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ooo
12-13-2005, 10:23 AM
I took the first few lines of the letter from an example Borns Lawncare posted on here. Ive worked in landscaping for 15 years, but started up on my own last year. Upon review of several posts on the board, Ive decided to implement a few policies to existing customers and any new ones coming on board. This past year I pretty much took on anyone, alot of times on their terms, and Im certain I could have done things a bit better. I am sending a letter to people to try and get an idea what Ill have for definate work, and fill in new customers as I get them. Im eliminating biweekly people and trying to make the billing process easier for me. I have this letter and wondered if anyone had anything they'd add or take out. Please see attachment.

Thanks!

SpudsM15
12-13-2005, 11:18 AM
Couple minor chages... Do you do actual snow removal or just clear... I had a couple lots call me for actual removal of snow banks....

be more specific on you billing "paid around 1st of month" make it set in stone when payments are due....

Mower For Less
12-13-2005, 11:26 AM
On the bottom of your services list, there should be an "s" at the end of "odd".

Kevin

chimmygew
12-13-2005, 11:33 AM
"3. All customers' pre ordering services will be given preference of cutting days, approximate date of service, or done on a first day available basis."


Break your daily routes into certain areas. Don't let the customer decide what day to be mowed. If I did that, all mine would be done on Friday. And unless Friday is everyday, I can't do it. They get done on the day I am in their area.

ooo
12-13-2005, 11:43 AM
Thanks for the advice ....all good points.

MacLawnCo
12-13-2005, 12:19 PM
you say 10% discount for pre-ordered. Ok, so what is the big deal if they preorder. Wont everyone who contracts for annual service be preordering? If they order before service, that is a preorder. You want to give every single client 10% off?

I offer a PREPAY discount, but it only amounts to 5% and money must be recieved by 4/1/200x. Even at 5% im reluctant to give this discount and honestly find a way to make that 5% back through reduced service or such.

10% will put you out of business in an instant. do reconsider.

ooo
12-13-2005, 01:55 PM
Well I guess i could re-word it to pre-order before start of season. I mean If a customer has a $30 lawn(x 30 cuts), orders mulching for season worth 400, and fertilizing worth 300 and agrees before the start of the year, I discount 10% off total.
900 + 400 + 300 = 1600
10% discount = 1440 + 100 tax = 1540
1540 divided by 9 monthly payments = $171.11

Just figured a process such as above saves me billing time, and eating 10% ($160) is well worth the time and hassle. I just thought the 10% might also spark interest from new clients or existing clients ordering additional services when I advertise it as such. Don't think its a wise idea?

mcwlandscaping
12-13-2005, 02:53 PM
10% of 1600 is 160 making the total after discount $1440. resulting in $160.00 per month for 9 months.

mcwlandscaping
12-13-2005, 02:55 PM
I like the letter quite a bit though and agree with the others suggestions.

Mower For Less
12-14-2005, 11:56 AM
If your legally allowed to collect tax, you cannot figure that into your gross. If you are not legally allowed, but do it just to put your price back up, then do NOT call it tax anywhere in writing. Just tell the customer, plus x amount for tax, and this is the new total. NEVER write tax anywhere, or even have an extra line where such an amount would/could have been figured. Do it in your head, or on a calculator, and then total it for their price.

And I agree, 10% is a big discount for us lawn guys. 5% works well, and only for pre-pays. Mark your price up to cover the discount ahead of time. That way if they dont pre-pay, you still make out. Why discount pre-order if their not going to put up money in advance? Whats the difference between pre-order and any ole' customer who says cut my lawn every week? Are you suggesting you might have customers that call you from week to week depending on if they want a cut or not?

Kevin

ooo
12-14-2005, 02:32 PM
Well the 10% looks good to the customer but I mark things up a bit and then take the 10% off. As far as people calling in here and there wanting weekly cuts, yes I have a few and they'll either go along with the 9 payments or find someone else. As far as the 9 month payment option, this just saves me from billing them weekly or even monthly ...they know what the payment is every month and I just track who sent money.



