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Policy During a drought?. How do you charge?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Daren, Jan 28, 2001.

  1. Daren

    Daren LawnSite Member
    Posts: 71

    I have an oppurtunity to bid on a company that has 40 sites locally. They want to know what our policy would be say during a drought? They will be the one that determines when it is to dry and when to resume mowing. We noramlly have a period sometimes a month without rain, during the summer. How does everyone work this into the contract? Not get paid at all during this time would be devastating but I really do want the contract. Anyway like to hear from everyone.

  2. John DiMartino

    John DiMartino LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,555

    Depending on your cuts per year,average them out over the # of months you want to get paid,so the times when there is no growth,you dont go poor,and when its growing like mad ,and your cutting every 5 days,they dont go poor.This will also give them a consistant monthly bill,so they can accurately estimate their future costs without hills and valleys.
  3. lee b

    lee b LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,580

    I agree with John, all of my accounts are based on a years service. Customers know how much it's gonna cost regardless of conditions and you get paid every month. You may have it a little tough during the growing season, but you make-it up during the winter.
  4. moonarrow

    moonarrow LawnSite Member
    Posts: 223

    I agree with the above just average it out into monthly payments and when there is a drought still show up hit any spots that do grow and run around the yard with a weedeater and pick up what trash and this will help them to feel better about the monthly charge that they are paying Good Luck on the account
  5. Greenman2ooo

    Greenman2ooo Banned
    Posts: 176

    I do precious few accounts on a per cut basis just for that reason. I agree with the above answers. In my region, we cut in April-Oct, sometimes November or Dec under very unseasonably warm conditions. I charge for April-Oct, 28 cuts. I may not put that many in, but I may and I want to cover my rear rather than feel like I am working for nothing during a rainy year. If we cut past October, the price is prorated based upon a 4 cut month.

    Your area will likely be a little different depending on climate, but you get the idea. Either divide the # of mowings by the number of months you service the account, or by 12 months, your preference (and customer's).

    Because that is how I do it doesn't mean it is right. Something else may work better for you. Good luck and don't undersell yourself by underestimating # of visits!

    [Edited by Greenman2ooo on 01-28-2001 at 04:57 PM]
  6. HOMER

    HOMER LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,183

    I gave up an account last year and have given up one this year. They paid pretty good but would not go year round. When it was dry they just sat there, really taking up space on my "list" of accounts. When it started raining they would start calling. These were fairly large commercial accounts and took 2 1/2 to 3 hours to complete. I started viewing these as a liability rather than an asset. They would become more of an interference with my regular route if I had to stop and do them, I would get behind.

    One of these sites would have been a beautiful place had the owner wanted to spend a few dollars and water it from time to time, could have overseeded in the fall and got plenty of comments. Landscape wasn't important I guess. If they would have been smaller and less time consuming I would have kept them but since they took so much time out of a day they had to go. About 80% of my business is made up of annual accounts. The other 20% is seasonal cutting that really offsets the additional expenses needed in the summer months. If you take on these make sure they provide some income every month-------if not they will keep you from growing annuals which is the only way to survive the winter(for me anyway-no snow).
  7. TJLC

    TJLC LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,308

    Down here getting monthly residentual contracts is like pulling teeth!!! No one will sign anything.Verbal contracts are a joke. They like it during the season but guess what, come winter they want to cancel. Thank God for comm. accounts!!! They are year round. I have all but given up on residentual monthly accounts. We have had a VERY dry winter this year! If I had to rely on residentuals, I would be starving! I have cut eight times in three months! I,m ready to go.
  8. kutnkru

    kutnkru LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,662

    When are presented with an agreement that is out of our hands for determining the number of cuts, we stipulate that we are to be guaranteed a minimum of 24 cuts per season (usually 32)to be billed at 3 cuts per month(instaead of 4) otherwise, we refuse the contract.

    The only other possibility would be to give them a flat figure and have that number divided up amongst the billing cycles.

    Hope this helps,
  9. KirbysLawn

    KirbysLawn Millenium Member
    Posts: 3,486

    I agree with John and the others also. I bill monthly 12 months a year. The bill is the same for April when it's being mowed every 5 days, as it is during July when I mow every 12-14 days.

  10. Daren

    Daren LawnSite Member
    Posts: 71

    Thanks for replying, however they want a specific price on each location for each cut. And they specify the cuttings are from April 1 to Oct. 30. Mowing every 2 weeks. Maybe bill for a mowing and 1/2 or 3/4 each month to take carof this. Anyway Thanks!!


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