How To Collect Lawn Care Payments - Tips & Best Practices

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Remember back to when you were first starting out?  You were so busy getting the work done and growing your business, that collecting payments was often the thing that didn’t get much focus until you got upside down with paying the bills. 

Then you were chasing down clients when they were home (and having to drive there to collect), fumbling with checks, cash, and bank deposits, and getting upset when somebody hit you with a rubber check. 

In the current world, you probably use a variety of digital payment methods. These can help you move past the “old-fashioned” ways of: 

  • Chasing down payments in person
  • Juggling paper checks from customers
  • Phone calling for late payments
  • Sending paper contracts and invoices
  • And more

In this article, we’ll look at

  • Ways of structuring how you bill for work 
  • Offering automated and electronic payment options
  • Automating the collection of payments 
  • Following up on “past due” payments
  • Understanding the transformative benefits of better cash flow


Get Paid! Common ways to structure agreements

With each customer, you settle on the price for the services you’ll provide. You know the importance of setting a clear, competitive price and having them agree to it.

Don’t neglect thinking about how you’re going to get paid. “How much if costs” needs to also be associated with “What’s the payment schedule”

Some of the common ways lawn care services are invoiced:

  • Per visit or treatment, billed individually, often based on a season-long agreement
  • Monthly invoices based on an annual agreement
  • An annual agreement, paid once or split into installments
  • “Time and materials,” essentially an hourly or day rate for special services, plus the cost of materials
  • “Quoted price”. A specific price for the work to be done.

Do you need a partial (or full) payment upfront?

Upfront payments bind the customer to the agreement and get you welcome cash flow to fund your operations. FieldCentral offers several features to help you manage lawn care contracts including full pre-payments, installment payments, or monthly billing.

Be sure your payment terms are clear up front

Avoid a "handshake deal." Spell out pricing and terms in writing, along with a formal contract and proposal of the agreed-upon services. (It's all about managing expectations, remember?) Your agreement protects you if there are disagreements later. If you offer electronic payments, it’s easy for the customer to comply with the terms as the invoices get processed automatically.

Offering multiple payment options

Payment types

Few customers want to pay in cash or by check, and you may not want your technician or crew leader to accept these in the field anyway. 

Getting set up with electronic payment methods is one of the most important reasons to get your company onto software.  They allow you to collect rapidly and boost your cash flow.

If you want to keep up with your customers, you should offer multiple options. These include credit cards, ACH, PayPal, and more.

FieldCentral allows you to offer your customers a variety of payment methods. It allows you to accept credit and debit cards, ACH, Google Pay, and Apple Pay.

For customers who prefer traditional payment methods like cash or check, it has you covered. It allows you to log, track, and report manual payments, ensuring that all transactions are accounted for in one centralized system.


Automating payment collection

Advantages of payment automation: One way to save time and increase efficiency is by automating as much as possible, including collecting customer payments for your services. Business software, like FieldCentral, eliminates the need to chase down your money because bills get sent ASAP, automatically.

The big benefit is improved cash flow: Cash flow is important because you have to pay for the expenses of your work (labor, fuel, materials, overhead) often at the same time the work is happening. Accelerating the speed of collection of the payment (improving your cash flow) helps you stay in the green.

Automation improves the speed of payments & eliminates missed or delayed payments: There’s no need for you to forget to bill  - or the customer to forget to pay. If selected as part of the payment terms for the work, customers can opt into automatic payments (monthly, per-visit, etc.), ensuring you receive timely payments without the hassle of chasing after them.

Customers LOVE automated payments: They appreciate the convenience and efficiency of cashless automated payments. No checks, no stamps, no trips to the bank.  No need to be around when you’re doing the work or wanting to be paid. 


It’s the best of both worlds - improved cash flow, less time chasing payments, and the benefits of automation PLUS  a more convenient and streamlined payment experience for your customers.  You can see quickly that automated payments managed by FieldCentral are a great investment in the long-term success of your whole operation. 


What about “past due” payments?

Getting paid is essential. And there’s nothing more frustrating than having to chase down your money. You're already ahead of the game if you’ve set up your jobs or contracts with automatic payments. But what about following up on late payments that are not “auto pay”?

Be proactive with reminders: The worst thing to do is to hope neglected payments “take care of themselves”.  You have to reach out and connect when customers forget. With FieldCentral, you can send friendly, automated reminders, reinforcing the importance of prompt payment and helping to minimize late payments.

Payment options help you collect instantly: Your reminders can allow the customer to pay directly with a button that takes them to a payment page on the web.

Keep track of payment status: Business software, like FieldCentral, allows you to track every aspect of your business in real-time, including any outstanding invoices and overdue payments. This information allows you to quickly identify which clients require follow-up, helping you stay organized and focused.


Let’s say it again: getting paid is important

Every dollar you don’t collect comes right out of your pocket.

Every dollar you collect late can put you upside down in paying your obligations. Suddenly the profits for one customer are financing the expenses for another. No business can succeed with this approach

Being “old fashioned” about pricing, contracts, payments, and collections is dangerous for your business success.  Using handshakes, papers, and phone calls is inefficient at best and a huge waste of time at worst.  Plus these old methods are not convenient for customers either.

Get your business the total billing and collections system that it needs - and one that is tuned to the needs of the lawn care and lawn spraying businessesLearn more about how FieldCentral can help you save time, get paid faster, and provide a better payment experience for your customers.


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