How to Collect Payment for Lawn Care - Three Ways
It’s important that you keep in mind that payments are a single part of the customer experience.
1. Invoice Your Customer After Every Job
Making a point to collect the amount owed as soon as you finish a job is good for your company’s cash
flow because you’ll immediately have your money in your hand. If you plan to collect payments from the
same customers less than once a month, this is a good approach to take. For example, fertilizing or weed
control applications may only happen once or twice per year, so it wouldn’t make sense to bill monthly
in this instance.
If you’re a newer lawn care business and you’re trying to expand your customer base with recurring
appointments, invoicing after each job helps you keep a healthy flow of cash into the business. If this
is the case, you want to concentrate on upselling everything you offer to create more recurring clients.
Recurring work means you’ll get more money and work from the same clients, and it allows you to build a
rapport with them. You’ll be able to estimate job costs and revenue easier.
However, you will have more paperwork with this approach, and this can add to the time you spend on
administrative tasks. If also runs the risk of annoying your customers if you do more than one job for
them a month, which means sending them multiple invoices.
Asking for payments and sending invoices out after each job is a good option for new businesses and jobs
that get spread out over a few months. Recurring jobs that require you to send multiple invoices to your
customers can annoy them.
2. Invoicing a Flat Rate Once a Month
If you maintain several properties of a large space, you may consider invoicing a flat rate once a
month. Ideally, you’ll reserve this method for large maintenance contracts. This way, you’ll be able to
set a higher rate to ensure you turn a profit no matter what type of maintenance or weather the month
brings. You will have to spend time to come up with a rate that is fair to your customer, but it also
accounts for busier months.
A bonus with charging a flat fee once a month is less time spent on administrative tasks and less
paperwork. However, one problem is clients may request you perform additional services that are outside
of the original contract. This is why it’s essential that you itemize what services your contract does
and does not cover. Taking on one task one time is okay, but if it comes up again and again, you can
talk to your customer about charging more and adding services on.
3. Invoicing Once a Month for Multiple Visits
The final popular option is to invoice your customers once a month for any visits you had. If you have a
solid list of recurring clients and a healthy cash flow, this is a great way to send out your invoices.
Putting all of your charges for all of your visits on a single invoice reduces your administration time,
and it cuts down on paperwork. It’s also much easier for you to track paid and unpaid invoices, and for
customers to ensure they pay everything on time.
However, you don’t want to get into the habit of building four weeks’ worth of payments together and
claim they represent a month’s work. If you do, you could lose any charges you do outside of this
four-week period. Most companies have a batch invoicing feature that allows you to track your jobs and
send them all out in one monthly invoice.