2015 02:10 PM
by rootytalbot
12 2,092
Hello all thinking about...
bernie
08-11-2015 04:28 PM
08-13-2015 10:33 AM
by Steve
8 380
Logo Help Font Color
LZLC
08-08-2015 09:26 PM
08-12-2015 03:50 PM
by Steve
4 358
Pricing issue
Mr. Mow
07-07-2015 06:15 AM
08-12-2015 12:30 AM
by Jeff1
20 1,829
My new mower
Chilehead
08-08-2015 09:09 PM
08-11-2015 08:36 PM
by Chilehead
9 532
Thought this was a good...
Just for Cuts
08-06-2015 03:38 PM
08-11-2015 10:54 AM
by Steve
8 526
Plowing pricing
jcurr33
08-08-2015 04:58 PM
08-11-2015 10:51 AM
by Steve
6 483
Should I upgrade my back...
googus
08-07-2015 10:50 AM
08-11-2015 10:44 AM
by googus
7 450
Keeping it clean....
Wolf4dk
08-09-2015 11:31 PM
08-11-2015 06:34 AM
by Chilehead
7 375
I have been rude and...
biglee
06-15-2015 10:11 PM
08-10-2015 09:41 PM
by stallman419
12 2,764
Newbie Saying Hi.
LZLC
08-08-2015 09:22 PM
08-10-2015 11:20 AM
by Steve
1 266
How much do I charge to...
Chris Herrera
08-06-2015 09:30 PM
08-09-2015 11:31 AM
by biglee
2 410
scag SWZT review!
mattthelawnguy
07-23-2015 02:28 PM
08-07-2015 03:26 PM
by Steve
17 1,153
Best commercial contract...
sanlanct
08-04-2015 12:18 PM
08-06-2015 06:20 AM
by sanlanct
2 404
I came across this on a...
rootytalbot
08-02-2015 11:04 AM
08-05-2015 08:17 PM
by SC93
9 639
Help bidding a hedge...
hopolb33
08-02-2015 06:09 PM
08-05-2015 02:07 PM
by Steve
3 442
recycler toro 22"
rvezakis
08-03-2015 12:10 PM
08-04-2015 11:47 AM
by Steve
1 323
» Popular Tags
ad landscaping advertising aerocore applying bark billy goat brushcutter blowout bob villa bush collections contract help deliquentaccounts demonstration design door hangers edging employee problems equipment dealer equipment rental facebook flyers free advertising free lawn care google growing a lawn care business hiring how to hydro increase customers jobs landscape landscaping landscaping training lawn aeration lawn care lawn mowing marketing marketing secrets more customers business mr dave mulch new business ordinance past due per hour charge per hour service plowing pricing profit on employee roundup scag secrets to landscaping sell the vision seo shell shreaded solo solo backpack sprayer sq ft square foot swzt tree up sell employee walk behind web design website website design winterization wood www.greenturion.co.za
Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.1.0

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:55 AM.


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

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:55 AM.

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