It may not work out the best for me financially on first glance, but my system is simply to charge a set fee "per mow", and adjust mowing frequency to the needs of the lawn. If it's Spring and growing fast, I'm there weekly. If it's August and dry, I hit it 2 times that month. Of course this is adjusted based on the type of grass. It might yield 30 visits on some lawns and only 16 on a unwatered, unfertilized weed patch lawn. I keep my minimum mows per month at 2, to avoid cheapskates trying to request one mow per month. I send customers a form before the season with the "projected" number of mows each month during the season, so there aren't any surprises. I indicate that it may vary some due to rainfall, temp, and their lawn's fertility. I really hate mowing a lawn that doesn't need it, almost as much as mowing a lawn that is overgrown. I base when I go out on how long it will take me to mow it appropriately. I try to time when I get back before it would require more time than usual, which is before it gets too tall for the mower to handle smoothly and quickly. This method means that my "time on-site" for each property is uniform, which aids scheduling and routing. I don't have to worry about being there 2 hours one week, and 30 minutes another. For my personal situation, it means I'm mowing more in Spring (when weather is cooler and nicer) and less in the Summer (when it's hot and I'm getting tired). It also means I don't wind up doing "make work" or really tough work like shrubs when it's hottest and the wasps/hornets are stinging. I "fill in" in the Fall with aerating/seeding, and by late fall I'm doing mulching, shrubwork, etc. I stay at 100% capacity March-June, then about 80% July-August, then 100% September, 80% October, 50% November-Dec, and 25% Jan-Feb. Of course this would wreak havoc with employee scheduling, but if you are clever you can adjust. I find that I get really burnt out on the biz if I don't get away from it for a couple of months each year. I also simply cannot function at 100% effort 12 months a year anymore. As far as slack times, there are plenty of services I could add to fill in if I wanted, (gutter cleaning, mulching beds, powerwashing decks, etc, etc) but I prefer the time off. I usually only do things like that 'upon request" and I don't advertise doing it. More power to you if you can get people to agree to it, but I think that trying to "force" a customer to pay year round or for mowing too frequently during a drought period results in higher turnover than necessary (people tend to resent paying when they don't perceive they need the work done). Usually they will just cancel and have no lawn service until Spring rather than pay through Winter if their budget gets tight. Usually the "year round plan" simply means you're paid too much during the slow times and charge too little in the busy season anyway. I find I can charge a little more "per mow" once people understand they're not paying for any wasted trips (blowing off the drive in January for $40 or mowing half-dormant Fescue in August) The net result is that I do more work when it's pleasant out, and less work when it's hottest. The customer also pays less per year for service, so they're happy. I simply have a few MORE customers, and the net result evens out. I work harder than average for a few months, then less hard during the worst weather. I haven' t had a complaint in years, and avoid getting in arguments about how often I come out to mow. I come out when the grass gets tall enough to need a mowing, period. I find giving them a little slack and being flexible means they trust you more and don't fight you on everything. I don't feel bad if I only mow it once a month, because they're only paying for one mow. And I don't feel bad if I have to hit it 5 times, because they know it will need it. I've seen people lose customers because they charge a monthly rate, then always seem to mow it maybe only 3 times a month when it's growing fast , and 1 time when it's not. And it makes customers constantly paranoid that they're gonna get ripped off.