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Excesive drought clause?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by cuttinggrassiscool, Mar 25, 2007.

  1. cuttinggrassiscool

    cuttinggrassiscool LawnSite Member
    Posts: 71

    I was in the process of rewriting my monthly agreements for lawn care from last season. Now last year i wrote in a clause stating if i cut over X times i will bill per cut, and if i cut less then X-1 you would be credited for next season. I want to get rid of that language and just say this is what it cost a month, period. However (been 'doing' this since i was 15, so i have five years of kinda paying attention to this, but only serious last year, insurance and such), we have had years that were so dry i didn't cut for over a month. I'm sure homeowners now this and i want to include a drought clause.
    I was thinking something along the lines of this; In the event of excessive drought, which will be defined as less then _______ inches of rain and/or the growing conditions not necessitating mowing for five (5) (not sure on this amount yet either) consecutive weeks, your account will be credited _________ amount per week missed during such period, valid during the next season on work performed.
    Basically, I don't want to be weak in the agreement, but fair to the customer as well. If anyone has any ideas of how to better define drought, or any experience with this type of clause, please let me know

  2. ed2hess

    ed2hess LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,196

    Why not focus on yards with irrigation?
  3. supercuts

    supercuts LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,785

    i was thinking about adding a clause that states if i dont come at all for a month due to drought i still get to bill for one time so i still have some income to keep me from worring about going belly over
  4. mow & snow

    mow & snow LawnSite Member
    Posts: 227

    I tell everyone that my mowing season is for 30 weeks for X amount. I also tell them that there aren't any skips. Then it's up to them to accept it or not.
  5. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    I agree with you being fair with the customer, you're not weak until you give more than what is bargained for, certainly I always support a weather based scheme such as what is beyond our control. So be it that we get paid more when it rains and grows a lot and less when it doesn't, so long the charges are kept in proportion to the actual work done.
  6. toac

    toac LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 350

    what about in spring when you are cutting every 4 days because of the rain or have to double cut every 7 days because the grass grew a foot? do you get paid for more than 5 cuts? just charge a straight monthly fee for 30 months of mowing (or however many times you cut per year)
  7. MarcSmith

    MarcSmith LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,157

    You know that form one year to the next your toal number of cuts isn't going to change by much, 1 or two cuts either direcetion.

    In florida I did yearly contracts, based on 32 cuts. Irrigated or not....(well non irrigated bahia I bid based on 28 cuts)

    I gauranteed a price for 12 months, then amerotised the payments over twelve months. So homeowner and commercial clients alike, were paying the same amount each month no matter how many times the grass was cut. Grass was to be cut minimum every seven days or "as needed".

    If we went under 32 cuts It was a bonus for me. if we ent over 32 cuts, it was a bonus for the clients as I did not charge more.

    It worked for me. and It kept a steady flow of money coming in durring the slow months.
  8. lqmustang

    lqmustang LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 620

    I do a program similar to MarcSmith, only I do 10 month contracts. Customers are charged for the average number of cuts each year, as well as any other services they want divided by 10 months. No credits for short months or extra charges for heavy months. The other 2 months I can usually cover with plowing.

    HOOLIE LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,981

    I wouldn't insert a clause that basically hurts YOU...I look at it this way, in the spring I can spend nearly twice as long on a lawn as I do later on in the summer. So if it doesn't grow in August, it evens out. It's not all about being 'fair' it's about keeping enough revenue coming in to run your business.

    How many gyms charge "by the workout"?? I've never seen one...they all charge a flat rate regardless of whether you spend all day there everyday or don't work out at all for 3 months straight. Same sort of logic...while an LCO is at the mercy of the weather, a gym is at the mercy of how motivated their customers are.
  10. Duekster

    Duekster LawnSite Fanatic
    from DFW, TX
    Posts: 7,961

    If there is a drought you need to inspect the yard for stress related disease and hand water their lawns.

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