Clients not paying right away

Hi, this is my first year full time. I’ve been doing this for 3 years and at the other company customers always handed us a check right away once we finished (unless my boss told us he’d invoice them). I did this myself on the side for a year and also always got paid right after the job was finished.

I have three months on my own full time under my belt, and only in the past two weeks are customers not paying right away. I’ve only received two checks and have $2,300 in outstanding invoices. What’s going on? Is this normal that customers wait to pay? (My invoices are net 30, sent through Jobber, they can pay with cash, credit card, check, or venmo.)

That’s the problem right there IMO. You are extending a line of credit to your customers and they are taking advantage of it. Does the garage that repairs your vehicle do that? Most doctors want co-pay right away and if no insurance want to be paid at time of service.

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I don’t explicitly say they’re net 30, it just says so in the email, and they’ve been net 30 from the beginning and customers were paying me anyway.

Change the wording on all your invoices and emails to say “due upon completion” or “due upon receipt”. Your commercial customers will ignore that and continue to take however long they usually take. But residential customers should get the point.

There’s also nothing wrong with stating up front that payment is due upon completion, and if they won’t be there at time of service they can leave a check.

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More details needed. How long have the invoices been open? Are they storefront? Restaurants? Commercial? Residential? That can make a difference.
Have they been prompt payers up until recently or is this the first (only) time you’ve worked for them?

All of that matters. 30 days is standard for many commercial companies. Some guys will complain about that, but it’s just a fact of doing business.

Residential need reminders sometimes. Being patient can yield a longer term good customer.

Give us some more details.

They’ve been open for 14 days to 4 days, mostly residential and two commercial. Mostly new clients. One is an old client of two years who always takes forever.

I’m going to do that. How do I naturally and professionally communicate upfront that the payment will be due upon completion?

residential usually runs 3 weeks out, except for the slackers

All my residential customer these days get a upon receipt, Its not like they go to the supermarket and ask if they can come back in a week and make payment. 99% of people call me to book in their job, so if they are scheduling window cleaning you think they would have the funds available to pay to it.

After 7 days if payment is not received they will get a friendly reminder sent out, since doing this I have not a problem from residential customers.

Commercial on the other hand I offer 7 days, they take as long as they want, but I also send out a friendly reminder after 7 days past due. My biggest problem customer (this time every other year they payed immediately) is a church I do. They just lie about payments.

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When taking their security deposit.

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Yup, $100 credit card deposit when booking the job, balance upon completion. If they are not there when we finish, the work order signature authorizes us to charge the card on file.

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First of all.when I do resi I say payment is due when services are rendered. I never wait for a check if I do it’s no different than commercial. Make them pay up front or you will be trying to track your money down from resi and commercial.You will be constantly on the phone or computer trying to collect.resi money always when you are finished unless there is an unusual set of circumstances.

I should have said 3 weeks for regular repeat billables

all other residential upon completion

Have all residential pay you that day. If you don’t, next thing you know you will have thousands of dollars you are waiting on.

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I started offering 5% off if they pay in advance and more than half do. Otherwise it’ s on completion.

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It’s very simple ! For residential when job is done you hand them an invoice, they pay the invoice
It’s expected ! I don’t communicate this it shouldn’t have to be communicated in my opinion., but by telling people they have 30 days they’ll take full advantage of that.

Why ?

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I agree with the the others. My invoices say “due upon receipt”. And I don’t offer credit card payments. Its check or cash. Since I clean primarily at high end homes, this has very seldom been a problem. Sometimes there are extenuating circumstances though where I tell the customer to send me a check.

why??
why did i offer the 5% off?
to get people to pay ahead of time.

why do i want them too?

  1. we have a 6.5 month season, it’s long hard winter, starting up with no cash is tough after 5 plus month with no money.
  2. crew does not have to collect at completion
  3. a bonus i did not foresee: CUSTOMERS LOVE IT!

a better question might be: why not?

Wel why not would be , because 5% adds up , but hey ihear ya …if you need the money you need the money. Customers love it so it’s a win win. Cool :+1:

So your collecting before the following season ?