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  • Billing Question

    Hi all,

    I have a new account at a church for weekend work walking their parking lot and event security at nights. They will be having their annual church carnival this weekend and have requested additional services. Since it is to be a major event would it be appropriate to ask for a portion of the fee upfront just to cover some of the costs of the temporary staff ?

    I know that I should have sat down with them and presented them with a contract detailing these things however the church hired us on a trial basis and really didn't know if they would continue service. As of Sunday, I was told that the church would continue with our service.

    Thanks in advance for all of your answers.

    Irving.
    The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing. Edmund Burke.

    Quis custodiet ipsos custodes ?

    www.patrol4u.com


    sigpic

  • #2
    It is not something I would normally do unless I was running a team with 20 plus staff and would require a deposit or progress payment. 25% seems fair or you could reduce this down to 10% for your own reason.

    What I would do to make your services more viable and to appease your clients is to consider setting up your CP as a 1st Aid Area (either as required or in addition to that organised. I have a $30.00 portable shelter I used in all weather for this purpose (just the roof) and it went down well with school events and the like when I had my own company - besides a national flag made it visible to all patrons as a place for lost kids, lost parents and lost and found. Also it is a good place for your team to meet and break too.

    PS. I would also explain that you need to book additional staff so need to ensure they are paid on a cancellation too.
    "Keep your friends close and your enemies even closer" Sun Tzu

    Comment


    • #3
      You need to sit down and discuss this with the client now. I don't feel that a small deposit is unreasonable. You say they have had your services on a trial basis. How long have you been on a trial basis? Have payments been made regularly and on time? I am an Elder in my church so I know that sometimes churches move slower than do bussinesses, just because the descision makers are often volunteers and only meet once a month or so. That not to say they pay slow, just slow to make descisions.
      "Gun control, the theory that 110lb. women have the "right" to fistfight with 210lb. rapists. " Author Unknown

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by gonzo1510 View Post
        Hi all,

        I have a new account at a church for weekend work walking their parking lot and event security at nights. They will be having their annual church carnival this weekend and have requested additional services. Since it is to be a major event would it be appropriate to ask for a portion of the fee upfront just to cover some of the costs of the temporary staff ?

        I know that I should have sat down with them and presented them with a contract detailing these things however the church hired us on a trial basis and really didn't know if they would continue service. As of Sunday, I was told that the church would continue with our service.

        Thanks in advance for all of your answers.

        Irving.
        Now is the time to sit down and hammer out a simple contract to protect all the parties involved.

        In the for what it's worth department - I charge a retainer on consulting jobs for new clients and jobs that are going to last one month or more. I have turned down clients who refuse to pay a retainer.
        Retail Security Consultant / Expert Witness
        Co-Author - Effective Security Management 6th Edition

        Contributor to Retail Crime, Security and Loss Prevention: An Encyclopedic Reference

        Comment


        • #5
          Curtis, I guess you like to eat and be paid too huh ?

          When my last client got to 90 days behind in payment, I stopped work and informed the PA to the Managing Director (Pres), I was going home until payments were caught up. He drove to my residence that afternoon with a personal cheque for $25k and insisted I take the week and work from home for a change of scenery. Everything was 7 day accounts from that point.

          I think a depost is not unfair as like anything, there are some upfront costs you need to cover first and this could be additional radios or uniform shirts so it makes you look more serious that some other companies.
          "Keep your friends close and your enemies even closer" Sun Tzu

          Comment


          • #6
            On a more general "business" note - but related to the original question posed in this thread - you should try to establish a line of short-term credit with your bank in order to meet the many sorts of "unbudgeted" expenses that can arise in any business.

            In retailing, for example, a merchant might suddenly have the opportunity to purchase a quantity of merchandise at a very attractive price, but he needs to come up with $5000 that has not been budgeted in order to take advantage of the opportunity.

            The same sort of thing arises in service industries...a sudden increase in demand for services that requires some up-front unbudgeted expenditure in order to be able to seize the opportunity, or perhaps an unforeseen major unbudgeted expense in order to avoid the loss of service delivery capability.

            Having a short-term line of credit gives you flexibility and something that cannot be overvalued in any business - AGILITY in managing your business.
            "Every betrayal begins with trust." - Brian Jacques

            "I can't predict the future, but I know that it'll be very weird." - Anonymous

            "There is nothing new under the sun." - Ecclesiastes 1:9

            "History, with all its volumes vast, hath but one page." - Lord Byron

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by NRM_Oz View Post
              Curtis, I guess you like to eat and be paid too huh ?

              When my last client got to 90 days behind in payment, I stopped work and informed the PA to the Managing Director (Pres), I was going home until payments were caught up. He drove to my residence that afternoon with a personal cheque for $25k and insisted I take the week and work from home for a change of scenery. Everything was 7 day accounts from that point.

