Residential: Charge by week or month

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by NJlandscaper908, Apr 19, 2011.

  1. NJlandscaper908

    NJlandscaper908 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 37

    When i was in business before I always charged by the week and it worked out well for the most part but I am getting back into the business now and I was thinking about charging by the month so even if someone tells me not to cut because the grass isn't growing etc I can still get paid. Also It helps to even out the extra time we spend in the spring when the grass is growing faster and cutting takes longer.

    OR charge by the week and visit the property even if it doesn't need to be cut and clean up the beds/yard , pull weeds etc during the time slot alotted for cutting and bill it as a regular cut?

    These are a mix of upper middle class and high end accounts if that makes a difference.

    What do you guys think?
     
  2. smz89

    smz89 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 72

    From my expierience residential clients always want to be charged weekly. They never seem to be interested in a monthly rate.
     
  3. goodgreen

    goodgreen LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 362

    I've converted all my residentials to monthly. Easier just to send them a statement and they only have to write one check. And I just charge for the work I actually do. They aren't billed in advance or anything.
     
  4. Golfpro21

    Golfpro21 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 563

    we charge per visit....we do not do bi weekly cuts.....so if we cut 4 times in a month we bill 4 times....maybe there is a week or two where we miss a week due to excessive heat and little growth....but we have tried the monthly billing and if you don't cut one week they are all over you.......forget showing up to weed the beds etc, if they want that service they pay for that service
     
  5. knox gsl

    knox gsl LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,730

    Service weekly and bill monthly. Its a challenge to get everyone paid up monthly, I would hate to keep up with it week to week, and leaving a check under the doormat isn't the way to go.
     
  6. Dr.NewEarth

    Dr.NewEarth LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,405

    WE charge residential by the month and at the start of the month.
    Some months have five weeks.
    So, either each month has a different charge, or you could charge an
    equal payment for each month

    For example nine months = 42 weekly cuts here
    so 42 x ?/cut, divided by the nine months, plus the sales tax each month
    (March through November)

    Clients sign a contract and get a copy of it. They are shown workers compensation and liability insuranced information, plus pesticide licenses and other credentials.

    Hopefully they don't stop service part way through if you are doing equal payments.

    I also accept visa and mastercard and Amex. They pay at the start of the month.
    If they pay by check I also take a credit card number for security.
    If they don't like that, then I don't sign them up.
    Once burned, twice shy.

    Residential can be a problem getting paid from some-times.

    It was so time consuming going there every month to get paid.
    Some people hide behind their curtains and don't answer the door.
    You have to chase them down.

    When I first started years ago, alot of them would insist on paying by check at the end of each month. I didn't want to argue about getting a pile postdated when they didn't want to do this.

    I have learned that there are alot of pita's and it's better for you to call the shots.
    Fun and games.

    If they only owe a hundred dollars,
    it's not worth your while to go to small claims court or to slap a lien on the property.
    That's why I get paid in advance from Residential clients.

    If they have a problem with this payment plan, they are in a position to
    complain about us and get reimbursed if we rip them off.
    For instance, they can go to the BBB.
    So we are ethically obliged to perform our duties professionally and not rip the client off.

    On the other hand, we can't complain about a bad client can we?
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2011
  7. fireman gus

    fireman gus LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 517

    We have found, for us, it is easier to bill monthly. We charge for work actually done. We have a few that pays a fixed rate per month for 12 months but most of our clients don't like that plan.
     
  8. NJlandscaper908

    NJlandscaper908 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 37

    Thanks fpr all the input guys...I did mean that we charge by the week but invoice by the month...I used to work for someone who tried billing in advance and it was a pita, it seems that most residentials feel more comfortable paying for a service after it is rendered, whether it be landscape, utilities or trash pick-up. I think i'll just stay with how I've done things and make an exception if someone WANTS to be charged monthly instead of by the cut.
     
  9. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,654

    Instead of monthly, have you tried budgeting your money?
     
  10. Mike Blevins

    Mike Blevins LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,360

    My experience with monthly billing is that I would get asked "Did you mow my lawn that week?" I dont remember you mowing this week. "Was i here when you mowed it?" Every time I billed i had 2 or 3 call and question it. They liked that they only had to write one check per month but it was a GIANT pain in my arse so its back to paying weekly for me. Commercial accounts i still bill by the month but residentials all pay buy the week.
     

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