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qualitylawnmanagement
04-01-2006, 10:38 PM
I'm going to try a 12 month billing just for mowing. From what I understand is you take the price and times it by 30 cuts and then divide by 12 months right? Is there anyone out there who does this? What type of responses have you got out of it? Is it a good move?

ed2hess
04-01-2006, 11:05 PM
Works just fine as long as you can explain to the customer that they will be paying when you aren't mowing. The younger customers just want low monthly payments and they want them to be the same each month. They like it better if you can have on-line paying.

firefightergw
04-02-2006, 03:13 AM
It works great as long is you have an iron clad contract and a credit card on file. Believe me, when the Winter comes even the best people will hesitate to send a check. By having a credit card on file you can get your money. Make sure if you have employees on the payroll you don't run into cash flow problems during the season too.

StBalor
04-02-2006, 09:57 AM
This worries me though. What if the client drops you after the mowing season is over? most contracts will let the homeowner out of the contract with so many days notice.

ProMo
04-02-2006, 10:30 AM
This worries me though. What if the client drops you after the mowing season is over? most contracts will let the homeowner out of the contract with so many days notice.
my agreements require 90 days written notice and when I quoth the monthly price I also have an inflated per cut price so if a yard averages 40 dollars per cut I will put in say 45 for the per cut and if there is a cancelation I multiply the visits recieved times the per cut price and that is what is owed if that makes sence

BILLY DAWG
04-02-2006, 11:43 AM
This is what we do. We put residential clients on a 8 month billing cycle and our commerical on a 8 or 12 month cycle it's there choice. I will tell you this that you will have a lot of problems getting your residentials on a monthly contract around here because they dont feel like there getting theres moneys worth. It all comes down to how well you can sell it and if you are likeable and trust worthly.

grass-scapes
04-02-2006, 09:55 PM
I prefer the monthly contract to the per visit customer. I have about 70 percent of my clients on contract and more are asking for it all the time. I have a clause that is either a 60 or 90 day period of payment or charges for services accrued at normal rate to the point of cancellation, whichever is GREATER. I had one who wanted to cancel during the off season last year, but her contract renewed automatically in September. I reminded her of the terms of her contract and told her what the cancellation charge would be and she hasn't said anthing else, and pays on time.

qualitylawnmanagement
04-03-2006, 12:32 AM
Well guys I am going to try it on a few up scale acccounts of mine. The others I will bill monthly just for that work. Thanks guys for the help!

mtdman
04-03-2006, 01:19 PM
I don't do 12 month, I do 7 or 8. That gets all the payments in during my work season. However, there aren't many people who want to do this, which suprises me. The old people have it in their heads that they are paying for work I'm not doing before I do it. It's just like an easy pay with the electric company, which many of them do, but they still don't like paying the same $$ in April when I only do a few mowings as they do in July when I'm there every week. It's like dividing a dollar into 4 quarters. It's still a dollar no matter what.

qualitylawnmanagement
04-03-2006, 05:10 PM
Well I am going to try it on two apartment complexes and two commercial accounts and one up scale residential account. Around here it hardly ever snows, maybe 5 to 6 plow able events so I need some money that is coming. I make more off salting than snow plowing. In the winter is when I do all of my over grown property maintenance, such as land clearing, brush removal, and logging, and my dad and I fix up houses and then sell them in the spring. So if I can have guarantee money coming in each month and know how much it is then I know what I have to spend. Thanks guys for the help on this topic good or bad it's helpful.

Evergreenpros
04-08-2006, 08:46 PM
I'm going to try a 12 month billing just for mowing. From what I understand is you take the price and times it by 30 cuts and then divide by 12 months right? Is there anyone out there who does this? What type of responses have you got out of it? Is it a good move?


I only do 12 month billing and it works fine for me.

NEPSJay
04-08-2006, 10:44 PM
why in the world would you bill on a 12 month cycle for a 7 month mowing season?:dizzy: any idea how much money you are LOSING by extending intrest free credit??

grass-scapes
04-09-2006, 10:27 AM
why in the world would you bill on a 12 month cycle for a 7 month mowing season?:dizzy: any idea how much money you are LOSING by extending intrest free credit??

Why WOULDN'T you want to have money coming in, every month even when you don't have to do much at the property. It allows your customer to budget, makes them THINK they are paying less than your competitors, and best of all, it allows YOU to budget, not worrying about saving enough money to make it through the winter.

Do you get paid after every single mowing? If not, and you aren't prepaid, you are losing interest too. Go ahead, try to add that interest in and lets see how long you keep your customers. I use my 12 month contract as a marketing tool, just as I use all of my other "options". I take credit cards too, and I have to pay fees on that as well. Yeah, I don't make as much on those customers, but if I didn't take Credit Cards, I might not even HAVE those customers.

NEPSJay
04-09-2006, 12:17 PM
Why WOULDN'T you want to have money coming in, every month even when you don't have to do much at the property. It allows your customer to budget, makes them THINK they are paying less than your competitors, and best of all, it allows YOU to budget, not worrying about saving enough money to make it through the winter.

