Saying that billing can be stressful is an understatement for many in the pool route industry. I spoke with a client several years ago who hadn’t billed for a six-month period. I am uncertain as to how he was surviving, but he hated billing. I have spoken to many clients over the years who mailed their invoices late almost every month. Another client, many years ago, kept 1,500 customer records on handwritten ledger cards. He had an employee who spent every day updating the hand-written cards in ink, pencil was not allowed in his company. If the employee made a mistake on the card, it was trashed and she had to start again for the customer.
Times have changed in a big way from handwritten ledger cards. There are numerous software programs one can purchase for billing. These programs provide services for emailing invoices, recording chemical consumption and some will email the customer when you arrive and leave the pool. However, the function a program cannot perform is inputting the information. This is still a human function and one where we are often negligent.
One of the ways I overcame the boredom of billing is by recording everything I put into a pool on my cell phone or earlier on, a handheld recorder. I know there are individuals who still handwrite every extra item, but this is way too anti-technology for me. In today’s software programs, you can enter a chargeable item in the field and it is saved in the customer’s account on your office computer. This is the billing world in which we currently live. Press a button and all of your bills are launched into cyberspace.
While all of this technology is wonderful and helpful, we can still screw up the billing process. That is why I prefer billing four times per year instead of every month. Four-time per year offers you eight fewer chances for procrastination.
Billing quarterly in advance, on credit card, has been a focus of mine for fifteen or twenty years. It really is an easy sell; and it also takes the stress of invoice payment off the customer, eight times per year. If you are not billing in this manner, you are way behind in billing protocol. If you would like some information on how to accomplish this goal, check out The Millionaire Pool Man Program or contact our office at 877-766-5757.
Until next time, keep your billing up to date. Money is the lifeblood of business.