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mow2nd
08-05-2008, 07:53 AM
Does anybody do MONTHLY billing? Say you do $500 a year worth of applications on a lawn, so your monthly bill would be like $40-$41 per month. I think we need to change the way we approach our applications. Instead of saying we do X amount of treatments per year for $X amount. Why not say it is $X per month for a Lawn Program and list year around process for a healthy lawn.

Just wondering if anybody is billing monthly or by the treatment. I'll start going monthly in October. I have around 200 accounts, not sure how many will like the change. I've already started putting my new accounts on a monthly billing cycle and they seem to like it. It's easier to say it's $35 a month year round vs $70 per application X 5 applications.

Just Wondering ?

mngrassguy
08-05-2008, 09:08 AM
I bill monthly but base it on 6 months.

mow2nd
08-05-2008, 10:39 AM
When I was mowing I billed every month, but last spring I sold all my mowing accounts to focus on pesticides only. I normally do 6 apps, aerate, seed and an insecticide app. I have been billing of course when I do each treatment which is usually around 6-8 weeks apart. Basically just going to break that down and bill monthly, so I was wondering if there was anybody in the pesticide business who do it that way, or bill after each app?

group501
08-05-2008, 05:02 PM
First I would suggest making the last payment due in November or you will be put off until after the holidays. Second I would not offer any more than 8-9 monthly payments, depending on when your season starts. We have been doing monthly payment plans since 2001 and they do make the initial sale easier because of the lower, level monthly payment. However, you will constantly be chasing your money and explaining that you are on a monthly level pay plan and not an invoice after service pay plan.

We send out the coupons for the monthly payments and a letter explaining that they are on a monthly pay plan as soon as we receive a signed contract. Inevitably, people will still only send in a payment right after a service. When the cycle runs in such a way that there is no service performed in a calender month, no payment is received. We explain to people until we are blue in the face the way a monthly pay plan works and they still hear only what they want to hear. Eventually we do get all of our money but it is a bit of a hassle at times.

Also when an account is canceled early earned revenue questions usually arise ("I made 3 payments and you were here 3 times".) Customer has a hard time wrapping his head around the fact that 5 or more services could have been done on those 3 visits and that even though they did make 3 payments there is a large earned revenue due.

That being said, with a little tweaking and some aggravation a monthly payment plan is actually a pretty good idea.

mow2nd
08-05-2008, 06:08 PM
I ran into the same thing when I was mowing all the time. People liked paying the same amount every month but come winter time if they didn't see you they weren't paying. I had to explain over in over that their monthly bill was based on an entire year of service. Very hard for people to understand but once they understood how it worked it wasn't too much of a problem.

I've already started all my new accounts on a Monthly Pay plan and they seem to understand. I've just got to send out a letter to almost 200 of my regulars and let them know of the change. I'm sure I'll lose a few, but I've got to make changes in my business model.

Thanks for the input.