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Flat Monthly Billing

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by tiedeman, Nov 18, 2003.

  1. tiedeman

    tiedeman LawnSite Fanatic
    from earth
    Posts: 8,745

    I have already done a search of this but I want to hear from those ONLY that offer flat monthly billing or tried the flat monthly billing and found that it didn't work out.

    Exactly how do you setup the pricing? Like some of my accounts are done twice a week, and like how do you figure in the drought, the number of clean ups, etc?

    Every customers lawn is different so how can you be for sure that you are not screwing yourself on the price compared to billing per occurance?

    I am thinking of offering this, but I am afraid of losing money and customers by doing it this way.
  2. ElephantNest

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

    I do this and base it on a 36 cut per year basis. Add it all up, plus any agreed extras, and divide it by twelve. I also give a 2-3 cut buffer, for both sides, and has always worked to my advantage except for one account this past summer. Still didn't lose any money, just didn't get in my usual 2 to 3 no cut drivebys. Customers seem to really like it, makes it easier on them when doing the bills, and makes it great for us in the winter.

  3. chefdrp

    chefdrp LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,384

    I wish i could. people around my area will think they will be cheated some way.
  4. o-so-n-so

    o-so-n-so LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Alabama
    Posts: 1,218

    I do what E-nest said but, in my contract/agreement wording it states that the annual price IS base on the actual number of services. I only like to do this with the basic lawn service. Any up sale or add on service I bill in the month the service is done. The reason for that is that people will pile on stuff if they think they can. IMO

    Put everything in writing

    If its current customers you could go back and get and average of services.

    If new..explain that they get what they pay for and show them on paper. It has worked well for me.

    I do anywhere from 35 services (weekly) to 21 services (10 day).
    I also have a few bi-weekly account of which none are contracted.

    good luck
  5. Turf Technologies

    Turf Technologies LawnSite Senior Member
    from Florida
    Posts: 590

    What we do is take the Price per cut times it by the amount of mowings per year and then divide it by 12 and that how you gwt your price. If theres a drought and a few mowings are miss, O well price doesnt change.Its a contract. Some way we make up for it. What you need to do is setup the most mowings for your months of faster growth.
  6. tiedeman

    tiedeman LawnSite Fanatic
    from earth
    Posts: 8,745

    what about add on services? How do you guys figure that out as well? The mowing aspect seems pretty easy compared to the others.
    Some things that concern me:
    1. the number of fall clean ups can vary
    2. the price of fertilization varies during the season
    3. whether or not the beds need weeding
    4. whether or not the shrubs need pruning

    just some of those things bother me as to how you include them into the price.
  7. Lance L

    Lance L LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 330

    well im in dallas we dont really do leaf clean ups and such like you but if you want to add in leaf clean ups you could always figure whats the minimum amount of clean ups you do on most of your yards, not the ones where they try and do it themselves or wait or whatever but your nice accounts i dont know but say 5 just figure in 5 and if they want more then you can add it on to that month orrr you could take the total and factor it in with the months left in the year(probably 1 but o well) or you could make your billing year start in feb or so to stretch out the months you can figure in the clean ups. for shrups ask the customer if they just want them trimmed or if they want them perfect, of course you know what grows really slow and really fast so depending on how nice they want them. you can go every 2 months or every 3 months or every month for one and every 2 for another... ive done them monthly(i kind of think monthly is pointless for everything at least but o well if they want to pay for it) and every 6 months. and same with the weeds if they go over you can add it to the months bill or if you miss some mowings because of drought then u can not charge them for it(only if they ask though i wouldnt say at the end of the year well i didnt mow 36 times do u want anything done for free... but thats about how i do it. i dont keep the extra money if i dont mow though people are to cheap around here... so i either roll it over into next year... perform a service or lower their bill if its obvious.... to what it should be... i said do it the other way if you are going to charge for 36 mows whether u do it or not.

    its pretty easy just sit and think about it
  8. You may not know the answers, but you sure have the questions right.
    I havn't seen a good answer to those three sentences in 30 years. So I don't do flat monthly billing.

    The only time I ever heard of offering flat monthly billing north of the Mason-Dixon line would be to include snow removal. Then pad the bill until it looked like the Michelin man!:D
    Too many variables.

  9. Little Guy

    Little Guy LawnSite Member
    Posts: 118

    Don't forget that some months will have 5 cuts! Because of the number of Fridays.
  10. Mowing Mike

    Mowing Mike LawnSite Member
    Posts: 95

    I think that flat monthly billing makes the LCO want to cut corners. They are getting paid the same every month. So if they get running late one day they may not do every thing up to perfection. If your contract includes fertilizer, you would be more likely to use a cheaper fertilizer than a higher cost. I also realize that if you cut enough corners that you will lose job, or not get new ones, but what about the shortcuts that are not really visible? I prefer charging for what I do and seeding out bills at the end of the month, for what was done that month. If they want extra seed in some places than they are charge more for that, etc.. .

    Thanks mike

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