How to Collect Payment for Lawn Care

5 min read

making a profit with a lawn care company

Although you may have initially started your lawn care business because you love working outside and landscaping, getting paid is key to keeping yourself in business. In fact, you might find yourself spending more time making sales and checking on payment statuses than you do actually working on lawns.

You have a defined goal to provide excellent service and have imagined a flawless payment system, but an inefficient invoicing process can hurt your cash flow and slow down your business. Setting up a healthy payment process is what is going to help you keep your business running in slow and busy seasons.

It can get busy and your invoices may fall onto the back burner, so we’ll give you a few approaches that’ll help you set up a seamless invoice system. This can prevent any problems with payments so you can concentrate on your business!

Keep Customer Service in Mind

Although your customers know they owe you money upon the job’s completion, it’s essential that you stay highly professional when you ask them for the payment. It really doesn’t matter if you request by email, phone, or in person. Having a pleasant interaction and using proper business etiquette for invoices can help encourage repeat business. Additionally, people are more likely to recommend your company if they’re happy with every aspect of it, and this can bring in more work and money!

handling payments online through lawn care business application

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.

Now you know how to collect payment for lawn care, you can experiment and see which method works best for your business. Take your time, do your research, and create a system that is the least stressful for both you and your customers.

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