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  #71  
Old 02-13-2013, 08:36 PM
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ELS Landscape ELS Landscape is offline
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Location: Grand Prairie, Texas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spitfire3416 View Post
I'm not sure if someone explained this already but I'm going to ask it anyway. What happens when you mulch someones bed in April and you charge them $500? If that customer is on, let's say, a 10 month payment plan then that's only $50 extra a month your collecting for that particular job. If the mulch cost you $200 and the labor cost you a $100, it's going to take 6 months just to pay of materials and labor. You wouldn't even START seeing any profit until the final 4 months of the season.

Now I know what somebody is going to say.. "well, it all evens out in the summer when you're servicing the lawn less." But I don't really see how that's true. There's roughly 8 weeks between July and August, right? Well, if you were coming every other week in those months, you're only talking 4 cuts less. I don't see how servicing a homeowners lawn 4 times less would make up for the $300 you had to dish out for a job you won't even see any profit on for 6 months.

sorry ELS.. didn't mean to quote you on that..
At the risk of being short. I am used to commercial accounts and just now working on residential. I do include a clause that work performed is not equal to work performed.

Is it a risk, yes it is! You have to have some sense of the client and perhaps work piece meal a little while first. I have other post on this matter. If you show up and the grass is tall and the yard is a jungle the run.
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  #72  
Old 02-13-2013, 08:43 PM
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ELS Landscape ELS Landscape is offline
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Originally Posted by terrabites View Post
Lets change the start date to May..so you don't incur that $500 expense. Now does it make any more sense? My point is that you get the consistent payments and within some months you get money in than you put out. Depending on when you "start" the contract, you may be on the "short end" of that, but other times you will be on the good end of it....so across your portfolio, you come out at least even.
I do try to shift some work to where the client has banked some money. Depends on the client reputation and my feeling about them. Most people are good but the few that play the game ruins it for everyone.

If the yard is a mess, make them pay to clean it up first then offer the contract.


Not all clients are contract worthy. I have few with Residential. As you move to higher levels of residential clients then go for it. It helps both parties.
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  #73  
Old 02-13-2013, 09:14 PM
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ed2hess ed2hess is offline
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Originally Posted by terrabites View Post
Lets change the start date to May..so you don't incur that $500 expense. Now does it make any more sense? My point is that you get the consistent payments and within some months you get money in than you put out. Depending on when you "start" the contract, you may be on the "short end" of that, but other times you will be on the good end of it....so across your portfolio, you come out at least even.
You need to think simple ......the agreement includes specified services, some things are outside the agreement and are billable meaning if the customer decides to get flowers or mulch then they pay for those completely when the work is done. We had around $8000 worth of irrigation repair on one acct. that got billed in total when work was done. Most people don't have any extra stuff and they like the bill to be constant so they do auto pay and forget it. And that is good for you. By the way old people are not going to go to a monthl they just don't understand math and don't trust the yard boy.
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  #74  
Old 02-14-2013, 08:31 AM
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ELS Landscape ELS Landscape is offline
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Originally Posted by ed2hess View Post
You need to think simple ......the agreement includes specified services, some things are outside the agreement and are billable meaning if the customer decides to get flowers or mulch then they pay for those completely when the work is done. We had around $8000 worth of irrigation repair on one acct. that got billed in total when work was done. Most people don't have any extra stuff and they like the bill to be constant so they do auto pay and forget it. And that is good for you. By the way old people are not going to go to a monthl they just don't understand math and don't trust the yard boy.
And on the otherhand, you can include some things like flowers and mulch so you have more control over your work flow. Just like in vegas, do not gamble more than you can afford to lose and make the reward worth the risk.

