“I’m so tired of my lawn care clients being late on their payments… or even worse, missing it entirely. I want to fix this problem, but I don’t know where to even begin.”
First off, you’re not alone.
This is an extremely common problem among business owners… especially lawn care business owners.
This article will show you:
These are some tips that’ll help you stop losing money, and nip this problem in the bud ASAP…
You haven’t been paid. The client hasn’t communicated as to why they haven’t paid… and they’re not returning your calls, texts or emails.
Terminate all lawn care services immediately.
Chances are that they forgot to pay, but they’re busy. Your client isn’t exactly going to jump at the chance to pay for an “optional” bill that most likely won’t result in involving a debt collector.
It’s not that they don’t enjoy your services. It’s not that they can’t or refuse to pay (at least most of the time)... but the hard truth is that you’re a lawn care business. You deserve to be paid for services rendered WHEN services are rendered.
If they’re busy, and they’re not contacting you back, then you have every right to terminate their services… immediately.
Send them a notice that once their outstanding charges are paid in full, services will resume. Unless your contract states otherwise, and you can drop the client, this decision is up to you. If you think they’ll do it again, DROP THEM.
There are plenty of good, paying clients. You don’t need someone that’s going to continue to waste you AND your team’s time.
Now, if your client expressly communicates a situation with you - PRIOR TO THE DUE DATE - this is up to your discretion. Only you can make this judgment call because only you truly understand this situation.
You know the client. You know your finances. And only you can decide if it’s a financially-sound decision to allow your client to pay late.
Please keep in mind, you need to be fully prepared to lose that money, in case the client can’t pay.
I can’t tell you how many lawn care owners allow invoices to build up to hundreds… even thousands of unpaid invoicing.
In the hopes the client will eventually pay, THEY STILL KEEP SERVICING THE PROPERTY. This is NOT a valuable use of your resources. Just stop while you’re still ahead.
It’s important to not let unpaid invoices get out of hand because it can happen to anyone - faster than you think.
It’s important to email your client a contract where they sign the estimate and the service agreement.
While this isn’t necessarily a legally-binding contract, it sets the tone between you and your client. Once it’s completed, just email the estimate with a signed form at the bottom.
Also, I’d recommend setting up a template for this document and making it automated.
If you automate your follow up process, your estimate will be emailed to the client instantly! This means WAY less work for you, because you won’t have to remember to do it later.
It’s important to send estimates ASAP, because the more time you wait… the more likely they are to find another lawn care company.
There are several benefits to using Service Autopilot for this. You can:
It’s important to start your relationship with your new lawn care clients the RIGHT way. You should make your expectations, prices and anything else clear from day one. This makes your client more likely to pay on time.
Following up is a HUGE aspect of maintaining good client communications. Additionally, it helps you get paid.
When you maintain follow-ups with your lawn care clients, you:
The benefits on this list could go on… and on… and on. I can’t stress to you how important it is to follow up with your clients.
You should follow up after:
It’s so important to create a “friendship” of sorts with your lawn care clients. Following up is a huge part of that!
After you’ve exhausted every means of communication trying to reach your client - and they still haven’t paid… you might just have to go talk to them in-person.
Depending on the outstanding debt and value of the client, this action may or may not be beneficial to you. This is up for you to decide.
If the outstanding debt is worth your time or they’re a high-value client, you should try to go talk to them in person. The keyword in here being… talk.
This option has its risks, but it’s something worth considering if you need the revenue.
When you go to the client’s home or commercial property, be sure you:
For most of you, the outstanding debt isn’t worth seeking legal action. So this is your opportunity to not only keep your client - but actually get paid.
Manage your clients and employees all in one system
In order for your lawn care clients to pay you on time (every time), you need to always have an open stream of communication.
This article will show you:
Client relationships are literally everything. When they love you, they don’t want to leave. If you’re clients, they’re way more likely to communicate with you.
These tips will show you how to create and cultivate this relationship with your lawn care clients.