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If you skip due to drought, do you change monthly payment?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by theguynextdoor, Mar 21, 2008.

  1. theguynextdoor

    theguynextdoor LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 265

    For all of you that have a seasonal price for mowing, divided into equal monthly payments : if during the summer it is very dry and you do not mow the lawn one week because it doesnt rain at all, do you lower the monthly price? Or just keep it the same, especially since some cutomers have irrigation systems?

    ALSO: Does your price include fall clean up, or do you add on additional costs in the fall for leaf cleanup?

    I am charging around 25 per cut for the average lawn. I think I will add on an hourly rate for leaf cleanup in the fall. Does this sound fair?
  2. Charles

    Charles Moderator Staff Member
    Posts: 7,884

    Seasonal rate is suppose to be a fixed price all year long no matter the weather or whether you skip. So you need to figure the cost of leaves in with your monthly rate
  3. lawnpro724

    lawnpro724 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,201

    If I don't mow I don't bill. I only charge for what we do since most of my customer won't do seasonal billing.
  4. landscaper22

    landscaper22 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 829

    I generally take a visit off of the invoice if I don't mow. Year-round monthly paying customers should pay the same amount if we skip a visit. However, I try to be fair. I have been really strict in the past. Even if you can still charge them the full amount, it is just good business practice to not charge for services not provided. It may make a difference down the road when other companies try to under bid you on the job.
  5. Flex-Deck

    Flex-Deck LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,846

    I have about 1/2 on 7 equall monthly payments. The amount of these payments is based on 26 mowings on an average year. However, there are about 30-32 weeks we mow in this area. A lot of times, we visit the property and only do a couple of swaths in the shade of a building, or some other small trim up. The system is nice because we do not have to worry about "How much do I charge for a 15 minute spif-it-up visit?" They are happy, and I am happy, and that is as good as it gets.
  6. AWR

    AWR LawnSite Member
    Posts: 45

    we also have a monthly payment plan of 10 months and we let them decide on the services they would like i.e. gutters,prunning , shrub fert etc, and on our weekly maintenance it includes minium of 28 cuts and 3 fall clean ups and a spring clean up.so if we need to skip it a couple times it doesn't effect the price
  7. 2 clowns mowing

    2 clowns mowing LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 566

    we do pre-paid and if we skip a week for any reason we refund a weeks mowing by check to customer
  8. F Y P M

    F Y P M LawnSite Member
    Posts: 135

    Very rarely do we skip but when it does we may do other maintenance on property to equal a mowing.
  9. landscaper22

    landscaper22 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 829

    So, are you saying you charge them for 26 mowings, but you may mow the property 30-32 times? If that is the case then I would not take off for missed visits either. I really don't worry about how to charge for 15 min. spif it ups, as I will explain in my favorite service schedule below.
    I know my area is a little different than yours, but some of my customers just pay per visit and are billed at the end of the month for how many service visits are completed. And some still pay for each visit individually. That is simple enough.
    But since we have about an 8 month growing season combined with leaves falling, and the fact that we don't have to worry about snow, there is enough work to keep us busy most of the year. We have about 2-2 1/2 really slow months. Some cheap a** customers do not want year-round service. But I push a program where I service your property for 6-7 months every week and 5-6 months every other week. I come up with a monthly price, while taking into account all work that will need to be done during the year. I try to get an average and add in a little extra. So if they go 6 months every week and 6 months every other week that is about 39 visits per year. So, if I totally skip a visit because of bad weather or extreme drought conditions, then I feel I owe them a discount for the month. Then they are only getting 38 visits. Now, the 15 min. spif ups are part of the deal. The customer still gets charged regular price for them.
    It is a good system for my area though. So, I may have a customer that pays $200 per month for instance. From May 1-Oct 31 I will service the property weekly. And from Nov. 1-April 30 I will service bi-weekly. So, really the customer is getting a deal during the hot summer when I am servicing every week for and spending an hour and a half or so each visit. But in January I may spend 20 minutes two times per month on the property and I still get $200 for the month. Most customers in my area really seem to like this schedule.
  10. djagusch

    djagusch LawnSite Platinum Member
    from MN
    Posts: 4,231

    If it is a seasonal contract they are not buying X amount of cuts they are buying a service for their yard. If it doesn't need to be cut it doesn't. In the spring I sometimes need to mow every 5 days because it needs to be cut. The monthly charge never changes. A seasonal contract normally includes cleanups.

    So when bidding take your average number of mowing per year plus two, spring and fall cleanup price, add them up and divide them for X number of months. That is their payment. At $25 a cut it doesn't seem like your bidding it right.

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