Do not load up a client with upfront services and keep some of the value services toward the end of the contract so they are also banking with you.
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  #75  
Old 02-14-2013, 09:25 AM
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Florida Gardener Florida Gardener is offline
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ELS, good posts. I have to say though that extras such as mulch and flowers is where I differ. Those are items that I would bill as I go. I don't care how trustworthy the client it, I'm not going to outlay for materials to recover in total months down the road. A lot of items get done twice per year for certain people like palm trimming, mulch, annuals, etc. some properties use thousands upon thousands in annuals and lots of pallets of mulch. I just wouldn't want to personally outlay the money for that only to recover after so long....I like your posts though, good info.
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  #76  
Old 02-14-2013, 09:38 AM
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ELS Landscape ELS Landscape is offline
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Originally Posted by Florida Gardener View Post
ELS, good posts. I have to say though that extras such as mulch and flowers is where I differ. Those are items that I would bill as I go. I don't care how trustworthy the client it, I'm not going to outlay for materials to recover in total months down the road. A lot of items get done twice per year for certain people like palm trimming, mulch, annuals, etc. some properties use thousands upon thousands in annuals and lots of pallets of mulch. I just wouldn't want to personally outlay the money for that only to recover after so long....I like your posts though, good info.
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I do both. If I am including large amounts of materials I often provide that service at the end of the agreement and often during my slow period. In sunny Florida you do not have as much slow time as I do.

And Landscaping does qualify for a mechanics lien.
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  #77  
Old 02-14-2013, 11:13 AM
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spitfire3416 spitfire3416 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ELS Landscape View Post
Do not load up a client with upfront services and keep some of the value services toward the end of the contract so they are also banking with you.
yea this makes a lot of sense.. i decided to set up my packages so that I have services both early and late in the season. like for example, i set up a package including mulch to be done early in the season, but then have core aeration done in the fall along with fall cleanups. this way I may be getting paid over a longer amount of time for things like mulch, but then getting paid a lot earlier for services done in the fall.
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  #78  
Old 02-14-2013, 11:21 AM
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spitfire3416 spitfire3416 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Florida Gardener View Post
ELS, good posts. I have to say though that extras such as mulch and flowers is where I differ. Those are items that I would bill as I go. I don't care how trustworthy the client it, I'm not going to outlay for materials to recover in total months down the road. A lot of items get done twice per year for certain people like palm trimming, mulch, annuals, etc. some properties use thousands upon thousands in annuals and lots of pallets of mulch. I just wouldn't want to personally outlay the money for that only to recover after so long....I like your posts though, good info.
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well what if the LCO were to just tell the customers that they require payment for materials up front and then just bill a flat rate for your labor. he could always devise a flat monthly rate based on everything minus those hefty material costs, such as mulch or any plantings. this could be a good way of avoiding laying all that money out up front for materials. i think most customers wouldn't have a problem with this..
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  #79  
Old 02-14-2013, 07:43 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 Florida Gardener View Post
ELS, good posts. I have to say though that extras such as mulch and flowers is where I differ. Those are items that I would bill as I go. I don't care how trustworthy the client it, I'm not going to outlay for materials to recover in total months down the road. A lot of items get done twice per year for certain people like palm trimming, mulch, annuals, etc. some properties use thousands upon thousands in annuals and lots of pallets of mulch. I just wouldn't want to personally outlay the money for that only to recover after so long....I like your posts though, good info.
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TruGreen taught us a lesson on how to put a contract together concerning stuff that was included and stuff that was billable(they have a lot of this kind of thing) and stuff that was no charge. They also taught us not to use mows but rather visits. Gives you a little ability to show up clean up the property and leave.
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  #80  
Old 02-14-2013, 08:17 PM
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Florida Gardener Florida Gardener is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ed2hess View Post
TruGreen taught us a lesson on how to put a contract together concerning stuff that was included and stuff that was billable(they have a lot of this kind of thing) and stuff that was no charge. They also taught us not to use mows but rather visits. Gives you a little ability to show up clean up the property and leave.
I show up every week year round for all but 3 properties. I give an exact number of cuts bc I'm not doing 3 or 4 extra cuts for free if we have a warmer winter. They can pay for that. We've had winters where weekly cutting needed to start in February. That ends up being like 5-7 extra cuts that you are doing for free if you don't give an exact number. I don't do the whole you will get 36-42 cuts. No, you get 38 and if more are needed and you want it done, you pay for it.
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