I changed the letter somewhat, hows this look?

daveintoledo
12-14-2005, 02:41 PM
[QUOTE=Mower For Less]If your legally allowed to collect tax, you cannot figure that into your gross. If you are not legally allowed, but do it just to put your price back up, then do NOT call it tax anywhere in writing. Just tell the customer, plus x amount for tax, and this is the new total. NEVER write tax anywhere, or even have an extra line where such an amount would/could have been figured. Do it in your head, or on a calculator, and then total it for their price.

i have been told here that you should have a line that includes tax, i have to collect slaes tax, 40.00 plus tax.... not figured into the quote....

this is a problem however you look at it, it raises your total price but cost you collecting and sending in the tax money.... but the law is the law

if they dont understat that the state requires you to collect tax, then you dont need them as a customer, leave them to the neighborhood lawn boy..

daveintoledo
12-14-2005, 02:44 PM
Well the 10% looks good to the customer but I mark things up a bit and then take the 10% off. As far as people calling in here and there wanting weekly cuts, yes I have a few and they'll either go along with the 9 payments or find someone else. As far as the 9 month payment option, this just saves me from billing them weekly or even monthly ...they know what the payment is every month and I just track who sent money.

it is very unprofessional in my opinion not to send a monthly bill, and besides some of these people are so old you will have trouble with them remembering what you have done

so if i call and need a one time cut, you want to break the cost of that one time cut over 9 months????? maybe i misread you

ooo
12-14-2005, 02:48 PM
It says one time services are also available at a 50% down and 50% at completion policy. I wouldnt do that for a one time cut though.

ooo
12-14-2005, 03:02 PM
They also have a sheet with date, service provided, due date, price, ect.. If they still want a bill monthly of course they can still have that. Im also trying to eliminate a few peoples policy of paying the guy cutting grass, no matter if I told them not to. I may have to add a policy stating any money given to grass cutter is considered a tip.

Mower For Less
12-15-2005, 12:19 PM
[QUOTE=Mower For Less]If your legally allowed to collect tax, you cannot figure that into your gross. If you are not legally allowed, but do it just to put your price back up, then do NOT call it tax anywhere in writing. Just tell the customer, plus x amount for tax, and this is the new total. NEVER write tax anywhere, or even have an extra line where such an amount would/could have been figured. Do it in your head, or on a calculator, and then total it for their price.

i have been told here that you should have a line that includes tax, i have to collect slaes tax, 40.00 plus tax.... not figured into the quote....

this is a problem however you look at it, it raises your total price but cost you collecting and sending in the tax money.... but the law is the law

if they dont understat that the state requires you to collect tax, then you dont need them as a customer, leave them to the neighborhood lawn boy..

Certainly, if you are legally allowed or obligated to collect tax, there should be that line. Re-read my post, I said if you are NOT legally allowed. Such as here in Michigan, lawn service is still a non-taxable service.

Kevin

daveintoledo
12-15-2005, 01:21 PM
i missread your post

walker-talker
12-15-2005, 03:58 PM
I had people that use to like paying me everytime I cut their lawn and it sucked. For one, it meant I had to talk with them everytime and this took too much time. I bill mine each month and would suggest you do the same. People will forget to send the money. Get yourself a scheduling, routing, invoicing software and it's much easier than you think. It takes me less than 3 minutes a day to put my daily schedule into "completed" status...or "reschedule/postpone" status. At the end of the month it take less than 3 minutes to invoice clients. My invoices are printed out with my logo and address in the top left corner and the target address below it. I fold them, place them in a double window paned envelope and that's about it.

Believe me, expecting people to "just pay" on a monthly basis is going to be a nightmare. You will waste more time chasing money than you ever expected. I have even gone as far as thinking of sending self-addressed and stamped envelopes with my invoices, but collecting isn't that bad...yet.

DLS1
12-15-2005, 09:28 PM
10% will put you out of business in an instant. do reconsider.

Not if you prices are raised 10% to cover the 10% discount. Called marketing and giving the customer something they thing is a good deal but your still making the profit you want. :)

MacLawnCo
12-15-2005, 10:13 PM
if you raised 10%, then gave discount on that 110% figure you would actually still loose 1%.

Clients are not stupid. They will realize when they get a high bid and a low bid. Just be straight with them in all dealings and you will come out ahead I believe.

ooo
12-15-2005, 10:23 PM
[QUOTE=walker-talker]Get yourself a scheduling, routing, invoicing software[QUOTE]

What do you use for this?

DLS1
12-15-2005, 10:32 PM
if you raised 10%, then gave discount on that 110% figure you would actually still loose 1%.

Clients are not stupid. They will realize when they get a high bid and a low bid. Just be straight with them in all dealings and you will come out ahead I believe.

Okay I guess I am off by 1% so I better be extra precise on my calculations for you.

Clients not stupid. Once again that is where marketing comes in to sell yourself that you are worth the extra 11% :p than the other guy. Isn't that what advertising is all about selling yourself and your company. :)