Office Fee (or similar)

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by KS_Grasscutter, Dec 4, 2011.

  1. KS_Grasscutter

    KS_Grasscutter LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,332

    Does anyone charge their customers for the costs you incur, to charge them money? A box of envelopes is $65. A book of stamps is like $8. Then there is the time spent entering data into quickbooks, printing everything, and then stuffing into envelopes and driving to the post office to mail them. I am thinking about adding a small fee (like $1.50 or so?) to each invoice next season.

    I will obviously have to include in my spring letter that the additional charge will appear so it won't catch them off guard, but I am guessing it still won't go over real good.

    Or do you just look at it as part of your overhead you need to think about when you bid a lawn?
     
  2. NEW CITY LAWN CARE LLC

    NEW CITY LAWN CARE LLC LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,268

    I think everyone has a cost of doing business which is just incorporated into your companies labor/hourly charge
     
  3. NEW CITY LAWN CARE LLC

    NEW CITY LAWN CARE LLC LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,268

    For example you don't go into an auto shop to get lets say a water pump replaced for $300 and have a final bill of $302 for a $2 additional charge for printing your paperwork and such
     
  4. CS-LAWNSERVICE

    CS-LAWNSERVICE LawnSite Member
    Posts: 63

    i have actually had invoices that had a 5 percent charge for shop supplies when i had work done on vehicles
     
  5. Patriot Services

    Patriot Services LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 12,673

    If you start nickel and diming customers their satisfaction will quickly go sour. People are fed up with utility bills you need a lawyer to decipher.
    Posted via Mobile Device
     
  6. AintNoFun

    AintNoFun LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,807

    guess someone doesn't bid there jobs with overhead in the cost?

    id laugh if i got an invoice that charged me for stamps, envelopes, etc
     
  7. DanaMac

    DanaMac LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,156

    As others said, you need to incorporate those costs into what you charge. That is part of your overhead and it's a necessary cost in running a business. I would be pissed if I got an invoice from a lawn company or any company that had additional fees for office supplies, transmission replacement, new equipment. What if your insurance and gas and rent change? Do you add an additional fee to each invoice?

    Figure it into your pricing when you bid a job. Raise the rate when the contract expires, but don't add it on during a valid contract.
     
  8. Darryl G

    Darryl G LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,033

    I agree, that's part of overhead. That's a lot of the reason why I have minimums. Now if you wanted to charge a one-time account setup fee or something like that I could understand.
     
  9. Woody82986

    Woody82986 LawnSite Silver Member
    from DFW, TX
    Posts: 2,128

    Figure it in to your normal pricing if you haven't already. Personally, I email as many invoices as possible to cut down on office time and expense. If you are really worried about that time and expense then you should look into online alternatives. Just my opinion. Email is also much quicker than postal mail.
     
  10. KS_Grasscutter

    KS_Grasscutter LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,332

    I guess I could just do a price increase on everyone. Been a couple years since most have been raised. Been hesitant because of the economy and whatnot, but I think it's gotta be done.
     

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