How to Collect Money From a Customer

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An Easy way that will get you money owed from a customer or client. How to collect for work done from customers, friends, family or anyone. Terms and conditions that will Protect the contractor. How to collect money from a customer.

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017: Geek to Freak – YouTube Monetization for the Average Guy

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37 Comments

  1. Hi I just started a landscaping business with my husband we have our first job and the first problem we verbally agreed to do this clients front yard which it includes remove a Pine tree, pruning 5 bushes. raking the grass and promoting grass growth which includes fertilizing and all of that leveling part of the ground, adding some steppers to get to his deck. my husband will put labor and equipment now he wants to put pebbles under his deck for same cost which was 3500 I don't know what to do can someone help/ advice.

  2. awesome job with these videos! very motivational and informative. I'm starting a few landscaping jobs in the next two weeks and also work construction full time

  3. Good info and thank you. I have not had any one not pay me but you meet all sort's . I have had some bad exp. with half down some people want you to finance the whole job and pay you at the end. I dont fall for much and have running my own company for 12 yrs. i stumbled on here looking for info on how to bid decks can any one help say square footage price ? Utah

  4. Hey Stanley, great vid.  Money makes a greedy low life customer funny is so true.  I did a job for this crook and completed it yesterday.  It took one week to complete and no complaints during the whole process.  I made out a written detailed contract of what the guy wanted I provided him with that and then some extra's because I am new to business and learning fast.  Anyway, once the job was complete this person says he won't pay for the whole job because what he wanted wasn't in the contract so more money and materials were needed with a new contract.  So I tell him I can put another coat because one coat of paint will have some bleed through but he was cheap and thought that I should do more work for free because what he ordered wasn't what he wanted.  It's like he had this planned the whole time of how to get something for nothing so I kept attacking his conscience wasn't going to leave until I got the money.  Eventually I had to knock off 60 dollars to get the rest of the amount which isn't a lot but it's the principal of having to deal with a thief.  I've been anxious ever since waiting for the check to clear.  Because dealing with a thief and liar you can't trust them.  When I said that what he was doing was wrong he said sue me then.  I don't have time to bring this loser to Judge Judy.  I wish I could have more protection against robbers.  The worst part of all is this person premeditated this scheme because he was happy and had no complaints at all until the very end after having 4 days to check my work he tries to pull the rug out from under me.  I wish I could have called the police but thieves like this need to be dealt with in court I guess.  I don't know but exposing frauds like this and not keeping it a secret is a start.  Thanks>

  5. Hey Stanley how can I get on your podcast well that happen to me once and I went to a person house to see would like to have my service and she didn't pay me and so I went back and try to get paid from her

  6. Great video! Also, if a customer writes a bad check you can criminally prosecute them. In the state of Missouri it is considered a Class A misdemeanor if it is under $500. If the check is $500 or more it is considered a class C felony. On large jobs I have had my attorney write letters to a couple of customers reminding them of this Statute and they will correct their error quickly. And by them attempting to pay the final balance that also reassures that the contractor held up their end of the contract.

  7. Just found you man, great videos! Geek to Freak motivated me to start my own lawn service. Then I found Keith Kalfas and he helped me jump up my game. Now I found you and I believe you have the videos that'll help me jump myself to the next level. great videos, thanks for putting them out there

  8. My secret to being paid in full for every other job is that I'd use the threat of a real property lien if someone started trying to get out of the debt.

    I genuinely wanted to work with folks, I realize that some projects are not exactly elective and can be a huge unexpected cost, things such as septic systems or severe erosion aren't things most folks can just pay cash money for. I'd arrange payment plans (with interest, of course), but as soon as folks went delinquent and started blowing me off, I'd just gently let them know that I wasn't going to waste my time bugging them, I'd just file a lien and they could pay me when they're able, even if that's years down the road when they want to sell their home.

