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View Full Version : 2005 contracts


tiedeman
10-07-2004, 08:18 PM
So what is everybody adding new this year for their 2005 contracts? Fees, surcharges, etc.

Turf Medic
10-07-2004, 08:46 PM
For one we are adding bobby's dew surcharge, and a hangover surcharge for those early Saturday morning jobs.

MMLawn
10-08-2004, 12:08 PM
I am seriously considering adding a small fee, say $1-2 for residential Friday cuts since so many folks want the lawn cut on Friday and of course we can only do so many and maybe even a $1-2 Reduction for a residential Monday cut giving the customer the option. What do ya'll think?

LCME
10-08-2004, 12:38 PM
Contracts for 2005 will include Late fee, clean-up fee (dog), fuel surcharge, bounce check fee, move your garden hose fee, pita fee. I like the idea of charging extra for Thu, Fri & Sat.

How early would you have customers sign 2005 mowing contracts?.

twins_lawn_care
10-08-2004, 01:03 PM
I will be added the "DOG DOO" fee to my contracts. This year I have been side stepping them, but the one morning I got in the truck when there was some "leftover" on the ground changed my mind.

Also, I will be increasing prices across the board due to gas increases since last year's contracts.

jbell113
10-08-2004, 01:09 PM
I will be adding a clause for my vacation time in mine. Tell me what you think. I charge for 4 cuts a month......what about the months with 5 weeks? I will be taking one of those weeks off and it will be in my contracts.

MMLawn
10-08-2004, 01:10 PM
[QUOTE=LCME How early would you have customers sign 2005 mowing contracts?.[/QUOTE]


I am still mowing of course but will send out my 2005's shortly after I stop for the season. I think what i am oing to do as a way to get early committments so that it will free more time for going after new accts is that I am going to offer for a limited time a "free" Spring Fert for all exsisting custs that keep or upgrade to the Yearly Full Service Package (Fert, Aero, Overseeding, etc) as I think it will be a good way to keep and even upgrade customers and that it will cost me very little really and should make me more in the end.

precisioncut
10-08-2004, 01:21 PM
I think that I will add fuel surcharge next year.

stizostedion_vitreum
10-08-2004, 01:24 PM
Our 2005 contracts will include; Mon-Wed Reg. Rates for Residential * Thurs-Sat + $5. Net 20 + Interest on past due, If there's dog doo it's double (I don't have time or patience to clean up this mess,) fuel surcharge of 1% per .05 in gas price increase over $2/gallon, $30 NSF Check, $10 non-scheduled/contract day service fee.

I suggest everyone instates a fuel surcharge based upon a specific rate...

tiedeman
10-08-2004, 01:44 PM
I allows send out my contracts in November

This year I am having a really strict contract. I figure it weeds outthe bad customers up front. Better to have a descent size of serious customers, than to have a lot of late payers and dead beats that owe $2k to $4k in outstanding invoices.

tiedeman
10-08-2004, 02:03 PM
I allows send out my contracts in November

This year I am having a really strict contract. I figure it weeds outthe bad customers up front. Better to have a descent size of serious customers, than to have a lot of late payers and dead beats that owe $2k to $4k in outstanding invoices.

I meant always, not allows

LCME
10-08-2004, 02:51 PM
I meant always, not allows

Reelax tiedeman, wee knuw wat u meen. :dizzy: :D

wriken
10-08-2004, 04:45 PM
I allows send out my contracts in November

This year I am having a really strict contract. I figure it weeds outthe bad customers up front. Better to have a descent size of serious customers, than to have a lot of late payers and dead beats that owe $2k to $4k in outstanding invoices.

I wish that was all they owed me at the present time, they will pay, just slow. Last year I sent to collections alittle over 300.00, not to bad, considering I was probably 7500.00 in outstanding invoices at that time. Last year and this, I have run around 8500-11000, in outstanding. But like I said, they pay, just slow. I'm glad that I have a good size customer list to be able to carry the load. But they pay in spurts, thats when I spend in spurts. :)

JustMowIt
10-08-2004, 04:55 PM
I am seriously considering adding a small fee, say $1-2 for residential Friday cuts since so many folks want the lawn cut on Friday and of course we can only do so many and maybe even a $1-2 Reduction for a residential Monday cut giving the customer the option. What do ya'll think?