              I think a depost is not unfair as like anything, there are some upfront costs you need to cover first and this could be additional radios or uniform shirts so it makes you look more serious that some other companies.
              I have adopted a very firm stance on retainers. I also place the following wording at the bottom of my statement for attorneys and insurance companies - Please deduct 10% if paid within 30 days. Works wonders.
              Retail Security Consultant / Expert Witness
              Co-Author - Effective Security Management 6th Edition

              Contributor to Retail Crime, Security and Loss Prevention: An Encyclopedic Reference

              Comment


              • #8
                Yes I have the same discount policy and a penalty clause of 2% interest / month after 45 days. 2% is nothing to bigger clients but in a sense they are paying 12% more for a service they could have utilised better, but my smaller clients all pay earlier to obtain their discounts.

                I also HAD a line of credit as an overdraft for my company and when I weighed up the fees against personal credit card use (payment within 30 days) it was alot cheaper ($200 US cheaper). Either way it was a tool I could use if required - I then went to a company credit card which dropped the o/draft fees to zero.
                "Keep your friends close and your enemies even closer" Sun Tzu

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by gonzo1510 View Post
                  Hi all,

                  I have a new account at a church for weekend work walking their parking lot and event security at nights. They will be having their annual church carnival this weekend and have requested additional services. Since it is to be a major event would it be appropriate to ask for a portion of the fee upfront just to cover some of the costs of the temporary staff ?

                  I know that I should have sat down with them and presented them with a contract detailing these things however the church hired us on a trial basis and really didn't know if they would continue service. As of Sunday, I was told that the church would continue with our service.

                  Thanks in advance for all of your answers.

                  Irving.
                  I'm going to use this thread to make an announcement. I have been a somewhat successful consultant for several years but have become increasingly more frustrated with business owners in this industry. Not a one would put an officer on a post without charging a client, but they will and do expect to receive valuable industry management advise free of charge on this forum, in my newsletter, in my articles, etc.

                  Two months ago, I would have been very willing to provide you with a generic service agreement specific for this industry and even a very, very simple billing program with the hopes of future business. It would have taken me about 10 minutes to do so.

                  Since that never happens, however, I accepted a great offer from a NYC area company to get back into corporate life and be their CFO. Believe me, it feels good to be back in the grind and work with the few people in this industry who "get it".

                  Assuming the estimate there are 10,000 contract security companies in the US, 9,900 company owners are morons who know everything there is to know about the industry, but can't seem to grow beyond 2,000 or 3,000 weekly hours.

                  If you want to grow your company, get out your checkbook or your credit card and call one of the great and talented consultants in this forum. Don't bother calling me, however, because I am sick of sharing my knowledge for free. My new employer (a great guy) is quite willing to, and indeed is paying for that knowledge.

                  To Security Trainer, NA, Bill Warnock and many others, I have enjoyed the last year or two but I'll be busy from now on helping my current company taking contracts from those above mentioned morons!! I will, however, continue to monitor and read the posts in this fine forum because there is always something new to learn. I will probably only read Sec Trainer's posts on the weekends when I more time!!
                  Richard Dickinson
                  Dickinson Security Management Group, LLC
                  DSMG Provides a Variety of Software Products and Consulting Services to the Contract Security Industry
                  www.hrdickinson.com

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by hrdickinson View Post
                    I will probably only read Sec Trainer's posts on the weekends when I more time!!
                    I wish you the very best and am encouraged to think that someone recognizes your expertise...to the point that they will <begin gasp> actually pay you for it!<end gasp> Just to make sure I understand, you are referring to genuine coin of the realm, so to speak? Money? Cashola? Moolah...as in the folding stuff? Not chickens, bushels of potatoes, grab bags of old radio tubes or IOU's...."I'll return the favor some time"??

                    With respect to your comment directed to me, I'll take it as a compliment rather than as a "dig" regarding the length of my posts. As my forum name implies, I am a trainer, and when I tackle subjects that cannot be adequately addressed in "15-second sound bites", I will write what I feel needs to be said....however lengthy. I will provide examples, and links to other resources when appropriate.

                    Those who can recognize free training when it's smacking them in the face will take it and use it to their advantage. My education, training and experience have cost me $tens of thousands of dollars and years of my life, and I try to translate that into real informational value on this forum.

                    I know we have many members who do not come to the forum for training, but for the social contacts, and that's perfectly legitimate. These members can simply put me on their "ignore" list or zoom on by my posts without reading them - it doesn't insult me. I'm happy to help even one member, and my private email indicates that the number is considerably greater than that. So, I continue to answer questions to the depth I think they deserve. Read my posts or not - whatever floats your boat is okee-dokee by me and I'm not offended either way.

