How your attitude can effect your ability to collect payment.

There are so many reasons why starting your lawn care business can be tough. One of the reasons is how your attitude can effect your ability to collect payments from customers. When a person has a normal job, they should have a normal attitude, but many times an employee can go about their work and never interact with the customer. They may interact with other office staff and their attitude can effect how well things operate in that office, but it most likely doesn’t effect them getting their regular paycheck.

As an entrepreneur, you become an actor on a stage that is watched by your customers and the public. If you are friendly, you will find a lot more success than if you have a chip on your shoulder or get easily frustrated. Running a business, especially early on can present you with many situations that frustrate you but as you will see, your attitude will effect your ability to get paid.

One member of the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum wrote “I am done with chasing customers! I have five customers that still haven’t paid me for this month’s lawn care. I’ve chased them every day so far & now I’m just gonna say f-it.

I wish they at least had the balls to call me & just say, ‘well the grass isn’t growing, & I’d like to cancel your services. Do they do this? Noooo! They would rather avoid & burn their bridges with me. This gets on my last nerve. Five customers are lost. I wish there was some way I could get their lawns to grow like crazy, so they could call me & I could tell them SORRY NOT INTERESTED!

None of them will be accepted for my service next year unless I get every penny up front.¬†I’m going to write up a letter for next year that says the following so I don’t have to put up with this anymore.

  • Miss a payment for 1 week, service is stopped.
  • Miss a payment for 2 weeks, service is canceled & I will add a late fee.
  • Miss a payment for 3 weeks, service is permanently canceled.

I need some sort of way to make sure I get my money. Getting paid is brutal.”

One lawn care business owner suggested “I am sorry to hear you have such a hard time getting paid. One reason you might be having such troubles is do to the way you invoice and accept payment. Another reason might be your attitude. The way I invoice, I have never had an issue accepting checks. All my customers pay me on time, or early. I never have to ask twice, and some pay me up to 2 weeks early. Two of them pay me a month in advance.

I’d suggest not getting so upset about this. Sometimes customers simply just forget. A friendly reminder on the phone or in the mail usually works for me. In the past, I have considered running late fees for the stragglers, but I haven’t done that yet.”

Another lawn care business owner said “I have never had a payment issue taking checks either. I have one customer that pays late all the time but he still pays. At one point I thought I was going to have a big problem when he got behind a couple of months, but all it took was me picking up the phone to offer a friendly reminder and BANG I got a check paying the account in full.”

A third lawn care business owner shared “When I take on a new customer I explain to them why I need to be paid on time. There are several reasons that are all tied to keeping my costs down and my rates affordable.

1 - Non paying customers cause price increase for paying customers.
2 - To keep rates low, cash flow must be maintained. Non payment hinders that.
3 - Bad checks cost me money. If I can’t trust you to pay on time, can I trust your check to clear? (of course this is said ‘diplomatically’.

Above all else, try and keep a friendly level of communication with your customers and you should be able to avoid any payment issues. When customers are late to pay, try to stay friendly. The minute you get angry, all bets are off. Remember, your goal is not just to get paid but to keep the customer for a long time. When you look at the potential amount of money you can make over a lifetime from one customer, you may find yourself handling things a little more diplomatically.”

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