Per Cut, Monthly, Yearly...What's your take on it?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by MDLawn, Dec 3, 2012.

  1. MDLawn

    MDLawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,284

    I've always thought that cutting grass on a per cut basis can be potentially devastatingly flawed. Of course this is the way I have and continue to bill my customers. However I really like the idea of a fixed bill for the mowing season, which is around 6-7 months. Just like everything else out there with recurring services (phone, cable, insurance, etc...). I can't say that besides the year I started out on my own that I've experienced drought conditions but just like sometimes when I turn the TV on there is nothing I want to watch, but I still pay for it. Or in the busy season NEVER watching it, still paying for it.

    I've noticed some companies that do just bill monthly offer something like a 5% discount on early autopay accounts. Now if it is a true discount you could say it can offer "free" days for those few times a lawn doesn't need cutting but at least you're still getting paid each month. The same amount, easy to track, plan with/for, etc..... I also know that some of the companies include things in the price such as fert and weed control, monthly maintenance of shrubs and small trees (most likely after an initial spring clean up/mulching) and other things lumped into on monthly price. I REALLY like the idea just curious to what others have done or opinions of each way to bill things. Customer frustrations, understanding with something like this? Understand that big jobs like clean ups or mulching would NOT be included just the lawn maintenance and maintenance of the larger initial job.
     
  2. Mikegyver

    Mikegyver LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,810

    For next year we are moving as many customers as possible (the majority) over to a 12 month contract. Its really the way to go.
     
  3. MDLawn

    MDLawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,284

    I'm going to assume you mean 12 equal payments over the year?
     
  4. Landscape Poet

    Landscape Poet LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,637

    I simply do not see how you guys plan/budget, when you really have no idea on what is going to happen with the weather. It simply is not a good business model if you ask me, to many variables in doing lawns by the cut.

    What if it does not rain? You have missed income potential yet still have expenses even getting to the property let alone your overhead. How can you accurately account for this in your business?
    What if your customer calls and says it is dry and it really does not need it and to skip this week . Say they do that for 2 weeks out of a month. How did you plan for that?
    They want estimate for leaves before the leaves fall. How do you accurately price this when you do not know if you will be doing dry leaves, how many there will be, what if it really wet and cold - that will take longer right? How do you account for this?

    In my opinion you guys that are forced to do by cuts up north are not running your business, mother nature and your customer is as the dictate how much work you get and when.
     
  5. MDLawn

    MDLawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,284

    This is my exact point for this thread.

    Like I said I've "yet" to run into weather issues but that is only delaying the inevitable. The next round of incoming lawn maintenance will be fixed monthly.
     
  6. pseudosun

    pseudosun LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,740

    I guess every situation is different. I've noticed people making cuts in their budget, and a few customers cut back my service, and i had to drop others, because they were letting their yards go, and expected the same price. For right now, i've decided to only take jobs that are close. The drive time and expense had to be changed for me. If something is pretty close, i'll give 3 prices. For march through october, i'll give a regular service price (the best option :) , For on call jobs, i'll go higher to make it an unattractive option. Yes, i have to do on-call stuff right now, and it is helping me. Once it's edged and done right, it doesn't take me long. For non scheduled customers during fall/winter, i price each job separately according to the amount of leaves/debris. I'm not saying that I am right, It just leaves no doubt about how much i am going to charge. Whenever i can, i drop hints that regular service yards look the best, and i have converted a few. I have about 85% regular service accounts, and i'll work until all the leaves are gone. The gap in service before spring is not that long , because we have mild winters in Louisiana.
     
  7. But Mike, us Florida guys don't make good money down here....
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  8. DA Quality Lawn & YS

    DA Quality Lawn & YS LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,866

    That is the way it is run up north, at least for resi's. NO one is going to pay for mowing service when there is a ft of snow on the ground.
     
  9. Jimslawncareservice

    Jimslawncareservice LawnSite Platinum Member
    from mn
    Posts: 4,133

    In an ideal world no matter where you live it should be bu the month. In the spring the grass almost needs to be mowed every 5 days, then skips when dry so it would even out. But explaining it to a residential customer is difficult. I have a few that do charge per month because they run the sprinklers too much and have Tru green there all the time.

    Commercials are a different storey. They want everything to be kept up with weekly visits.
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  10. Landscape Poet

    Landscape Poet LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,637

    So people have a different standard for the place where they live than the place than they work? You are saying that Joey Homeowner does not have the same standards for their home as they do their business? Otherwise why would there be work for you on the commercial properties and not the residential.


    Sounds hopeless
     

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