    I had two jobs that stood out as being particularly obnoxious in that regard. One was a septic upgrade so a fellow could get his carriage house fully-plumbed so he could live there while renting-out the main home. Times were tough for him, I accommodated they guy as much as I could, and figured as long as he was making progress on the debt, it was no hardship for me to run an account for him. When he went 3 months delinquent, I brought-up the topic of filing a lien to make sure I'd get paid, he paid-off the last few hundred bucks he owed immediately.

    Another was a snow-clearing job which took dozens of hours to open a nearly 3/4 mile-long driveway after a 9' snowfall. After the snow was cleared, he started whining about his engineering business doing poorly, so I worked-out a payment plan for him as well. Months later when it was summer and the huge heaps of snow I piled were mostly melted away, he started getting difficult, blowing-off his monthly payments. I guess his wife didn't like the prospect of having a lien placed on their home, they came-up with the remaining balance almost immediately.

    I think the reason this approach is so effective is that, at some level, people think if they drag their feet and fool around long enough, the contractor will just give-up and go away, all debts dismissed & forgotten, or that they could bargain to pay less as is possible with unsecured debt that gets sent to collections. Liens are something that take no effort to maintain and they don't go away, they secure the debt by clouding the title to the real property which has been repaired or improved until they're paid-off.

  9. You're spot-on about having customers pay for materials.

    The only job I ever ran where I didn't collect 100% of my bill was a particular guy who I should've known better than to work for. He showed some signs of being demanding at the start, even bragged about sending other folks packing without pay because he didn't like the quality of their work. He actually tried to send me packing without being paid partway through the job, complaining about what his dirt driveway looked like when it was barely even half-graded and I had some parts ripped-up for restructuring & drainage.

    I had to get a bit forceful with him to complete my job, which involved finishing it with a layer of recycled asphalt. Of course, he found fault with the recycled asphalt and refused to pay, rather than deal with him anymore, I just took payment for services rendered, blacklisted him, spread the word to colleagues about him, and called it good. If only I'd had him pay for materials, I would've collected on the entire project on that, too.

  10. So I'm in a bit of different situation and looking to start a maintenance company offering outsourced maintenance services for local businesses. Currently developing my business plan and just trying to figure out service costs hourly, fees, materials, etc.

  11. I'm waiting for payment FROM A FRIEND for tractor work I did at the beginning of March 2016. Without being a big ass and losing the friend, how do I get paid? I'm about to add 50$ at the start of April 2016 as interest. Good idea? Please help
    — I should add that I did this job under verbal contract and under friendship getting paid in a timely manner. I have NOT heard from my friend for about a week and am wondering if he is avoiding me. It's getting to the point I'm not caring about the friendship anymore and am becoming agitated due to the long wait period. My friend called me early last week asking me to help him do something for $50 this past Saturday. I denied him. I think the friendship will be going down and I'm just to put my foot down on this issue. I WILL add $50 to the bill for interest and expect payment in full in one week or the entire bill DOUBLES. Beginning bill-$350, adding $50 interest April 1st =$400. If I need to double it, = $800. etc.. —

  12. Hi I from Australia and here you get a 10% deposited and so on. Well I was doing this job for a customer, he paid the 10% before I started, started work Paid the next payment of 20% and then when it came to the 3rd Payment he said "I do not have it right now, I will get to you by next week sorry" me be green I fell for it and kept on working. I did not see it and finally got up to the 4th payment set out in the schedule. I said where the money and he said the same thing.. I pack my gear up and left…. He took me to the authority and start to complain I didn't build the Retaining wall. I paid for an engineer to check it out and over a 250 Square Foot  (22.5m2 approx.) it was out by 5mm…. our tolerance is 10mm. He still had to pay me but still never seen the money… It taken me 3 year to recover from a $50 000 loss.  Your recommend a 50% up front, I do it slightly different, I Take it 10% up front then 50% when I start the job, rest on balance…….. Note to Stanley Dude man keep doing your video it helping people out there including me…. If I had these 8 years ago, I would not have all the trouble I got Thank form all the future Contractor…..

