Your Client Service Agreement should outline your payment policy. If you only accept payments up front from your clients then make sure this is spelt out in your Agreement and you signpost this with them when you meet for the first time.
Try to get, where possible, payment in advance, whether that is by offering weekly or monthly packages or a VIP Membership Program.
If you are grooming a pet then we would suggest you take the payment at the beginning or end of the treatment. Preferably encourage your clients to join a VIP membership scheme where they pay for 6, 12, 24 grooming appointments in advance in return for a good discount.
If you are taking on a pet boarding or pet sitting assignment we would suggest you take the payment up front, or if not, you take 50% as a deposit 14 days before the assignment begins. The final 50% is due immediately on completion of the assignment.
Cash is King as they say but often, these days, clients are looking for easy, convenient payment methods. Taking credit cards, debit cards and setting up direct debits are the norm for many pet care businesses and there are a number of ways you can do this. You could take payment on your mobile phone by downloading an app such as iZettle, (www.izettle.com). Paypal offer an online payment option, and you can take payments via your website or, if you plan to have a pet business management software these systems can take payments for you via an app even when you are in the middle of the park!