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buy the cut or yearley price?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by DUSTYCEDAR, Jul 29, 2003.


    DUSTYCEDAR LawnSite Fanatic
    from PA
    Posts: 5,137

    i was charging buy the cut when i started and worked that way for 15 years. i had a hard time trying to get people to sign a per year price agreement. i have had problems even raising the price on many of my accounts because of the area i live in there are more landscapers than ever not to mention the weekend warriors
    unemployment is high and people fell anyone can cut grass but do they know what it cost for insurance, payroll,rent even gas.
    last year there was a drought here. normally i cut 30 times
    last year cut 20 times lost big. how do u convince people that they are going to pay even when you do not cut?
  2. ElephantNest

    ElephantNest LawnSite Bronze Member
    from La.
    Posts: 1,878

    I explain to them that paying once a month, same ammount, year round is easier for everyone. Base it on 25 cuts/year, or whatever you think is right. Around here it's 36 cuts. SO a $40.00 yard, turns out to be $120.00/month, year round. Some months they'll see me there every week. Some months they may see me only once. But this allows you to not have to eat Ramen Noodles in the winter, and is easier for the customers to keep up with. Just another regular bill. I have them sign nothing, but if you can, go for it. Maybe offer a 5% discount to all that agree. One bad thing is you are set at that price for a year. But that's another selling point to mention to the customer. Works out better for everyone involved, less checks for them to write and keep up with, less work for you trying to collect.

  3. GLAN

    GLAN Banned
    Posts: 1,647

    When you can't water...................wish I can answer that or offer something, but I realy can't. Where I am, we have never had restrictions enough where they could not water at least on odd or even days.

    As for a yearly price. I am finding that there are more and more homeowners that are doing everything on a budget. So, they want a fixed rate on a monthly basis. Fine. I'll bill them anyway they want.

    For a monthly rate. Add up the service costs for a season, divide by what ever months work. The most months I will bill is 10.

    It's better for some people, cause when they get hit with a $500 bill for a month, it can be difficult for them to pay.

    I also find that those that want to reduce their service, offering them the budgeted payment makes it more reasonable for them monthly and the service stays at full.
  4. AltaLawnCare

    AltaLawnCare LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 962

    Just wondering why you prefer 10 month instead of 12? On large enough accts., isn't it better to have income coming in all year?

    I'm thinking about going 8 month on smaller accounts.
  5. logan

    logan LawnSite Senior Member
    from FL
    Posts: 315

    I figure out how much it costs to go to each location. Say $30 dollars. Then I figure 52 weeks and multiply. I have gotten quite a few of my customers by letting them know that I will be there each week and do what it takes to make their lawn look nice. If it means that I edge only or blow off the driveways and sidewalks, take care of weeds or hedges. I live in Florida too so our plants grow all year long.
  6. GLAN

    GLAN Banned
    Posts: 1,647

    The only 12 month contracts we have are for commercial with the snow plowing/salting.

    Residential is all 9 months. Only a few are they budgeted for 10 months. I don't need to be doing paper work during my off season. And that the money is better in my bank than theres.
  7. GLAN

    GLAN Banned
    Posts: 1,647

    Hope your charging extra for lawn applications and the shrub work. And are you there every week in winter. Thought you go every other week in the winter?
  8. logan

    logan LawnSite Senior Member
    from FL
    Posts: 315

    My business is a maintenance business. The 30 bucks was an example. If I think the yard is worth say $30 then I'll add $5-$10 dollars a week, depending on the amount of shrubs. Then I'll multiply by 52 and divide by 12. There are a lot of companies that will go every other week in the winter, but I prefer the constant supply of money in the winter and my customers like their yards to look nice each week too. The leaves fall and I'll chop them up, and I'll blow them off the sidewalks. Or I'll edge and blow. If they have shrubs included I may do them as well.
  9. nelbuts

    nelbuts LawnSite Bronze Member
    from SW, FL
    Posts: 1,053

    In SW FL we tell customers that they will receive + or - 36 cuts. If that is all they want then the price is based on that. If they want pruning then they get pruned once per month June thru October then as needed Nov. thru March, cut backs are done in April and May. Then the two prices are added together for a monthly price. If they want fert then it is added, weed control in beds added. Palms are factored in also. Then they have a monthly price for everything. Pest control for shrubs is performed every two months and it is a seperate price. So figure it like this"

    Cutting $22.50 x 36= $810 6,000 sq. ft.
    Shrubs $100 x 8 = $800
    Fert. $40 x 3 = $120
    Round Up 10 per year x $12 = $120
    Palms $20 x 5 = $100

    Monthly fee $162.50

    Now I just pulled some numbers out of my rear for this as some of those prices I charge a little more for. I never put my exact prices down on the net.

    Now 50 of those accounts will gross you close to $100K not including any extras you pick up during the year. Most of those can be done in 2.5 days here. I know to some of you guys it doesn't sound like much but I work two weeks in Nov.; one week Dec., Jan., Feb. and still make my monthly amount. Some weeks I just work three days till noon. So I think it works out ok.
  10. GLAN

    GLAN Banned
    Posts: 1,647

    Nope........that's not a bad deal at all

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