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

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

  1. grassmasterswilson

    grassmasterswilson LawnSite Platinum Member
    from nc
    Posts: 4,548

    If you are in the business then you at some point you need to take all of these. Once you get a good base and don't care to pick up ton more work you can start dictating what you do. You can slowly raise the price on accounts you don't want and say no to ones you don't care to touch.

    Sure we would all love a schedule full of monthly full service customers. Fact is many markets including mine will not support that.

    I have some full service monthly accounts. I have some well paying mow-blow-go accounts. The vast majority o my accounts are per cuts billed monthly and many of them I also do wee control and seeding. Billing takes some extra time but I any afford to drop them.

    I will be sending out a packet in a few weeks explaining how I'm now pushin weekly only mow visits and other services. I'm also explaining the benefits if 12 equal payments. So we will see how it goes!
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  2. guitarman2420

    guitarman2420 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 284

    Grassmaster Wilson said, If you are in the business then you at some point you need to take all of these. Once you get a good base and don't care to pick up ton more work you can start dictating what you do. You can slowly raise the price on accounts you don't want and say no to ones you don't care to touch.

    That's pretty much what I was trying to agree with. As you grow you should tailor your services to best serve your own goals and to serve your clients. My demographics are probably different than yours. I serve a metropolitan area with @ 500k prospective clients. You may be in a rural area with less prospective clients. I have fired a few clients that I didn't want to keep; but of course always kept my word and kept the contract until it was at the end of the term. In my case I found that I couldn't be "all things to all men".
  3. MDLawn

    MDLawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,284

    I'm glad this thread is getting a little bit back on track. I know that the pay per service offers the easiest relationship of customer to business as they pay what what they get. But what if you presented it this way. Let's say a potential client's lawn is worth about $45/cut. You offer them 2 plans for 30 cuts/year.

    Plan A.) Charge per cut at $47 for a total of $1410

    Plan B.) Even payments of the 30 week period or 8months at $45/cut. Or $1350 or $168.75/month.

    Show them with an average of 4 cuts per month would be $188/ month with a per service agreement or $168.75 with monthly. Still making your $45 but getting them to like the monthly. A smart consumerist can figure it all out but just like most people buying autos they only look at a monthy price..... Not saying it will work but sales is kind of a little bit of mind games. You're not ripping someone off you're molding them to take on your business model. if someone doesn't like it they don't have to take it. But if you put numbers on the table the lower one always looks better. And most don't calculate anything. For those that just have a love relationship with per cut I think it's fine too so no need to defend it.
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  4. guitarman2420

    guitarman2420 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 284

    I agree. If u explain the monthly plan and lay it out for them, its been my experience that they prefer it. I have had10 percent of my clients choose per cut.
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  5. MDLawn

    MDLawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,284

    And it's not ripping people off as some may think. It's convincing them of doing business on your terms vs theirs. If there is an issue, such as a dry spell or anything, you communicate with your client. Communication is so key to keeping people happy. People want to feel wanted an sending emails, phones calls, letters, etc.... If all you ever send is a bill....

    If you're a solo op it's hard to stop and talk and sometimes you can't because there are only so many hours in a day. But if you ignore them enough them may walk. I've picked up customers simply because the previous company never returned phone calls or emails. Not everyone is going to like the way you do business but if you can find enough that do well it's great for both worlds.
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  6. weeze

    weeze LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,898

    i wouldn't mind getting paid monthly but i think most here just don't wanna pay it all at once like that. it's easier for them to just pay me $45 a week or whatever rather than paying $180 all at once. usually i ask them what they wanna do when i do the estimate. i don't really care as long as i get paid for the work i do. i think most just prefer to pay by the cut where i live. i have some that are $125 a cut and are bi weekly. they just pay me per visit rather than paying me $250 a month all at once. that's just how they wanna do it.

    anyways it's spread out the way things are now which is a good thing. i always have money coming in almost daily instead of having to wait and get it all at once on the 1st or the month or whatever.
  7. guitarman2420

    guitarman2420 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 284

    To me the main advantages for me to bill monthly is:

    1. I can plan and budget effectively. All of the monthly clients sign a legal, binding agreement - some for 2 years.
    2. It keeps the customers monthly bill smaller.
    3. It gives me revenue in the off season (Dec - Mar for me)
    4. It takes the guess work out of the schedule. It's not up to the client to try and save a buck and skip a week. We have some every 2 week cuts; but they pay a premium. Many times it takes as long to mow a yard once every two weeks as mowing twice - the grass clippings have to be bagged, etc.
  8. weeze

    weeze LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,898

    if you asked someone to sign a contract here they would laugh in your face and say no thanks lol

    i'd rather make more money per month and get paid weekly than get paid all at once and make less

    i save money to last through the off season. it's really only jan and feb here.

    to skip is based on my judgement. customers hate paying for 4 cuts a month when you are only allowed to do 3 because of rain or dry conditions. that's why most are against it. i do have a few but i charge them only for the amount of cuts i performed that month.

    i mow most yards bi weekly and i never bag. clippings are never left on the lawn looking bad and they don't take any longer to cut than a weekly account.
  9. cpllawncare

    cpllawncare LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,659

    Jason, that's why you never say "Contract" to a customer, it's always a "service agreement" and like MD put it, you want customers on YOUR terms not theirs, it's as much about pshycology as anything, your a solo not looking to grow your business, which is fine. You'll find though that if you decide to go beyond being solo, these things matter.
  10. yardguy28

    yardguy28 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,464

    I've never shared anyone's thought of getting the client on your terms not there's.

    before officially hired questions I usually ask if not stated already are how would you prefer to pay, is there a certain day you wish to be serviced.

    basically I run my business with a very important (to me anyway) in mind. the clients are my bosses. they sign my checks. so I try and do things there way as much as I can. it's not a I tell them when I'm coming and how I'm gonna do things operation unless that's what they want. if they want serviced on thurs and I can do that I will. if they want there grass cut at 2.5" instead of the standard healthy 3" I do it.

    actually beyond that 1 important thing to me above all I treat each and every client how I would want to be treated by an LCO. and I would not tolerate a my way or the highway attitude from them.

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