View Full Version : billings-per cut or monthly

07-30-2001, 12:47 PM
I make alot of contracts that are by the month
and it has been real dry and the grass isnt
growing much and some clients are complaining
I shouldnt charge them the whole amount but
I got burned in june caused it rained and grew so
fast. Do you think i should take some $ off the
bill or not? Do you bill by monthly contracts or by
per cut?

07-30-2001, 12:51 PM
Explain to them that that is why you charged by the month. You cut so many times previously and that if they wish you not to come around now that they will still be charged the regular monthly amount. It's in writing, right?

07-30-2001, 01:44 PM
If you have contracts (in writing, legal, and signed, of course!) That say X amount of dollars is your monthly maintenance charge and you are not responsible for acts of God, etc, thats what they have to pay!

Now, for good customer relations, you may want to knock some off if you haven't cut all month or something crazy like that. But use YOUR discretion, not your customers, because your the one that has to keep up with the turf in the Spring Time.

Good Luck!

Bluegrass Group
07-30-2001, 02:57 PM
If you charge by the month you should receive your full monthly pay even if you don't cut. Does your contract include stuff like fertilizing, pruning and other stuff. Why not do them on your slow-mow weeks to keep your presence?

07-30-2001, 03:04 PM
thanks alot-
They are complete with fertilizing, shrub care etc.
So I will just find something to make sure were there
each week so we dont look bad.
It really helps because i would be totally broke if they
were on a per cut $ cause grass is growing alot slower.

07-30-2001, 03:05 PM
I have it phrased as "x" number fo cuts per year on a 7-10 day average all but August when the growth slows and it will move to a 12-14 day sched. Even if it is not cut I would walk the property and pick up debris if there is any and blow the walk---just tidy up and make a presence as Bluegrass stated.

However, if this was not agreed upon prior by you and the customer, I think you will not be able to charge for the month. Only what you have done.
So I agree with Guido too.

What I am saying is I have nothing new to add here . :blush:


07-30-2001, 04:09 PM
this is why next year all contracts will be on a per cut basis. im tired of having people on monthly payment schedules and when it slows down they only want to pay partial. this is an ongoing problem and cant seem to be avoided. its kind of hard to tell people they still need to pay me for a whole month when i was only there twice. yes we could show up and "go through the motions" but who the heck are we kidding. its rained about one time here in the last 2 months. also , in spring if it rains and we are forced to miss a cut, the following cut is charged one and a half times normal rate. we are doing this now with most of our clients with no problem, and next year all will be billed each month for what was done.

07-30-2001, 09:15 PM
This is exactly why clients should pay for the season in advance before beginning any work.

However, if they cannot afford to do so and you agree to work under this arrangement, I would only charge them 50% of a monthly bill if NO work had been performed.

Clients need to understand that in order for us to continue to provide and survive drought-like conditions, that we must charge a minimum for retaining our services.

This is how its done with snow, and just how it should be done with grounds care in the green season too.

Just my nickle.

07-30-2001, 10:31 PM
About 75% of my customers are contract and pay monthly. I include annual aeration, fertilize, weed control, leaf removal and shrub trimming. I also tell them before they sign that I use my descresion as to whether or not to mow. That is also stated on my contract. If they question about the winter months I explain to them that from Dec 20 to Jan 5 I do not come near the property. I will visit the first week after that and make sure everything is in order. I let them know up front that there is not much to do Jan and Feb. The price of the contract is spread out over 12 months and I do not discount for slow months. I also offer a nine month contract. This is basically the same price as an annual but devided by nine. They pay the same amount on for nine months instead of 12. Makes them feel better I guess.

Hold your ground and let them know that the contract is broken down over 12 months so that they do not feel the high cost during heavy mowing season.

Good luck.

07-30-2001, 10:33 PM
if they complain about the monthy charge just ask them if where they work they tell them to not come to work in there slow buissness season sence they don't need them.tell them that you need job secuirty just like them.

07-30-2001, 10:48 PM
NEVER put into the annual "agreements" how many times you will cut, this is just asking for trouble. I put something like; " mowing operations to begin about mid April and continue through mid November". That way if we skip a week for whatever reason, the client can't come back for a "refund". In all my years I have never had one comment about missing a week.

07-30-2001, 10:54 PM
Here is how we phrase what Steve is talking about in our contracts:

PTL agrees to provide grounds and landscape management services to 601 Gates Road, Vestal for the entire 2000 season as accepted herein beginning 1 April and ending 31 November.

Hope this may help.

08-04-2001, 02:10 PM
I charge per cut. Some of my lawns I have not cut in 4 weeks. No mow no charge. Yes it is hurting my pocket book, but I myself wouldn't like being charged for lawn service when the LC was not there cutting. Some of my customers find other things for me to do, such as trim bushes or pull weeds and apply new mulch or any other jobs they are not interested in doing or can't do themselves. This business it sort of like farming, some years you make a KILLING and other years you are luck to break even.
Just my 2$ worth.


08-04-2001, 02:52 PM
Try presenting your clients with a basic contract stateing what services you offer and what it will cost them.

Once they have checked off what you want and they sign it you divide the number of months for mowing as per the contract by the cost of the service and then you will always have some form of income rolling thru your doors.

They have agreed to the price you are just putting them on a payment plan.

[...] Pesticide Applications
[...] Fertilizer Only
[...] Lime Application
[...] Grub Control

[...] Power Rake/Dethatching
[...] Mow and Trim
[...] Lawn Aeration

[...] Beds raked clean of debris
[...] Beds vacuumed

[...] Spring Clean-Up
[...] Fall Clean-Up
[...] Mulching
[...] Weeding

Hope this helps.