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  #51  
Old 01-21-2013, 08:41 PM
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cpllawncare cpllawncare is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Greenville, SC
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You make valid points, but when the crew comes in at the end of the day and says miss smith had us do this and that and they went ahead and did it, so as not to make the customer mad it really puts you in a bind?
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  #52  
Old 01-21-2013, 09:04 PM
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ed2hess ed2hess is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Austin Texas 78727
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yardguy28 View Post
more of a headache to me because should they wanna stop your services mid season guys who made the contract wanna fight about trying to make the clients honor the contract and sometimes lawyers get involved. ".
What are you talking about if they want to stop a contract they just give notice and service stops. Now since they are always paying in rears, sometimes they change their mind when they get a final bill. And no we don't charge them for services not rendered.

Some call it contracts but basically it is an agreement to spread the changes evenly across 12 months. Why is that good? That means a lot of people set up auto pay and forget it. When people see 4 weeks charges some months and 5 weeks in other months it can give them pause to call the lawn boy.

It also get people away from thinking about how much is each mow. We set it out as visits. Learned this from TruGreen. So if we visit and don't mow it is still a charge. And yes if we visit we will do something related to guality, like weed the beds.

It does take a good salesman to sell monthly and don't try to sell it to anybody old.
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  #53  
Old 01-28-2013, 01:32 PM
Davids Lawncare Davids Lawncare is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Portsmouth , VA
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I currently do not offer contracts but most other (professional)lawn service companys that I have run in to do. I'm going into my fifth year. I believe it all about how professional you present your self to the cleint at time your estimate. You shouldnt have any problems selling a contract, be it 12, 10, 9, or 6 mon. Professional Lawn Service Company's use contracts. Find out what the customer wants are , combine them with what your wants are , and come up with an agreement. Sounds easy...... I will be implementing contracts this season....
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  #54  
Old 01-30-2013, 05:16 PM
GreenGuysLC GreenGuysLC is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Killen Al
Posts: 265
I have offered contract pricing to customers for 12 years. I have never had a problem with any of my contracts cancelling. Some people want them . Some dont. I really dont mind how people wanna set it up. i try to make it easy on them. Some clients must pay before my crews leave so they feel better. Lol those are the ones that are hard to keep up with. i like contracts because i too have a better method of budgeting like that plus invoicing is much simpler. Well. . . Not a problem since i went with serviceautopilot. I try to sell contracts if possible. Customers just need to understand what they are agreeing to. . . And it is our job to make sure we present a very clear picture of the contract terms and services included.
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  #55  
Old 01-30-2013, 08:55 PM
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cpllawncare cpllawncare is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Greenville, SC
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It makes it easier to sell not using the word contracts, but simply service agreement. I agree, with a professional company people will expect some paper work. Most all the time the customer will ask "Where do I sign" after the presentation, because I present myself as a professional.
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  #56  
Old 02-01-2013, 01:00 PM
deschampsbrothers deschampsbrothers is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Albany NY
Posts: 7
Need some opinions on what i should do.I am 22 now and I been in business for 3 years. I started the business while in my last year of college with 20 accountants. The second year(first year full time) i jumped to 48 accounts, and just finished my 3rd year with 102 accounts(70 Residential, 32 commericial). Over the 3 years i stayed living at home and re invested all the money i had left over after paying bills.Over the three years i have purchased 4 trucks(2008 f-350,2001 Chevy 3500,1995 Chevy 3500 dump,International 4700 dump) 4 mowers(2005 52 scag wildcat,2012 36 scag vride, 2005 ferris 3100, 36 lesco hydro) 3 trailers and a sealcoating system along with multiple pruners, dethatchers, weedwhackers etc. I have incorporated the business this off season and am looking at how i should approach this up coming season, Do I continue to let the business grow like crazy and take on more customers at this rate and start weeding out the lower end customers or do I deal with all the headaches and take any account possible. I already swallowed the bullet and got fully insured with payroll and workers comp and unemployement.
i currently just do billing once a month for maintenance customers and collect payment for side work at the completetion of the project. Should i attempt to switch everyone to 9 months of a set amount to control my money flow or should i continue to just bill as i go and go with the ups and downs of more money than other months. What should i do??? Any opinions would be great
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  #57  
Old 02-01-2013, 06:45 PM
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cpllawncare cpllawncare is offline
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It sounds like your past the point of weeding out the lower end stuff, I would sit down and create a customer criteria formula and use that to decide who stays and who goes, hopefully by this time you know all your numbers so it should be easy to do. In the big scheme it sounds like you really need to sitdown and write out a business plan, it doesn't happen overnight either it takes a LOT of thought and serious decison making about what direction you want to take the company, but it's a very necessary step and actually the very first step I took. It can take a month or more to do a really detailed plan. You can use your local SBA for resources and and help, SCORE is another resource you can use to help with this also. Just start writing ideas and thoughts about the company don't worry about organizing them yet just get them on paper.
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  #58  
Old 02-09-2013, 11:02 PM
KG26 KG26 is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Birmingham MI
Posts: 126
Keep it simple as I've said before, I cut, I bill. unearned revenue is great but it also creates liabilities. What happens if you get a rainy month? Bill after you've cut don't put the cart before the horse, and try and collect before you have worked. The gear or vacation that you want to take is not going anywhere.
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  #59  
Old 02-09-2013, 11:58 PM
biodale biodale is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Richland, Washington
Posts: 132
Here are a couple of my observations: 1) I take money out of my pocket to complete a job. I want that money coming in as soon as possible and that means billing for it when the work is done. 2) Some customers will quit before the season is over and that means you will NOT get paid for work that was previously completed but has not been billed yet because the billing is 12 equal installments. 3) Customers call asking about the bill saying "you were hardly here in December, January, February, etc, 4) it is impossible that the billing matches the work. Customers like my detailed invoices and statements.
Now understand I do it both ways. For commercial accounts I will bill in 12 equal installments. BUT the contract states work to be done in detail. I charge in the month the work was done for anything not on the contract. If the contract is terminated payment is due in 10 days for all work done at the per item price stipulated in the contract, not the price per month amount.

Residential accounts are per item for maintanence work. For landscaping I will take payments as agreed upon before hand.

I try to be as careful as I can to manage cash flow. But for goodness sakes, get the money as fast as you can after the work is completed. I find the customer forgets about what work was done and the agreements made after the work is completed. I have much more problems with the installment payments. Especially with property management firms that lose the property mid-term and have no way to collect the back money for services completed but not billed for. Just my experiences.
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  #60  
Old 02-10-2013, 10:24 AM
205mx 205mx is offline
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Join Date: May 2011
Location: Nashville, TN
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Will P.C. View Post
The more money you have coming in, the more you spend. This allows you to make do with what you have.
Budget = telling your money where to go instead of wondering where it went. On paper. On purpose. Every dollar.
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