                    I hope that by your post here some of our members will reflect on the difference between asking forum specialists for general advice and asking them to consult on specific issues. Every now and then, an email I receive will ask: "If this is an inquiry that you normally charge consultation fees to answer, please let me know" - or something to that effect. Just being asked that question is very refreshing and speaks volumes about the questioner.

                    Good luck!
                    Last edited by SecTrainer; 10-27-2007, 11:56 AM.
                    "Every betrayal begins with trust." - Brian Jacques

                    "I can't predict the future, but I know that it'll be very weird." - Anonymous

                    "There is nothing new under the sun." - Ecclesiastes 1:9

                    "History, with all its volumes vast, hath but one page." - Lord Byron

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      From the wilds of Haymarket, Virginia, I wish you the best in your new undertaking. If there is anyway I can be of assistance, minus travel, you have but to ask.
                      There are a lot of strange folks in the security company business these days and there is not to much you can say in a positive vein for former siding sales persons.
                      There are a lot of folks in the business world who plan to hide behind "Plausible Denyability," and hope they don't get hit with "You as the CEO had the Responsibility to Know."
                      Friends on mine work in a hospital where the CEO is just that way and all his underlings are the same way.
                      Anyway Richard, the best of the best to you and yours.
                      Enjoy the day,
                      Bill

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Bill Warnock View Post
                        There are a lot of strange folks in the security company business these days and there is not to much you can say in a positive vein for former siding sales persons.
                        Ummm, at least they weren't used car salesman?

                        hr... All the best. Glad somebody can make money in this biz. A beacon of hope for the rest of us

                        Hopefully you'll still throw in your $.02 now and again just for s**ts & giggles.
                        sigpic
                        Rocket Science
                        Making everything else look simple, since 1958.


                        http://my.opera.com/integrator/blog/
                        One Man's Opinion

                        The Future. It isn't what it used to be.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by SecTrainer View Post
                          With respect to your comment directed to me, I'll take it as a compliment rather than as a "dig" regarding the length of my posts. As my forum name implies, I am a trainer, and when I tackle subjects that cannot be adequately addressed in "15-second sound bites", I will write what I feel needs to be said....however lengthy. I will provide examples, and links to other resources when appropriate.
                          S.T., that comment was mde in jest to a person for whom I have the greatest respect. You're right, you don't just throw out a concept, but back it up with a detailed analysis and examples. There a lot of us out there and in this forum (let's not forget "Security Consultant" and all the rest) that enjoy helping business owners. That's what drove me to consulting in the first place, and I still feel that way. I never minded one bit, helping people in this forum or out in the real world that could benefit from whatever knowledge I have. I guess I was shocked to realize how few people were willing to pay for it, like in "Coin of the Realm". Accolades are great for the ego but they won't pay for college tuition!

                          Anyway, my rant had roots in my obvious frustration. The truth is, for every moran out there, there are great people in the industry, many of whom I have had the good fortunate to meet over the past four years. I hope I didn't offend anyone in this forum, because any business owner on S.I.W. is, at least trying to succeed and build a quality company. I guess the low margins, which are inherent in the business, just don't allow for a big Consulting Budget!!

                          Originally posted by integrator97 View Post
                          Hopefully you'll still throw in your $.02 now and again just for s**ts & giggles.
                          I certainly will continue to do that! Thanks for the thought.

                          Originally posted by Bill Warnock View Post
                          If there is anyway I can be of assistance, minus travel, you have but to ask.
                          Thanks Bill, the same goes for you or any else in this forum.

                          Be back soon..
                          Richard Dickinson
                          Dickinson Security Management Group, LLC
                          DSMG Provides a Variety of Software Products and Consulting Services to the Contract Security Industry
                          www.hrdickinson.com

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Bill Warnock View Post
                            From the wilds of Haymarket, Virginia, I wish you the best in your new undertaking. If there is anyway I can be of assistance, minus travel, you have but to ask.
                            There are a lot of strange folks in the security company business these days and there is not to much you can say in a positive vein for former siding sales persons.
                            There are a lot of folks in the business world who plan to hide behind "Plausible Denyability," and hope they don't get hit with "You as the CEO had the Responsibility to Know."
                            Friends on mine work in a hospital where the CEO is just that way and all his underlings are the same way.
                            Anyway Richard, the best of the best to you and yours.
                            Enjoy the day,
                            Bill
                            Bill, I've been in your neck of the woods (Manassas) a few times in the last couple of weeks doing some work for a client. If possible, I'd like to meet with you.
                            Retail Security Consultant / Expert Witness
                            Co-Author - Effective Security Management 6th Edition

                            Contributor to Retail Crime, Security and Loss Prevention: An Encyclopedic Reference

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Security Consultant View Post
                              Bill, I've been in your neck of the woods (Manassas) a few times in the last couple of weeks doing some work for a client. If possible, I'd like to meet with you.
                              Look for the PM - Bill

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