Billing by the Month?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Jarrells74, Apr 19, 2003.

  1. Jarrells74

    Jarrells74 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 31

    Hi all.. This is my first year in the Buisness, and all my customers pay me by the job right now. One customer asked me if I could set him up on a monthy payment plan. I am wondering how you all bill by the month? I mean, do you just charge them for 4 weeks at a time, or do you have the payment do at the first of the month? Seems if you did that, you would be doing a free mowing every few months because of 30 or 31 days in a month. I need to give him a figure on Monday. Thx for any help..
     
  2. bastalker

    bastalker LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 965

    May has 31 days in it. so if you cut 4 times, bill for 4 cuts due on the 15th of June. June has 30 days in it, so if you cut 3 times, bill for three cuts, due on the 15th of July. July has 31 days in it, so if you cut 3 times, bill for 3 cuts due the 15th of Aug....etc....:)
     
  3. ahah

    ahah LawnSite Member
    from 5
    Posts: 70

    In my area there are generally 30 cuts per season. I have customers under contract. First bills are due March 15 th., the last is due December 15 th. Mowing starts the second week of April and ends the last week of October.

    30 cuts at 30 bucks per cut= 900 bucks

    900 bucks divided by 10 months of payments is 90 bucks per month.

    In the contract it stipulates that any additonal mowing over thirty cuts will be billed at 30 (or whatever the original mowing price was) bucks per instance.
     
  4. Turfdude

    Turfdude LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,900

    We bill at the end of each month for that month's work. We do not have an equal pay plan. We have contracts for all of our services. We take deposits for larger mulch jobs (over 12 yds) and for landscape intalls only. We do not offer pre-pay discounts. Hope this helps.
     
  5. sgallaher

    sgallaher LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 265

    I bill monthly also. Any work that is done in the month is billed on the last day of the month. Most of my clients write me a check on the spot whenerver I give them an invoice.
     
  6. Green Pastures

    Green Pastures LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,457

    I cut an average of 36-40 times per season in my area.

    I put my customers on a 5 step fert/pre-emergent program, after an initial soil test.

    I cut all bushes and shrubs.

    I provide all weed control.

    I clean up after thunderstorm's.

    I remove all leaves from property in the fall.

    I leave them with nothing to do in their yards but watering, and pest control. Lime treatments and mulching is extra as most customers do not need or want lime and mulch every year.

    I give them a price for the entire year, then I offer 2 payment plans. One I call seasonal which divides the total contract price into 9 equal monthly payments, (April-December). Two is the annual, total contract price divided into 12 monthly payments.

    All of my customers except 2 are on the annual payment plan.

    I get my money by the 10th of the month or service stops and I send a notice to pay. NO EXCEPTIONS. This way If I don't get paid I'm only out a little bit of money. If I'm not paid by the 25th I send another letter, and if I'm not paid by the 10th of the following month, we go to court. NO EXCEPTIONS.

    I will do NO WORK AT ALL without a signed and dated contract.

    This has worked for me for 3 years now with only 2 maybe 3 late payments in that time. I've never had to go to court. I've always been paid by no later than the 20th by those who have been late.

    I've said it a million times here, contracting your jobs is the ONLY way to run a landscaping business. I get steady income all year round, and I never have to sweat receivables.
     
  7. bastalker

    bastalker LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 965

    I myself have never had problems with collecting the money that is owed. I have never had contracts with lawncare service. Most of my customers to me are my buds. I treat them that way, and they treat me the same.

    I have had a couple of customers neglect to pay promptly. I just give them a call, and ask if they were satisfied with the job,and is there anything else I can do for them. The check is in the mail the next day.

    I did however, and this is a first for me, talk to a potential customer. He wanted me to dethatch,and lime his propety, and if I gave him a good deal I could cut him for the season.

    We did give him a break, an did an awsome job. After we were done the lawn looked like a carpet. He couldn't have been more pleased.

    As we were settling the financial end of the deal. I said well we will be here in about a week to mow. He says to me, well I think I will cut it myself this year....:angry:

    This is the first time it has happened to me, but I still like being on a personel level with my customers than a proffesional one. But thats just me..:)
     
  8. xpnd

    xpnd LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 378

    In every calendar quarter there is one month that has five billable weeks assuming you bill by the work accomplished during and through that week. For me each week is defined by which month the Monday falls in. This completely arbitrary. Any day could be selected. If Monday happens to be the last day of the month, the following days even though they are in the next month are billed on the prior months invoice in advance. You need to be careful. Many people are exempt employees (salaried) and get paid on the 15th and 30th of the month. To these people there are only 48 weeks in the year. But for the hourly worker there are 26 paydays or the correct 52 weeks in a year. Make sure your customers know that you don't work that "fifth" week for free and their bill will increase accordingly.
     
  9. Shuter

    Shuter LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,171

    I bill on the first of the month for all work performed the previous month. Any extra landscaping jobs for a regular customer over $1000. I bill at the end of the job. One time customers are billed at the end of the job.
     
  10. sheppard

    sheppard LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 542

    Morning Jarrell74,

    I bill on the 1st of the month for my commercial accounts. I give them till the 30th to get the check to me. Almost all of them pay on time.

    My residential's I bill on the 15th and I tell them to get it to me by the 30th as well.

    Like several posts above I annualize all my cuts so the billing amount is the same all year around. Any extra work, specified in the agreement, they want is billed seperately. I.E. pine straw, plants, hickory chips...these I pay up front for and request payment due at completion of the work.

    Out of 40 accounts I have 3 that are consistantly late. Right now I'm keeping them because we manage our cash flow well. If I get as full as I want to be then I'll consider dropping them. As it happens one of the late ones is a $390.00 a month account. Need them at the moment. When I don't need them, I'll drop them. It's not worth the hassle to manage late paperwork or follow up calls to them.

    Cordially,
    S.
     

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