Video Transcript:

Welcome back to Callahan’s corner here where we take your submitted question and answer them live on facebook. So questions submitted today, or actually last week, was how to handle your billing going into the next season, how do you recommend doing this for best practice and when you do this as best practice what kind of payment methodology should be in there? So couple things were going to be going over today right off the bat is what I recommend is best practice for setting up your billing for the upcoming season as far as timing and if a credit card on file should be required and if it is how you handle that in addition Im going to hop into Service Autopilot and show you how this all kind of comes down with some quick best practice for workflow and how to run several thousand credit cards if you like to do it or one credit card using the click of three buttons how to email and how to print in  literally minutes. This is a streamline workflow that we use in my business as well as there’s probably thousands of businesses using it as well. First question that most people want to know is when should I bill my customers so I need to give credit where credit is due 100% this is something I did not come up with far as the timing this is something that I learned specifically from Jonathan Pototschnik of the Lawn Care Millionaire co-owner Service Autopilot I was blessed enough to hang out with him in a round-table probably eight or nine years ago and this was an instrumental shift in the way I looked at receivables and billing in my company and I will tell you right off the bat once I get into the methodologies that we use that Jonathan recommended and we’ve tweaked a little bit for our market that when you do you need to commit to it I’ll give you the details of that. Comments or questions drop below in the live version here. Basically what we’re going to do is require a credit card on file now we may grandfather people in that have already been there without a credit card that’s what we did at Callahan’s I will tell you it was more of an issue because we had two different types of billing at that point and once we hit a certain point everybody had to be credit cards a grandfathering your existing client in is a bit of a risk but right now with everybody buying on Amazon and online I really just don’t see it as that big of an issue and I recommend jumping in headfirst with it there’s really not a lot of risk that being said if you’re not going to do that I would make somebody prepay the year in advance with no discount and credit card only that would be the easiest transition in but having people paying by check people like credit card Tammy my office got buried with different workflows and it was cumbersome. The idea is if you follow this methodology which we ended up doing we require everybody to be a customer to have a credit card on file. As far is the billing frequency this is probably the most important part so even if you’re not doing credit card on file this I highly recommend adopting from day one going into the new season and what the methodology would be is everything that we serviced last week in our services business which was a lawn care business was done so everything from last week’s build out that following Tuesday now there’s definitely some reason to this madness so everything it was done last week even if we were done with some rain delays and we had to cut Saturday or Sunday it gave the consumer enough time to communicate with us if there was an issue with the service it allowed us to address and fix it and  if for some reason we weren’t going to charge them full price it gave us enough buffer before we hit their credit card the following Tuesday so that was the the methodology that Jonathan taught us and we adopted and it works so take it for what it is trust me this was revolutionary in our business so A it creative predictable systems when things were built out and B it created a predictable cash flow system and if we were out any money whose only one service it wasn’t a whole month’s worth of service so by billing that Tuesday most credit card processors within two to three business days you’ll have cash in the bank so by the time your payroll process on Friday If that’s the day you did it which we did the money was earning the bank from the previous week’s work that you’re paying the payroll on so you had cash in advance in the bank for the payroll so you were basically collecting the money before you absorb the actual labor expense that labor expense you know can be upwards of 60% of your overall expenses that’s a big nut to crack and finance that so plumbers electricians everybody else in service industry outside of lawn care requires payment time of service or right thereafter we are no different anybody in the cleaning industry that’s watching this 99% of them are going to bill that day after the service or the day of the service lady that cleans my house same exact thing my credit card gets run the following day as she runs it through Service Autopilotso there is a lot a lot of value to this. Quick recap if you’re just joining us is we’re looking at requiring the credit card on file everything we did the previous week we’re billing out the following Tuesday so we can address any service concerns or backup with weather delays and we’ve got money in the bank for payroll. On a very high level there’s several different ways to do this the way we tackle that credit card on file if/when a new client comes in is we actually send an automated email out it acclimate them welcomes to what’s expected with the business and in addition it has a PCI compliant credit form attached to it with a client puts their information in and it’s automatically on the client record. As we go into Service Autopilot Im going to blow the screen down here just so you can kind of see what we’re looking at under accounting this is a test account here I’ve got but under invoices once you have this set up I don’t have anything under open invoices or invoices of print or charge email but it’s the same methodology here under these filter results in this test account so as we’re going in weather I’ve got just a few on the screen or several thousand clients that we’re building out we can filter down by payment method status of different other things here but if these were all our credit card only customers I can go in and select them actions charge cards and hit charge cards and obvious I’m not going to hit it because this is a test account but literally soon as I hit this all my credit card processing is done so if you’re using QuickBooks and you’re physically charging each card that’s a massive time sync literally within minutes I can do this and have money in the bank if I bill it Tuesday for Friday’s payroll. Next thing is if we didn’t go strictly to credit card only we can go in and actions in print timesaver it loads all these PDFs in here and we can hit print so we can get out one or several thousand printed emails in minutes obviously you have to stuff the envelopes and then the next thing is if we go in and we want to email these out we can also have two different methodologies here so if people don’t want to give you their credit card on file which is encrypted and tokenized so you never actually see if you see the expiration date and the last four digits the cool thing is here we’ve got a pre-templated email that will merge in their link to your payment portal if you use it and you can first time in there or every time you can use their username and password to show that so they can log in and pay that information right here and pay their account online so you don’t have to have a credit card on file but you can require a credit card payment on a weekly basis or under insert forms we can go in and out update credit card here and this will automatically merge in a box where they can click on the bottom of it you’d obviously put some verbiage in here but they can click on that PCI compliant credit card for me and enter make payments into the eliminate them having to keep the credit card on file I recommend the credit card on file little three clips running them all but if you have somebody that says you knowI don’t want to give you my credit card number you can filter them out and still have them paid by credit card every week in the same exact fashion for cash flows. Comments or questions drop them below if you’re watching live. In addition to that I want to hop in and just show you a couple other things no matter your CRM I recommend that you probably definitely want to have in there so the the biggest question and concern is when we’re going on to add these credit cards is that somebody in your office could have access to them so no card on file here but if we went in a hit add this is where we can go in and see the information that was on file all we see is the last four digits and the expiration and billing information if we were going to collect the credit card over the phone we hit add credit card once again this is a PCI compliant form it never hits the server Service Autopilot or if you’re looking at another software platform to do this in make sure that it is PCI compliant what’s going to happiness they empty the information it’s tokenized so it’s safe and it never hits the server of Service Autopilot or the CRM and it automatically goes that credit card processors such as clearance there and that would be the process that you would want to drive through his best practice in my opinion. Comments and questions drop below. Quick recap I would recommend billing on a weekly basis everything from the previous week is billed out on a credit card only the following Tuesday credit card on file is required if you’re not going to require the credit card on file giving the ability to pay their bill online with a credit card either a PCI compliant form merged in through email or a link to your payment portal and this will streamline it and best practice it can be learned from Callahan’s is do not goof around making grandfathered in  some people can pay by check some people can pay by cash some people can do this and do this and then everybody news credit card only that’s going to create a workflow issue in your office in confusion so we want to standardize it from the beginning and I will tell you at least in my experience and the companies I’ve worked with you’re not going to lose many customers over this if any and the ones if you do lose any are the ones that are paying you on time or not paying it so it will help qualify your customer base and have good cash flow in the bank for when you may need to run yourpayroll so comments questions you’re on below Callahan’s corner you ask the questions we answer live on Facebook Live weekly.