We do that! An additional $1 for anyone who requests a Thursday/Friday mow day. We also discounted a few accounts in the Spring to fill the Monday routes. Anyone who wants a better day, doesn't seem to mind, or if they are real tight asses, they will ask for Wednesday (the best day without the $1 charge :rolleyes: ).

JustMowIt
10-08-2004, 05:00 PM
I allows send out my contracts in November

This year I am having a really strict contract. I figure it weeds outthe bad customers up front. Better to have a descent size of serious customers, than to have a lot of late payers and dead beats that owe $2k to $4k in outstanding invoices.

Who lets someone get 2-4K in the rear? NEW CONTRACT: PAY ON TIME OR GET THE HELL OUT!!!!! payup

tiedeman
10-08-2004, 05:42 PM
Who lets someone get 2-4K in the rear? NEW CONTRACT: PAY ON TIME OR GET THE HELL OUT!!!!! payup

Who knows? :dizzy:

Ability
10-08-2004, 05:47 PM
How exactly is everyone doing a fuel surcharge? How are you going to word that or explain that to the customer?

Gas costs are killing me.

tiedeman
10-08-2004, 05:50 PM
How exactly is everyone doing a fuel surcharge? How are you going to word that or explain that to the customer?

Gas costs are killing me.

I did have a fuel surcharge at first in my contracts, but then I changed my mind. Instead I just raised up all of the customers prices about $3 to $5.

rodfather
10-08-2004, 05:53 PM
I'm gonna have something about moving lawn furniture, picking up toys, rolling up garden hoses, etc. Thinking about $1 per item on the day I am scheduled to be at their prop...that should get their attention I bet. Either that or just mow around everything too...they'll get the hint sooner or later.

MMLawn
10-08-2004, 06:00 PM
I will just up my fee as opposed to a gas surcharge as I think the customer sees the cost of gas as part of what they are paying for anyway and might have issues with that as a surcharge.

tiedeman
10-08-2004, 06:02 PM
I will just up my fee as opposed to a gas surcharge as I think the customer sees the cost of gas as part of what they are paying for anyway and might have issues with that as a surcharge.

yup, exactly what I was thinking as well, that is why I removed it. I think that it would be just too much of a hassle to deal with.

wriken
10-08-2004, 08:17 PM
Who lets someone get 2-4K in the rear? NEW CONTRACT: PAY ON TIME OR GET THE HELL OUT!!!!! payup
2-4K is alot for one client to be in the rear.

rodfather
10-09-2004, 07:09 AM
2-4K is alot for one client to be in the rear.

I believe he is talking about this amount as the total for all his customers.

David Haggerty
10-09-2004, 07:39 AM
This is what I printed on the back of my customer's July bill:


Haggerty Lawn Maintenance Operational Policy



Higher fuel prices have made it more costly to mow your lawn. But instead of just raising my prices, Iím going to try working more.
What Iím doing is adding needed services to my maintenance routine. Core aeration, topdressing, weed control, fertilizing, and mulch, etc.

(There's more to the letter, but would make the post too long.)

I've had only one customer refuse to participate, but after a meeting, they've completely reversed themselves and want even more services.

Dave

Precision
10-09-2004, 08:38 AM
Fuel charges are built in. I am lucky having started in March the fuel prices were already outrageous.

So far as playing maid to my clients, I have a line in the contract that states if I have to spend more than 5 minutes monthly picking up before I mow I will bill for the time spent at $60 per hour. I point this out when we are reviewing the contract.
Not much of a problem with toys, bikes, garden hoses and the like. So far only one customer got hit with the charge and now her son runs out of the house when he hears me fire up the mower. She back charged him verses his chore money. Works for me.

Raising prices $3 for everyone under $100 per month, $5 for everyone over $100.

Offering fert for everyone starting in fall. New 05 contracts will be like commercial contracts. With all services listed and priced. Buying everything as a package gets a discount.

wriken
10-09-2004, 09:19 AM
I believe he is talking about this amount as the total for all his customers.

Who lets someone get 2-4K in the rear?