Do you get paid after every single mowing? If not, and you aren't prepaid, you are losing interest too. Go ahead, try to add that interest in and lets see how long you keep your customers. I use my 12 month contract as a marketing tool, just as I use all of my other "options". I take credit cards too, and I have to pay fees on that as well. Yeah, I don't make as much on those customers, but if I didn't take Credit Cards, I might not even HAVE those customers.
question grass-scapes= does YOUR bank offer lawn care to its clients?

look, its been said a million times, lawn care and loaning money are 2 TOTALLY different buisnesses. one mows grass, for a fee, one loans money FOR A FEE, how can one be BOTH?? my customers are on a 7 month equal payment plan, service is from april till november, first payment due march 1. this means i have one months payment safely in my pocket before anywork gets done. I do not sell mowing on a per mow basis. i only sell SEASONAL mowing. this way, i will still be paid in non mowing periods, example= severe drought, rain etc etc. This is why i dont have to roll pennies in the winter months.

grass-scapes
04-09-2006, 01:31 PM
question grass-scapes= does YOUR bank offer lawn care to its clients?

look, its been said a million times, lawn care and loaning money are 2 TOTALLY different buisnesses. one mows grass, for a fee, one loans money FOR A FEE, how can one be BOTH?? my customers are on a 7 month equal payment plan, service is from april till november, first payment due march 1. this means i have one months payment safely in my pocket before anywork gets done. I do not sell mowing on a per mow basis. i only sell SEASONAL mowing. this way, i will still be paid in non mowing periods, example= severe drought, rain etc etc. This is why i dont have to roll pennies in the winter months.

Do you spray? Fertilize? Prune? Are you EVER at a point where the client owes more than what he has paid? How about the other way around? Im not a bank, and in this area, I can mow as late as december, and I fertilize in December and February. Working on a 12 month contract nearly assures me that I will retain that client for the following season. There are so many ways to do things, and so many differing opinions, we can argue till we are blue in the face and the other will still disagree. I use my contract the way that benefits me, and if it doesn't work for you, then good. Do it however works best. I was merely stating my opinion and the way I do business. I also get paid during droughts, rain, and get this.....Christmas, New Years, and snow, and I don't even have to plow.

NEPSJay
04-09-2006, 07:22 PM
the services i provide have no bearing on the billing cycle arguement. that being said, i am never at a point where a customer owes me more than they paid. my system eliminates intrest free lending.

bobbygedd
04-09-2006, 09:30 PM
12 month billing, in a 9 month service zone, is pure stupidity.

hoyboy
04-09-2006, 09:51 PM
Not sure I understand the benefits of 12 month billing. If all the work is done in roughly 8 months (depending on the location of course), why spread the payments over 12? Essentially you are giving the customer a loan and, like others have pointed out, you run the risk of people not paying.

I have a few 12 month, equal installment, customers but they involve snow removal as well so it works out.

harold56
04-10-2006, 12:53 AM
I've just started doing this full time this year and have been offering our customers the option of paying out over a 12 month span. I find most customers like the idea of being able to pay a low, consistent, monthly payment. However I have some concernes.... I have found it really hard to keep track of the work I have performed for them if I don't bill them right away or just sipmly bill off of an estimate. Also their monthly payment should be expected to be adjusted over the 12 months due to upsells. At least for me its easier to bill for all work completed at the end of the month, or simply charge their card the next day after a vistit. Just so you know I use Quickbook pro 2006 software so if anybody knows any tricks I'm all ears.

grass-scapes
04-10-2006, 07:51 AM
I've just started doing this full time this year and have been offering our customers the option of paying out over a 12 month span. I find most customers like the idea of being able to pay a low, consistent, monthly payment. However I have some concernes.... I have found it really hard to keep track of the work I have performed for them if I don't bill them right away or just sipmly bill off of an estimate. Also their monthly payment should be expected to be adjusted over the 12 months due to upsells. At least for me its easier to bill for all work completed at the end of the month, or simply charge their card the next day after a vistit. Just so you know I use Quickbook pro 2006 software so if anybody knows any tricks I'm all ears.

Its hard to adjust a payment plan for upsells once you have gotten the price. I upsell at the time of the contract for what I think they will need. I give them options but remind them that if they choose to do this later, you pay separate from any contracted price.
I also use qxpress software. It keeps track of every visit. It is set up to bill monthly to who I need it to and to bill per service for who I need to. Im still learning it, but so far, it works pretty well.

mike and jana
04-26-2006, 12:22 AM
we do the 12 month deal too. E cut from feb til maybe 2 cuts in december here so the season is long. all ferts, sprays, areating, seeding is all extras and added to that month's invoice. I get paid on the 1st of each month for that month so i will not be screwed. plus my cancellation clause it as follows: if they cancel they have a residual amount due. basically the difference bewteen what they paid to date and what they would have paid had they paid for each mowing seperately. plus a $35 cancellation fee and 30 days notice. simple. i do have some who insist on paying per cut and thats cool too. i like the winter time steady income.

The Kiwi Lawn Ranger
04-26-2006, 04:15 AM
I also do 12 month billing. 40 cuts spread over 12 payments. 95 % of my customers like paying this way , its easy for them like paying for the cable.
All my add on services like fert, gutter and chimney cleaning are billed seperate. Sure makes it easy to do budgeting to know whats coming in each month . I will have to look into having credit card payments I am sure most of the young people would go for it.

The Lawn Ranger
Taupo New Zealand