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Monthly payment plan worries.

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by ENDURO, Apr 14, 2006.


    ENDURO LawnSite Member
    Posts: 64

    I'd like to get most of my customers on a 12 month payment plan. I've read some good success stories on here from guys who have implemented it. The customer benefits from slightly lower per month payments and I would benefit from the steady money throughout the winter. My main concern is that half way through the season, I'll have someone try and dump me for a low-baller. My residential lawn agreement is not that strong. I keep it that way on purpose as to not scare anyone. Even if I were to add all of the legal babble to make it stronger, I don't want to spend all of my time and money trying to sue people. I do good work and do what I can within reason to keep my customers happy, but that doesn't mean they won't be tempted by the low-baller. Anyone have these same concerns or had someone try and cancel on your?
  2. scott's turf

    scott's turf LawnSite Senior Member
    from NH
    Posts: 949

    The only clear way I could see how do do it is to keep a running balance as a line item on each monthly invoice. This would tell the customer at any time whether they have a credit or a balance owed to you in case service needs to be cancelled for any reason.
  3. sgallaher

    sgallaher LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 265

    Well, you can base your yearly fee off of the average # of cuts that you do in your area. Here I average about 28 cuts. Then you can figure out you other costs such as fertilizer/weed treatments, mulch, etc. All these charges you should know right now. I used to do a 12 month payment but realized that I like the money at the end of the month for everything that I did that month. Plus come Dec & Jan people don't think about grass so even though you send them a bill sometimes they forget to pay.
  4. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Posts: 10,178

    12 month payment schedules, only work, where you mow 12 months a year. in our area, it's a maximum of 10 month payment schedule, but preferably 8 or 9
  5. dkeisala

    dkeisala LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 911

    I outline in the service agreement the number and cost of each of the services we provide for them. I use CLIP to track everything and I have a clause in the contract for early cancellation. If they do cancel, I simply add up all services rendered to the point of cancellation, apply all payments received and they are either billed for the difference or a refund is issued. It's worked great for me and for the client, it takes the pain out of signing a contract.
  6. PGA

    PGA LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 710

    Thats not true. I have about 10 customers that I have had for years that are on a 12 month plan. At the beginning of the season I sit down and figure out how many mows there will be on average (for me its around 35) for the year. Then I add in any extras like fert., aerating, cleanups, gutters, etc. I divide by 12 and thats what they pay me.

    Its beneficial to both of us because I have money in the winter when Im not doing anything and their bill is a little lower every month.

    Im not worried about them leaving because 1) I provide great service and they wont leave and 2) they signed a little piece of paper :)

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