While Mother Nature is already doing her part for snow removal contractors in many cities across the U.S. and Canada, we hope your customers are doing their part too and paying you quickly for your services.
Snow and ice management is a capital intensive business, and with the increase in de-icing materials snow removal contractors are facing this year alone, it’s definitely not getting easier or cheaper to provide snow removal services. But it can still be very profitable. You can get a good return on your work, and you can get it even faster if you do these three things.
Get Your Invoices from Subs and to Clients ASAP
The first suggestion to help you get paid faster for snow removal services is an obvious one (and probably easier said than done): turn your billing around as soon as as possible after an event. You want to get your invoices out as fast as you can so the snow event is as fresh in your clients mind as it is in yours.
This can be tricky if you work with sub contractors because you might have to wait on your subs to invoice you before you invoice the client. To reduce the likelihood of this happening, have a discussion with your sub before the season starts about the importance of getting their invoices to you ASAP after an event. You need to get paid, so you can pay them, so it’s in everyone’s best interest to expedite whatever they can on their end to get the bill out the door quickly.
Emailing, text messaging and software specifically designed for snow contractors can help a great deal with this too, which brings me to the next suggestion.
Send Invoices Electronically Whenever Possible
Send your invoices electronically whenever possible, even if you are going to follow up with an invoice in the mail. It’s a great way to expedite getting paid. Your clients can have the invoice by the next day or two, or maybe even within a few hours of receiving service, which will keep your work at top of mind and hopefully speed up getting paid.
Emailing an invoice to your clients, and having your subs email their invoices to you, can shave days, possibly an entire month, off of getting the bill in your clients hands and hopefully a check in yours.
Plus if you let too much time pass before you get your invoices out, you make it easier for your clients to forget how bad the conditions were during the storm, which can increase the likelihood that your client will want to negotiate the bill with you. The next suggestion can help with this too.
Include a Storm Scenario Recap with Invoices
As a snow removal contractor, you make everyday activities possible for your clients and the general public when a snow storm hits. As a result, some of your clients may not even encounter the snow and ice because you took care of their property in such a timely manner that it was like nothing happened at all.
One way you can remind and inform clients about what you’ve taken care of for them is to include a simple storm scenario recap with every invoice. Outline what occurred and what your team did to ensure everything was business as usual for them.
You can even back everything up with weather data from a reliable source like the National Weather Service or your local news station. Click here to see an example of a weather report from the National Weather service that shows how much it snowed in our ZIP code on November 17, 2014.
Storm scenario recaps are helpful, informative and they allow you demonstrate your professionalism and expertise. Hopefully they will help you get paid faster too!
What do you do to get paid as quickly as possible after an event? Share your tips with us in the comments section of this post- and stay safe out there snow fighters!