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wrestlingcoach
10-10-2005, 12:31 PM
Which way to set up year round contracts?

Plan A
Assuming once a week during the growing season, the early and late months every other week
28 mowing per year
Anything else they want (like hedges trimmed 3 times a year)
Total price divide by 12 = monthly price

Simple Example house
28 times $40 = 1120 /12 = $93.33 per month



Plan B
Hereís what a LCO does in my home town:
He goes to the lawn 50 times during the year. 2 weeks off for christmas
50 (mowings and pick up sticks and mulches leaves in the fall )
Anything else they want (like hedges trimmed 3 times a year)
Total price divide by 12 = monthly price

Example
He charges less for the $40 house, he only charges $35 and he mulches leaves and picks up trash and sticks in the off months he said a lot of times nothing in the winter months.
But he shows up every week no matter what, to give the appearance

50 times $35= $1750 / 12 = $145.83 per month



which one???

LB1234
10-10-2005, 02:22 PM
the one that will work better for you

NickN
10-10-2005, 02:33 PM
Both.Give your customers options.

o-so-n-so
10-10-2005, 03:07 PM
Plan A for the typical homeowner. Most want the grass cut and leaves done. I do a 30 cut for grass and 6 services for leaves for a total of 36 services at all the same price. I only do this on leaves if you sign a contract otherwise leaves will cost you more.

50 trips to a property in a year would get old...especially if you were just going through the motions. Would cost you more in expenses. I would say keep the fall/spring season open for increased income like clean ups.

I do leaf contracts as well. (none mow customers) I price the total job, get 1/2 pay after 1 service complete. Do a total of 4 services and get remaining balance upon completion of final service. This is a big hit with the customers. This Idea came from...yep..."bobbyg"

Precision
10-10-2005, 03:47 PM
Which way to set up year round contracts?

Plan A
28 times $40 = 1120 /12 = $93.33 per month

Plan B
50 times $35= $1750 / 12 = $145.83 per month
which one???

Here is what I do:
Plan A That covers mowing, weeds, ornamental trimmings
Plan C separate trips for high dollar extras and fertilization.


Why would you want to work harder for less money per trip with way more trips. The idea is to work smarter not harder.

Sample property here in low price hell of florida

$210 monthly 42 cuts per season or $60 per cut on a 1/4 acre.

now for that $210 I cut edge, line trim and blow +/- 42 times per year
We also visit 4 extra times (now subcontracted) for fert
We trim all ornamentals and hedges, done on as needed basis while we are there cutting the grass
We spray round up as needed also while we are there cutting grass
irrigation Maintenance is once a quarter (in season while we are there 1 minute per zone) (off season one day for everyone in an off week)

So in 44 visits, I have done all basic and upsell items. More money for me and less driving and wasted effort. We aren't selling visits, we are selling well kept lawns and convienence.

If I charged per cut or even monthly for lawn work only and had to upsell the other things all the time, I would get way less. This way it is all budgeted in and I can do it when I am already there. Adding 12 extra visits is just crazy in my opinion. that is just trying to justify your price. Let your quality speak for itself.

If my hair cut looks better with a 5 minute barber than a 30 minute one, do I pay the $5 barber less? No, I might pay him more because I am less inconvienced and he has more skill. Same thing with our business.

bobbygedd
10-10-2005, 04:56 PM
Plan A for the typical homeowner. Most want the grass cut and leaves done. I do a 30 cut for grass and 6 services for leaves for a total of 36 services at all the same price. I only do this on leaves if you sign a contract otherwise leaves will cost you more.

50 trips to a property in a year would get old...especially if you were just going through the motions. Would cost you more in expenses. I would say keep the fall/spring season open for increased income like clean ups.

I do leaf contracts as well. (none mow customers) I price the total job, get 1/2 pay after 1 service complete. Do a total of 4 services and get remaining balance upon completion of final service. This is a big hit with the customers. This Idea came from...yep..."bobbyg"
you like that idea, don't you? it's a good program

NickN
10-10-2005, 05:09 PM
O-so-n-so,you mean those bermuda lawns I'm cutting in the dead of winter(52 week service) I'm losing money on at $55 per week (lowest) times 52 weeks per year?:D

LwnmwrMan22
10-10-2005, 10:01 PM
I think I'll start running my mowing contracts 52 weeks / year too.

Don't those jets they use to blow off NASCAR tracks, would they be any good melting off all the snow so I can mow?? :D

Envy Lawn Service
10-11-2005, 12:02 AM
I'm certainly no fan of running the routes, wasting time, money, wear and tear, just so I can get out and freeze my balls off so I give the impression I am tryiing to lead my customers to believe I'm earning my keep.

The best way to sell yourself is "From target date to target date, I will manage and take care of this exclusive itemized list of tasks. I will do all these items when and how they need doing. This way, all you have to concern yourself with is writing a check each month to insure all these items are managed properly."

