Need help in monthly pricing during winter!

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by ABeautifulCutAboveInc., Jul 27, 2006.

  1. ABeautifulCutAboveInc.

    ABeautifulCutAboveInc. LawnSite Member
    Posts: 118

    I own my business in Central Florida and this is my first year owning my own. Trully, grass grows almost year around. It just slows down. I have talked to other guys who own there own lawn maintenance business, they have told me they charge a monthly flat fee year around. If they mow 4 times or 1 time a month. I know winter is a ways away, but I have to be prepared. If anybody could help me to learn how they operate there fees during the cooler months in Central Florida, it would be very helpful to me. Thanks.
     
  2. PMLAWN

    PMLAWN LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,535

    Figure out close to how many cuts you will do a year, and any thing else you will do at the property including any trimming, leaves or palms, or lawn care if you can do that. Figure the total cost for the whole year and divide that by 12. Tell them that is the cost per month and that their property will look good all year. You will still visit the property all year and do whatever is needed. This should be an easy sell in FLA.
     
  3. martinfan06

    martinfan06 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 631

    Are you using some kind of contract with your clients? I ask because this way the client knows your a full time contractor, not just a summer job. I offered both yearly and seasonal work, cause you'll always have those people that just want it done when its really growing. Yes their a PITA, but when your just starting you need all the work you can do, so you can save as much money as pos to help carry you through the winter.

    The ultimate goal is to gain the most premium client base possible(not the most) that way you know you have money coming in all year. Thats not something that happens quickly though. Best of luck
     
  4. ABeautifulCutAboveInc.

    ABeautifulCutAboveInc. LawnSite Member
    Posts: 118

    , Yes, I have most of my clients on yearly contracts. It has in writing how much a month. There will be a couple months in the winter where it won't really grow. But, I plan on doing small odds and ends for them. Trimming, cleaning up flower beds ect. I'm only on summer jobs for a couple clients due to certain situations. Thanks for the information MartinFan06, I see your from Plant city. In Plant city do you mow in the off season every two weeks or three? How do you operate? Thanks for the advice.
     
  5. martinfan06

    martinfan06 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 631

    Well let me state Im not currently in the biz right now, but am working towards getting back in next season. When I was in biz the off season usually cut the lawn every 14 days, but If we get a hard freeze its not uncommon to go much longer. I still would go to my accounts weekly and if nothing else at least blow the drive off or p/u trash try to do a little something that the client will notice sometimes you can even put fresh edge on walkways. I found most company's wont even ride by there accounts in the winter, I never agreed w/that. Its easier to keep clients if you show up and do a little something in the winter since they are paying for a service. hopefully this will help and good luck.
     
  6. ABeautifulCutAboveInc.

    ABeautifulCutAboveInc. LawnSite Member
    Posts: 118

    Thank you very much for the information. Most people in the business I talked to said the 14 day routine. But, you are right about most companies won't even go by. I don't believe in that either. I plan on going by and doing some sort of work to compensate. Thanks alot for the advice and good luck in getting started again.
     
  7. justanotherlawnguy

    justanotherlawnguy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,251

    MOnthly pricing in the winter is the same as the summer. If they are paying $125/month, then it is $125/month for 12 months.

    The key to being succesful with monthly rates is they typically only work with the St. Augustine yards. IF it is Bahia, then the monthly fee wont really work, unless they bring it up.

    During the winter I go twice a month, but only mow usually once. THe other time, I might just edge and blow, pull a couple of weeds or just walk around and fart for five minutes, they just want to see you on the property.

    However, this past winter there were several months where I only showed up 1 time. FOr the most part customers dont even question it because they know when push comes to shove in the summer I am there week in week out.

    If you can collect the monthly fee from Nov-Mar, then you have a keeper.
     
  8. justanotherlawnguy

    justanotherlawnguy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,251

    I had this same attitude when I first started, I felt I had to be there every other week to do something.

    Think about it the other way. Do you think that customer is thinking about you when you are doing a yard for say $85 a month during June-Sept when you are killing yourself in the heat and humidity? Is it really worth $85/month then? no way, your waiting for the fall/winter to even out.

    For the most part, customers will pay the monthly fee or not, no amount of explaining will help some people and for them quote a per cut price.

    If you do find youself having to explain it tell them that during the busy season you do all of the work but dont get paid for it, kind of like deferred payment. Pay per cut or Monthly fee equals the same at the end of the year, you just have to figure out which type the customer is.
     
  9. Poncho25

    Poncho25 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 369

    I just started a little over a month ago and all my clients besides 2 are on yearly agreements, its fully explained to them that in the dormant times, I come out every other week, even if theres not much to do, I will show up and do something! I also have been telling alot of the single female mothers or non, that durring that time they can put a honeydue list together and I can see how I can help. If its putting a few nails in the fence for them, or clearing out some stuff, as long as its something thats not major, it will be no cost, so far they have all LOVED THIS!! and it has sold more then one of the accounts for me!
    I also, just for my subdiv, told the yearly clients that I will twice a winter season, pressure wash their pool areas for them at no charge, this is also a big seller, yes I know alot of people are against giving something away for free but durring those months its really a cake walk and money in our pockets so why not give those loyal clients something to feel like they are getting their moneys worth.
     
  10. PMLAWN

    PMLAWN LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,535

    Is that legal????:laugh: :laugh:
     

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