1. Missed the live Ask the Expert event?
    Catch up on the conversation about fertilization strategies for success with the experts at Koch Turf & Ornamental in the Fertilizer Application forum.

    Dismiss Notice

Am I doing this biz... The best way???

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by SpudsM15, Feb 7, 2005.

  1. SpudsM15

    SpudsM15 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 628

    This how my operation goes...
    My lawn customers are on a contract from the beginning of Apr. to the end of oct.. They will be billed for 31 cuts non refundable fee.. The lawn will be mowed weekly on the same day unless weather does not permit...I do skip a mowing or two if there is a drought... But i still stop by trim edge and blow...
    For hedgetrimming the customers are charged one price for the season... I figure the shrubs will need it 2 times... THis season 3 or 4 visits were needed on a few props..
    Same goes for non turf weed control which is round up apps. to the beds and sidewalk cracks and such... As many visits as required...
    fall leaves are done 3 times for a set price....
    Snow is paid for by the season the contract covers up to 4' total of snow any extra snow gets billed seperately...

    All of my reg customers are basically non pita cust... They don't have to worry about anything its just taken care of...

    My question is, Is this the best way to do this biz? Or am i slowing my expansion because there is alot less customers that will actually go for a contract like mine... Or is this the best way to do this because I know what exactly each service will bring in and how much i will be making for the season... Don't get me wrong I do as much as possible one time work that we can do.... But, I think this contract scares alot of people and slows my new customer sign up.... And over bidding not really being the problem...
    Ok I'll stop here for now...let some replies roll in.
  2. FrankenScagMachines

    FrankenScagMachines LawnSite Platinum Member
    from IN
    Messages: 4,739

    IMHO, the way you say you are doing it is what I would love to do. I am afraid that would not work in my particular area and market, but thats partially because my area is more blue collar and the people around here like to do stuff to save a few bucks when they can (doing their own work on some things you mentioned) and the snow removal you can't count on any certain amount here, I mean we could get none or we could get blasted. People here would be scared of you getting paid too much.
    That make sense? Anyway, I like the way you do it, and if you didn't have to grow real quick I think its great if you could keep growing slow and sure in the way you have been doing things. But, sometimes you gotta adapt to your situation.
    Good luck,
  3. grassyfras

    grassyfras LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,475

    Thats what Im going for all around. However Ill take people on that want to do it peice meal. Do alot of people not sign up when u say this is the only way?
  4. Littleriver1

    Littleriver1 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 811

    I have seen a post or two on here, where more than one option is offered to the custtomers, in a contract from. I think it was called Good, Better, Best, or something.
  5. LB1234

    LB1234 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,208

    IMO...you could be heading for trouble. you are saying minimum number of cuts is 31...which is fine. But you say you will "skip" due to draught or other circumstances...which is also fine.

    However, I think the better way to approach what you are doing is a monthly or seasonal fee. That way the homeowner can't turn around and say...i paid for 31 cuts you only came 28 times. You would just turn around and say you paid me X amount for the job and the job is completed. Just some food for thought.
  6. SpudsM15

    SpudsM15 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 628

    Ok let me add more to this now...
    In term of the contract for the lawnmowing it is more for the coverage of 31 weeks not 31 cuts.... Get what I mean??
    And all the contracts are paid in equal monthly payments..
    For the other question as what people say when I say this is the only way...
    Alot dislike the idea of paying me now when I'm not doing anywork(their scared I'm going to run...) But Now going into my 3rd season all the resigns start paying me in jan and stop in dec...
    New people that are signing up now will start to pay me in apr...
    this makes billing so much easier...
    Also people find it hard to beleive but they actual get much more for paying me as a contract rather than per visit deal.... For instance spraying round up i charge $10 per gallon with intial fee of 30 bucks... Most of the contracts I get around $70-150 bucks for the season and visit maybe 3 times or so....
    Getting brand new customers that do not know me I have a hard time with. but referals and such go thru ok...
    What the problem is, I need to gain their trust... Then it'll be $$$ from there on

    If I can get steadily 10 new customers each season Contracted I'll be happy because at that rate my maintenace gross will increase 10-25k a season...
  7. SpudsM15

    SpudsM15 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 628

    I think what my question is... Is it more profitable to make a customer sign a contract that just say the prices that each service will be.. ANd they are on call services... That are billed each visit at the end of the month...

    I used to bill weekly when i first started Scrub style...Then when i was first legit I was billing bi-weekly... Last season I was full out contract, monthly payment ...With some verbal agreements...
  8. LB1234

    LB1234 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,208

    I don't think anyone can answer which way is 'more' profitable. First, we don't have your books open to us and we have no idea what your expenses are. Second, it all depends on how accurate of an estimate you give. If you are not good at proposals and estimating how long a job will take you may want to go with hourly wages or similar. If you are good at making estimates and are accurate about how long, how many employees needed, material used then a seasonal contract MAY be more profitable for you.
  9. SpudsM15

    SpudsM15 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 628

    One very good thing about my contracts is that if for some reason I do under bid. Say on hedgetrimming of leaves. The mowing makes up for it because during a regular season here at least 3-5 mowings should be skipped...
  10. LB1234

    LB1234 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,208

    Not trying to be an arse...just striking up some constructive conversation...

    Did you really skip any mowing's last year? For us, (mainly somerset & union counties) it was such a wet season last year the grass grew like someone was feeding it everyweek. I couln't possibly skip any. Just curious.

Share This Page