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Full payment up front?

Discussion in 'The Taxidermy Industry' started by Ron B, Oct 17, 2011.

  1. Ron B

    Ron B Life Sucks.....Then comes the death roll!!!!

    Anybody out there demand full payment up front! If so, does it help or hurt? I'm thinking about going that route because I simply am not getting payed! I have almost 50% of my annual income owed to me and it is starting to hurt! :mad: :mad: Saddest part is it is almost all by folks who have money! Maybe this is how they got it to start with :mad: :mad: :mad:
    Anyway your thoughts and experiences would be appreciated!
  2. michael p.

    michael p. Getting better with age :)

    I HATE getting paid up front!! As a matter of fact I only charge $200 deposit for every $500 and try to not take deposit on euros, etc. I like being owed money, it motivates me to work harder.

    I am really lucky in that most of my customers are good payers. If they are going to be a few months picking up or take really long, I call them, explain the predicament I am in and more times than not they will let me run their credit card over the phone.

    I am a spender (my wife is not). I am always traveling, hunting, remodeling something, building something and if I got paid all up front I would be broke by March and have a ton of work left with no money coming in. I charge a smaller deposit, order supplies with it and that forces me to work even when I do not want to and to watch my spending.

    You may be different. If you are self motivated and really good at managing your finances then all up front may be your best bet :) Me, i'd be knee deep in crap ;) :D

  3. Ron B

    Ron B Life Sucks.....Then comes the death roll!!!!

    Mike, I agree with you 100% ! I hate getting paid up front, even deposits! I like seeing my money building up in the shop! And I REALLY like it when everybody shows up at once and I have a HUGE pile of cash(till I pay bills") but it is getting rediculous lately! People that I would have trusted with everything I own have screwed me over......and the other ones I have learned are in jail on meth charges!!! ::) Can't make a living like this anymore!

    Was just wondering if anyone has ever tried it and if it hurt or helped their business!
  4. Matt

    Matt Active Member

    I to agree with you guys, getting paid in full up front doesn't motivate me as much. I do have alot of clients that like to do that, you just have to put a percentage away for those rainy days!(LOL)
  5. Heck

    Heck Active Member

    I have a couple people that I have pay me 100% up front. Only because they cannot comprehend the idea of a budget!!! One of them took 6 months to pay me after hounding me weekly till his stuff was done, once done he had no money!! ;)
  6. Bill Yox

    Bill Yox Well-Known Member

    Ron, take the working capital of a deposit as you usually do. But, from now on, call the customer shortly before final mounting begins and have them run the rest of the money to you before work continues. Let them know when they drop off work that this is the new payment arrangement. You wont get stuck with anything if they dont pay for it before you begin the final stage.
  7. Ron B

    Ron B Life Sucks.....Then comes the death roll!!!!

    Bill, I have thought of that, and have even done it with some "questionable" types that I "used" to think I could pick out! I just was thinking it would just be simpler to get payed and be done with it! Either pay me or take your &^%% somewhere else! But my greatest fear is that people would then feel even more free......to hound the hell out of me if they have it all payed for! Dang catch to everything! :( In a really pi$$ed attitude right now towards the humane race ;) ;D
  8. fishmaster

    fishmaster Well-Known Member

    I think you are going to have a hard time selling payment in advance. It will turn a lot of people off. Since times have gotten so tough, I know a couple guys that do heads that contact the customer when they are getting ready to mount the head and requiring final payment at that time. They promise the head will be complete in 30 days from final payment.
    Alsi, If you get set up to accept credit cards it really helps the cash flow as things get picked up when people know they don't have to pay for it for 30 days. If your clientele is local a forced delivery can also help. A large part of my business has gone to credit or debit card payments. You could also make a contract so that you require 1/3 for deposit, 1/3 when it's mounted and the balance when it's due. Tie this into the customers credit card so it's done automatically.
  9. Justin P.

    Justin P. Active Member

    I get paid in full a lot. I offer a small discount to those that do. I love it. If the completed piece hangs on the wall for a year I could care less. I got my money. My customers are very good about picking up and I rarely have an issue with past due accounts. If I had a lot of issues like you're describing I'd employ a few of the suggestions made here.
    It's definately a drag when you're in the position you're in. It can really put you on the defensive as a business owner and that takes the fun out of it in a hurry.
  10. Cathy

    Cathy N.E.A.T President

    I prefer the 50% deposit. Then I have steady money coming in as the year goes on and the pieces go out the door. But then again, I have had only a few problems with pick-ups, so I guess I'm lucky in that. I agree with the plan of getting your balance when you are ready to mount if you are having lots of troublesome customers.
  11. FishArt

