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Lawn mowing billing standards

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by mapleleaf, Feb 12, 2009.

  1. mapleleaf

    mapleleaf LawnSite Member
    Posts: 46

    Hi, very new to this site. We are trying to start a lawn care division for our NJ landscaping biz. Just curious the industry standard to bill residential clients. I was thinking of taking the weekly rate, let's just say $50. then considering how many total weeks of service there will be: 35 wks. then dividing that by the amount of months: 8 (apr-nov) Monthly bill would be $218.75 Also I would like to bill prior to service. Like bill April 1st, for the month of April's service. Also do I collect NJ sales tax or does maintenance fall under some special non tax ruling? Any assistance or advise would be appreciated.
  2. LouisianaLawnboy

    LouisianaLawnboy LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,199

    Not by 8 months, but by 12. That way they pay a lower rate, but it's every month and you don't have to worry about losing customers come spring.

    Also there is 36 cuts a year where I live. Also 50.00 is a little high.
  3. ed2hess

    ed2hess LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,200

    Good luck with billing before you do work.....that is an idea who time has long passed, unless you cherry pick customers.
  4. mattfromNY

    mattfromNY LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,581

    All of my snowplowing contracts pay in advance for the month. Some months we dont even plow, but they all pay. I dont see why it wouldn't work for mowing as well.
  5. mapleleaf

    mapleleaf LawnSite Member
    Posts: 46

    Yes, I was hoping people from the NY/NJ area would reply to the post. I know standards differ by location. I'm friendly with another lawn care co, and I think I will see how they bill, just wanted more than one opinion so I posted here. I'm not a fan of the divide by 12 months. Does anyone in NJ/Ny area do this? I don't have a huge backup funding to support not getting paid asap; my men won't work without getting paid. If that's the standard for my area, then I guess I have to get over it and just do it. Also if it helps to keep the acct, then it's worth trying. Also mentioning the $50 was just an example, everyone has to cover all expenses, or why bother, someone's expenses my be less than another person's, so I know prices will vary, especially by location. I really appreciate your assistance, this site is made to help others, it's nice when someone wants to help out a fellow landscaper without sarcasism, and condescending words. Thanks!
  6. shade tree landscaping

    shade tree landscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 915

    50 is not to high of an ammount, avg for some neighborhoods that I service. Yes you do collect NJ State sales tax for weekly lawn care. As far as billing, I bill at the end of the month and have the customer either pay one month up front that get applied to the last months mowing, or they leave a cc on file in case of any billing issues
  7. punt66

    punt66 LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,538

    Here in Ct most including myself bill the first of the month for the previous month. As a consumer you would never get my business if you wanted me to prepay or as the other guy stated pay for plowing when it doesnt snow????? If its a commercial contract thats different but residentials paying for plowing when it doesnt snow wont fly here. I keep things simple and bill for the work performed and i guess thats why my schedule is full and dont need to advertise.
  8. ed2hess

    ed2hess LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,200

    Exactly right....he'll spend more time going around trying to find these few customers that wil pay up front and in the end have to chase all over the city to serive them. I doubt that I could find one person in our city of 1.0million that would pay me as a new cutter up front. Customer say show me the service and I will maybe pay you. I guess the blue people up north are loaded.
  9. billslawn89

    billslawn89 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,364

    ya..same here. i send out the billing statements at the beginning of the month for the previous months work. i do break it down as a 12 month payment plan so money is coming in for the whole year.
  10. punt66

    punt66 LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,538

    I know thats a standard in the south but i would be worried they would walk in your slow season. Then you would lose right? We dont do that up here. Although i did get an account once because they were on a plan like that and the home owner didnt think the guy was showing up enough. She has been on my list for 3 years now. Year round including snow removal.

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