They write the checks, you manage the grounds... simple effective business relationship.... no micro-management involved or needed. So long as you deliver on your end of the bargain, they rarely even have to think about lawn care... and that's what you want.

tfilbert
10-11-2005, 06:14 AM
The yearly contract is very popular lately and the 12 months level billing seems to appeal to a certain group of customers. When I can figure out exactly which group this applies to I will be a lot happier. At present I try to offer what the customer wants and provide targeted service based on that. It's a pain but I try to provide 3 seperate plans for each estimate: 1=full service
2=target what they ask for plus something extra (selling up if you will)
3=exactly what they ask for with nothing extra. As stated here often communication is the key in providing good customer service. If you are mowing, blowing and going they need to know exactly what that means. If you are trimming and edging they need to know what is covered. Keeping weeds out of sidewalk cracks and driveways must be covered in advance and you must figure in the price or it can burn you. Explain that extras actually cost extra and will be billed. "yup, we take care of that" is dumb if you haven't priced it into the estimate. Know your costs and bid accordingly. I try to add weed control along fence lines, drives, walks on residential (small) by adding $5.00 per week and it seems to pay off but back to the point: Communicate what you will and will not do for the price and only then will customer satisfaction goal be attained on each and every job. PUT IT IN WRITING folks.
Tim

jeffex
10-11-2005, 06:17 AM
the way to sell PLANS, IMO , is to give choices of packaged programs. EX;
ESTATE plan: includes mowing trimming edging fert apps spring-fall cleanups flower packages aeration seeding tree &shrub care and trimming as well as winter services . This is a FULL service where the customer just pays to have his place look good. The contracts should be VERY specific.
EXECUTIVE PLAN; variation of above services
FAMILY PLAN;
BUDGET PLAN
PAY AS YOU GO;
you get the idea the top 3 plans would be 12 month billing and the budget would be monthly during the season of operation. People who pick a lesser plan to start will be targeted to move up the ladder . Its your job to prove your worth . The top plans mean that your in charge of making the place look good. Too many people are reactionary with their services. They wait until the customer calls with a problem . Good property mgt. means the customer should just pay to have his place look good and not have to think about whats next

JimLewis
10-13-2005, 02:35 AM
Plan B is the smart business decision.

You will find plenty of customers who only want plan A. And you will also be able to find plenty of customers who will accept the terms of plan B. I know from LOTS of personal experience offering both such options over the years.

Once I realized that there were plenty of people who would sign up for the plan B method, I thought to myself, "Why, then, should I even offer plan A anymore if I can make so much more money --- per customer --- with a Plan B business model?" So from that point on, I have always only offered a year-round full service maintenance package. Some people still ask for something like what you call plan A. But I just turn those people down. I only want people who are interested in plan B. Plan B brings me in a LOT more money each year. Why wouldn't I want that?

PTP
10-13-2005, 04:06 PM
Plan B is the smart business decision.

You will find plenty of customers who only want plan A. And you will also be able to find plenty of customers who will accept the terms of plan B. I know from LOTS of personal experience offering both such options over the years.

Once I realized that there were plenty of people who would sign up for the plan B method, I thought to myself, "Why, then, should I even offer plan A anymore if I can make so much more money --- per customer --- with a Plan B business model?" So from that point on, I have always only offered a year-round full service maintenance package. Some people still ask for something like what you call plan A. But I just turn those people down. I only want people who are interested in plan B. Plan B brings me in a LOT more money each year. Why wouldn't I want that?
Excellent response!

Remember, with plan B, you don't get vacation time except for the 2 weeks at Christmas. So you are either going to have to stay home a lot or have some employees. I think that plan B is still the better one.

JimLewis
10-13-2005, 04:27 PM
.....Remember, with plan B, you don't get vacation time except for the 2 weeks at Christmas. .....

Well, if you are a solo op. that's true. But otherwise, it's not necessarily true. I take most of the winter off. I work maybe 10 hours each week during the winter. And I can take a week or two vacation and I am hardly even missed during that time of the year. I actually look forward to that time of the year. It's the only real break I get.

skurkp
10-13-2005, 04:59 PM
I offer two options,
42 visits (weekly March thru November and bi-weekly December thru February)
26 visits (every other week for 12 months)

This is multiplied by the number of visits divided by 12
this is for basic service, mow, edge, line trim, blow. If the customer wants more done per visit then the price is adjusted. Everything is agreed on up front, any extras are quoted and every one is happy.

This is for both commercial and residential. If a customer does not like the prices and tries to tell me that their last service provider did this or that I kindly tell them to call their old provider. My prices are firm + tax no fuel charges. Invoiced monthly, don't want customers that I have to call to service or that want to leave money at the door.

Precision
10-13-2005, 11:49 PM
If you have real items to do on all those extra trips out, then sure plan B would be fine. So you have your 30 mows, your 4 trimmings, your 5 fert apps, your 4 leaf clean ups, your 3 mulchings I guess that brings you up to 46 visits, but I still think doing some of the extras on regular visits would be much more economical