How to bill your lawn care customers.

There are many ways your lawn care business can bill your customers for work performed. Some ways will work better than others though. Before you choose which billing policy to adopt, see if this billing procedure, shared with us on the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum, might work better than the way you are currently handling things.

One lawn care business owner wrote “there has been a few questions on how to bill clients on the forums lately and I just wanted to share how I do it.

To be successful in the lawn care business, the key is positive cash flow. All my invoices are due upon receipt and marked late within 30 days. So by doing 2 runs I can be receiving payments throughout the month and not be waiting for them all to come in at once at the en of the month. Let me explain this now in more detail. I categorize my lawn care customers into three distinct groups when it comes to billing.

Contracts (April - November, 8 months)

For all my lawn care ‘Contract’ clients I bill them on the 15th of every month starting on April 15th until November 15. That date range is our growing season here where I service lawns. The customers who agree to an annual lawn care contract are billed an equal monthly price for each of the 12 months.

So for instance, due to the growing season, the beginning and ending of the season may not require as many weekly mowings as mid season does. However because certain customers sign an annual agreement, their bills are spread out evenly across each of the 12 months which makes their monthly bill total less per month than if they were paying out over a 7 month period.

Time and Material

For all of our T&M work we bill out on the last day of every month. This is for our lawn care clients that don’t want to sign an annual lawn care contract which has an equal monthly billing agreement.

One time jobs

These jobs get billed out as soon as the job is completed. Any job that is over $2500.00 I require a deposit of 25% to cover materials.

By handling my billings this way, I constantly have good cash flow through out the month. Therefore I am able to pay my bills on time and have money in the business account.

I have been doing it this way from the start and it works out nicely. I think it is an important key to success that is so often overlooked by newer start up lawn care businesses. They tend to feel completed jobs are money in the bank but you have to remember they are not.

Completed jobs are simply completed jobs and the money owed to you isn’t yours until it is in your bank.

Tracking down customers for payment can take huge amounts of time and energy. Also by splitting my billing, I get checks coming in throughout the month versus only at the end of the month. It’s important to constantly think of ways you can improve your cash flow and then implement business policies to enact your ideas.

Don’t let customers play games with you. Get paid as soon as you can for jobs performed.”

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