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Individual snow removal charge..cash or Bill later?

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by Ramairfreak98ss, Aug 16, 2005.

  1. Ramairfreak98ss

    Ramairfreak98ss PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,931

    Last season i had people either, pay cash or write a check for my snow blowing services.

    If my rates are higher this year, is it a bad idea to just bill them later.. pending take down all information and mail them a bill at the end of the month although theyre not on a contract? Many people get my flyers months ahead and then call me WHEN it is snowing 10" :eek:
  2. DJC

    DJC Senior Member
    Messages: 481

    we don't have time to stop at every house and collect money. Send them a bill every 2 weeks if needed. make sure you write down the date and tme of services. JMO:)
  3. Remsen1

    Remsen1 Senior Member
    Messages: 188

    For the ones that call I tell them my one time price, usually double my regular rate. If they gasp then I tell them what the price would be if they were on my route. If they call after I'm done with my route, my one time price x 2 (unless they want to get on my route).

    I prefer billing bi-weekly, hate breaking my rythym while i'm working. If they want to walk it out to me that's fine, but I don't like going after it.
  4. Ramairfreak98ss

    Ramairfreak98ss PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,931

    yeah im very busy non stop when its done snowing and rather not wait for people to find cash and get checkbooks etc.

    I do like the idea about rates higher when they call last minute.. If i tell people who call ahead of time that ill put them on my list, should i just add their name/number on a list or should i have them prepay $20 ahead of time to know theyre serious like a deposit etc? Thanks !
  5. itsgottobegreen

    itsgottobegreen PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,351

    This year I get everybody's credit card number on my route, if not on the route sorry, forget it. Unless I know you and you have cash. No checks and billing to deal with anymore. No more dead beat payers. Its hard to repo snow plowing. Its usually melted by the time the check get to you only to have it bounce.
  6. Remsen1

    Remsen1 Senior Member
    Messages: 188

    I kinda skimmed over that your original question pertained to getting called for one time jobs. If it is a one time jobber, I ask them to look for me and give them a round estimate of when I'll be there and to bring it out to me while I'm working. I ask them to leave me an envelope somewhere if they are not going to be there. Won't plow if there is nobody home and there is no envelope. A one time plow job is too easy, for a customer with no commitmentm, to blow off.

    If they wanna be on the regular route, it's the same deal (need to pay me when i get there) cause I don't put people on my route unless they are paid ahead. I ask for 5 visits paid ahead that usually covers me for the weekly billing cycle. Then each billing cycle I bill for the work that was done since the last bill. If they use up the 5 credits by not keeping up with the bills then I call them and I don't plow until they've paid ahead again. If they use up the credits due to mother nature I will keep plowing. When the end of the season nears I try to time when to stop billing or bill for less so they use up their credits. At the end of the season I can refund them, apply the credit to lawn work, or carry the credit til next year. Usually they end up applying the credit to lawn work.
  7. mister_snowplow

    mister_snowplow Senior Member
    Messages: 173

    I billed all of my clients last year. Only one client gave me a hard time, but she gave me a hard time throughout the winter. She was the client who would come out and make sure that every flake was cleared (and I consider myself to be a perfectionist). She won't be client of mine this season.
  8. Clay Carson

    Clay Carson Junior Member
    from Boston
    Messages: 3

    We had some season customers pay in advance, 3 installments due Nov 1, Dec 1 and Jan 1. By mid winter, they are all paid up for the year. I liked that for cash flow and for not worrying if they would pay. Some of them just wrote a check for the whole year rather than dealing with 3 checks. :redbounce That's only possible for 'flat rate per season billing', which we don't want to have 100% of customers on. Ice melt is still variable, so they get one or two extra bills for that, depending on how much we use.

    Others we have known for longer and they are used to us billing them, so we just keep it going. Most of our commercial customers require invoices, so we got no real choice. After a while, you get to know which ones pay well. We also had to fire about 4-5 customers this season for non payment issues, and in fact are still trying to COLLECT from others, so they will not be on our list for next year.

    One of our 2 companies recently started accepting credit cards, so we can bill right after a storm. But if you are like me, right after a storm, you know you should do paperwork, so you immediately do the logical thing and fall asleep in the chair!
  9. justme-

    justme- 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,138

    I bill later- used to be day after the storm- then every 2 weeks, then once per month, now I'm lazy as heck about it. Going to get software for next year to remind me.

    I always tell my customers "I know where you live" which get's a laugh but get's the point across. Also my "contract" (loosly termed) has intrest and penalty/billing charges defined if they don't pay- they sign and return so they legally agree.

    I also joke and say " I can always put the snow back- with some for interest"
    Also always get's a laugh.
  10. bgingras

    bgingras Senior Member
    Messages: 282

    I'm getting a mobileswipe setup for my nextell to start accepting credit cards while on the road, I'm hoping this will avoid some the billing. Plus we will be accepting cards over the phone for payments as well.