    FishArt Well-Known Member

    As of late, I've been kind've leaning towards Justin's philosophy. I DO like having money owed at pick-up time because of the motivational factor. But, boy you get a few deadbeats in a row and it makes you think twice on how to approach things. First off, I went to only one freezer. It FORCES me to stay on top of my work. As of recently, I switched my payment policies. I won't even start work unless I get AT LEAST half down. Then, about 4 weeks prior to completing one's mount they get a phone call and asked whether or not they'll be ready to pickup on so and so date. If not, I put them aside and jump to the next fish. And, I tell them to call me when they're ready financially. (I can complete their fish in a week or two at this point). Lastly, I pop a sign up in my shop now when a customer comes to drop off. The sign simply reads "Ask about our 5% discount". I give them the option to receive a 5% discount IF they pay in full up front. I could give a rats behind if their mount becomes a display specimen if it's paid in full. If you're bad at budgeting money then the payment in full up front won't work. But, I like it. I can pay bills earlier and not be reliant on my customers to pick-up on time. Of course, many will still opt to go with only half down. But, the more I can get paid up front, the better I sleep at night because I KNOW I'm getting paid!
  12. Bill Yox

    Bill Yox Well-Known Member

    To me it keeps it simple for the customer. Deposit up front, and a second payment/balance prior to me completing the job. That way theyre in control and so am I. I dont extend out past the deposit and wait for work to get paid for and picked up, or feel rushed to get it done because Im ready to do it before calling them. Also, they can hold off if they dont have that second payment, freeing me up to work on another job. They actually appreciate my working WITH them, as I have always appreciated their patience when Im behind on a job. Win win. Good luck with your ways guys and have a fun season.
  13. slee

    slee New Member

    From a guy who is not a taxidermist and has paid to get a few mounts done, I can say I don't mind paying 100% upfront as long as it comes with a reasonable Guaranteed completion date. And if its not done on time there is a discount or credit for my next mount. Pretty good motivation for a guy to get it done on time.

    One thing I have seen on the contract paper work when I have dropped animals off is, If the mount is not picked/paid for 30 days after completion, the mount will be sold for the balance owing. Some good motivation for the client to pay for his mount and pick it up. Some of the paper work has also stated storage fees for mounts that have been paid for and not picked up. Up to $100 a month. All paper work signed upfront.
  14. Cathy

    Cathy N.E.A.T President

    Contracts are a must. I have only had to charge the storage fee twice in a dozen years, and I have never had to sell a completed mount. I got stuck with a couple skins, but I either kept or sold them.
  15. i agree with micheal p, i like people to owe me money when they pick-up, i give them an option to pay a required deposit, pay in full, or pay it out, but the only thing i require is an aditional deposit and pay within 20 days after completion, after that, we have a pick-up policy and we have late fees accrue for 90 days ( TPWD law) then we sell, this is all under signed contract, i have very few problems, while were not a huge studio, we do about 600 mounts a year and it works for us, the only thing i require full payment on before starting, is pets, and i charge out the #[email protected] and send them to Brett defraise in kentucky to freeze dry, lol, the reason i charge up front money for pets is because they change their minds constantly, and no refunds
    you have do develope a routine that works for you, i just feel like i would loose some business if they had to come up with full money up-front, the most important thing to me is to get the business in here, and this seems to work for us
  16. gab

    gab Active Member

    I'm the same way .I want more coming on the other end and do a sorry job of getting deposits.It works for me,but my receivables are 3 times the usual lately,due to economy,etc.I think by the next decade things should straighten out.
  17. Ron B

    Ron B Life Sucks.....Then comes the death roll!!!!

    Thanks all! Not sure what I will do yet but I am deffinately going to go back to taking credit cards. Used to take them about 15 years ago but nobody ever used them here! May make a difference now...I hope so!
  18. dozier

    dozier New Member

    I agree with bill get your 50% deposit to accept the deer and the remainder to mount it . I'll take payment in full but they will understand by paying in full does not get their mount finished any faster , that is another benjamin for rush or just wait n hush.
  19. I'm in the reproduction business not Taxidermy,
    I've got a good friend in the taxidermy business.
    He gets 100% up front, puts the money in a special business account.
    Pays for his supplies in bulk, works 6 days a week and gets paid every week.
    It’s good money and comes out of that special account.
    He only pays himself for the work he did, I think he also gets a bounce quarterly when his accountant does the paper work.
    I must say I like his boss, he's taking care of business and his customers.
    Discipline seams to be the answer.
  20. bowelk

    bowelk Member

    If I may, I coincide with Marshall's comments. I collect 50% upfront prior to accepting the specimen, with the balance upon completion. I won't take possession without the deposit, period. I personally deem freezer space to be at a premium, so I'm willing to allow them to leave with their item and come back when they have sufficient funds. Migratory birds are paid 100% in advance of accepting the specimen for mount. Many customers do pay in full up front, but those monies above and beyond the required deposit are placed in a separate account, to later be transferred to my taxidermy account upon completion of the work and subsequent pick up of the specimen by the customer. It's pretty much "operating my business as a business", keeping accurate record keeping and acceptable cash flow practices.