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Efficiency Tip: Save time with automatic renewals

March 2, 2016 -  By

iS62339306sign-contractAt NJ Best Lawn & Sprinkler, putting renewals on autopilot has been a time-saving move.

Since 2010 the Lakewood, N.J.-based company has automatically renewed the contracts for and charged the credit cards of clients receiving recurring residential lawn maintenance, lawn care, irrigation and snow removal services.

“It’s like a gym membership,” says General Manager David Hartzell. “On the contract, it specifically says it’s a seasonal, autorenewing service, unless canceled in writing.”

Before going down this road, Hartzell says to check whether your state has automatic renewal regulations on the books.

To balance cash flow, the company renews snow contracts on Oct. 1, irrigation contracts on Jan. 1, lawn care contracts on March 1 and maintenance contracts on April 1. On those dates, the company generates new contracts and charges clients’ credit cards (the data of which are stored on a secure server) with “the click of a button” in its software system, Work Wave. Then the system generates a report on the clients whose cards that are canceled, expired or declined, so the company can follow up.

Compared to the “old way” of billing a client—waiting for a check, opening the mail, posting the check to the account and so on—it’s much more efficient, Hartzell says.

“From a per-client standpoint we might be saving only five minutes, but with 26,000 active clients, it’s a tremendous savings,” he says.

Photo: ©istock.com/Gajus

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