  13. I like to get the downpayment when the contract is signed, well before the start date. This way the check has time to clear. I also don't pull off the job until I'm paid. As you mentioned, it's harder for them to be unreasonable when they are looking you in the eyes. Also, if they have an issue with something you still have the manpower and equipment on site to make a change. The other important thing to mention is that if you remove all equipment and 30 days pass, they can claim you abandoned the job which can give them all the leverage they need in court (Massachusetts).

  14. This is good, Stanley!  🙂
    I can't watch all the videos tonight, but I learn and I nod my head pretty often as I watch now. 🙂
    Thumbs up from Norway!

  15. Never got burned and never will. I am very generous with my estimate and because of that I am very aggressive with getting paid. I look at what they do for a living, how much money they seem to have vs their bills, what their budget looks like, and how excited they seem. If a job is more than $1000 I get ALL the money up front with a contract that states I will do ALL the work I said I would. Not that hard. They don't want to pay up, they don't get my service.

  16. I poured a slab for garage, $5500 labor and bobcat to grade. Customer was always good for 11 years. He became a pill popping alcoholic and refused to pay. I got a judgement against him in court, but still have to get Marshall to collect.

  17. Army snow contract, don't do it…………we have tracked the /my payment money from the feds to david 's pocket the feds / army said we need to hire an attorney to collect . He has committed fraud by accepting my money. hopefully we can resolve this by next year. He called me begging me to continue to work for him after fifteen years with the army reserve removing snow on my own, my big mistake. Wait till it snows this year LOL……..

  18. Always collect a job deposit up front. It only took one time getting burned for me to know that you have to cover yourself. Why should we pay for the customer to get work for free. As nice as you might want to be to a friend, acquaintance, family member, etc… business is business – period. Why do customers think that they can treat us like we're a credit card company or loan agency? Cash flow is too important to overlook getting money up front.

  19. This has happened to me on a couple occasions. Wise to get half up front and have them sign of on a paper agreement as well. Family, friends and prior customers are harder to ask for these requirements. BUT, I see it as a one credential approving you as a PROFESSIONAL comp[nay/ operation. Thanks for the detailed video and links. -Andrew (Southern Sons Landscape Management, LLC)

  20. Recently I had a general contractor screw me out of $3500. Brutal. He was in my BNI group, I told him about the past when a few general contractor screwed me out of $50,000 total and that they filed bankruptcy or went out of business leaving me holding the bag. It was a small job and I figured I could trust him, BAD mistake on my part.

  21. Nowhere near the level you guys are. But I still have an experience where I got screwed. I showed up to the customers yard and I gave her a price, She agreed to the price I wrote it down on the card. I show up the next day to do the lawn, and I complete the yard. She ended up giving me 1/3 of the yard and closed the door on me and told me she was sorry. I ended up leaving and angry the entire day. Not even 100 dollars, and not a super big loss, but it still didn't feel good. 

  22. My grandpa gave $7,000+ to his contractor to finish our house and was supposed to be he friend so he didn't sign a contract and didn't get work completed and now the contractor had died because of a drinking problem and haven't gotten our house finished and that was over 5 years ago 

  23. Not me but a buddy of mine hired a guy to biuld a deck on to the back of his house, the guy said he needed 500$ to get the lumber and supplies, so he gave him the money and he never came back lol he still runs into the guy every now and then.

  24. Thanks for the reply Stan. Actually your podcast is the first I've visited and listened to. I watched Mr Kalfas video on using a bluetooth headset to maximize my time with customers as well as listen to audio books and the sort. Stan have you come across the youtube channel "knowledge for Men" ? pretty good content. Thanks again, and keep up the good work! 

  25. Hi Stan, love your podcast on your website, awesome information. What other podcast would you recommend for me and other like us in the field looking for more business and self improvement. Again, thanks for your knowledge. 

  26. Great info as always thanks for sharing !

    What do you do if a customer refuses to pay you the 100$ for the initial estimate ? How many refusals do you get on initial contact ? If the customer agrees to pay the 100$ on the phone but refuses to pay once you arrive to quote the job what do you do ?

    If a customer has a check that bounces how do you handle it ?

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