Thats what I Thought also, but the keyword to me was someone. :)

Mico Landscaping design
10-09-2004, 10:19 AM
gas is no problem for us over here..... how ever if theres something in the yard.. i move it the first time from there i just got around it.. they get the hunt well some of them... if theres dog **** i make sure i hit with the blades then it hits the house.. dont got to many of those lol..... but thats a big hassles moving stuff from house to house.. its not that hard to move geez lol... nothing really changes.... few price jumps thats bout it.. we already got all out acounts signed and returned for next year :).... just waiting for the leaves to fall then SNOW!!! good job exmark did another awsome job not many problems :) :waving:

jphag
10-09-2004, 10:55 AM
Our 2005 contracts will include; Mon-Wed Reg. Rates for Residential * Thurs-Sat + $5. Net 20 + Interest on past due, If there's dog doo it's double (I don't have time or patience to clean up this mess,) fuel surcharge of 1% per .05 in gas price increase over $2/gallon, $30 NSF Check, $10 non-scheduled/contract day service fee.

I suggest everyone instates a fuel surcharge based upon a specific rate...


You better think of adding a little more than 1% to every $.05 in gas prices increases. Every 100 gal you will ony be charging $.05 more. Dosen't seem worth it.

tiedeman
10-09-2004, 11:21 AM
I believe he is talking about this amount as the total for all his customers.


yup, that what I meant

Mark McC
10-09-2004, 02:14 PM
I'm gonna have something about moving lawn furniture, picking up toys, rolling up garden hoses, etc. Thinking about $1 per item on the day I am scheduled to be at their prop...that should get their attention I bet. Either that or just mow around everything too...they'll get the hint sooner or later.

Rod, I've been thinking a lot about that sort of thing in addtion to unusual amounts of debris after storms. This is something that I'll want to discuss with potential clients when discussing estimates, but I'm not sure how to approach it. Any ideas?

rodfather
10-09-2004, 02:35 PM
This is something that I'll want to discuss with potential clients when discussing estimates, but I'm not sure how to approach it. Any ideas?

Do what I do...be right up front with them.

You have to tell them you have X amount of hours to work each day and I need to make the most of them. I DO NOT (repeat, DO NOT) consider moving lawn furniture, kid's bicycles, etc., part of my expense to be at your property. If I have to keep getting off my mower, it will cost you X dollars more each week. Period. I am a businessman with many good customers like yourself who rely on my services in a timely manner. Done...

Mark McC
10-10-2004, 02:40 PM
Rod, do you include a standard amount of time picking up after branches and other debris on heavily-wooded lots? I'm going to do that next year, but have to be especially watchful of places with trees (such as walnut trees) that drop a lot of crap. I have one job with three walnut trees and it's a phenomenal pain in the backside. The owner is usually pretty good about this, but from time to time, it's a mess.

rodfather
10-10-2004, 04:02 PM
Rod, do you include a standard amount of time picking up after branches and other debris on heavily-wooded lots?

Yes and no, Mark. No, I really don't have a standard time. But yes, I do charge for it (picking up branches that is). Walnut and willow trees can be a real mess I agree. Branches are brittle and fall off all the time. Ever have a walnut come off and crack you on the top of your head while mowing? I have (twice in fact) and man does that hurt. And mowing over those things after they drop sounds like bombs are going off under your mower deck. What a racket they make getting chopped up.

Mark McC
10-10-2004, 06:23 PM
I don't much care for running the da**ed things over simply because it can't be good for the blades. Hate those things. Do you find they put a hurt on your blades?

As for getting whacked on the noggin, it hasn't happened...yet. Maybe I'll wear one of those helmets that were in vogue in Germany during WWI, the ones with the spike on top. Maybe I could get two or three stuck on the spike.

I'm thinking about asking potential customers some routine questions such as whether they have a dog and "doo" they pick up after the dog, how often they find they have to pick debris up from the yard and whether they want me to take care of that, and so on. I figure if I point out the need for debris removal, the more easily I can rationalize a slightly higher estimate by pointing out that time is money. I'm not going to pick the stuff up for free and it doesn't make sense to litter the yard with busted-up lawn trash.

rodfather
10-10-2004, 06:30 PM
I figure if I point out the need for debris removal, the more easily I can rationalize a slightly higher estimate by pointing out that time is money.

Smart. Running over those walnuts really doesn't hurt the blades all that much...junior's bike is another story though.

RICHIE K
10-15-2004, 08:36 PM
DOG CRAP FEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :angry:


RICHIE K

www.kulakandcompany.com :blob3: :blob3:

Branchland
10-15-2004, 08:44 PM
Going up on regular service due to the fuel prices and late fees.