By the week or by the month or by the cut...

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Freddy_Kruger, Mar 28, 2006.

  1. Freddy_Kruger

    Freddy_Kruger LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,064

    I'm thinking I will charge by the cut and push weekly cuts in a attempt to lower sticker shock and to avoid doing 5 cuts in a month for the same price as 4.

    Any thoughts?
  2. Ol'time Lawncare

    Ol'time Lawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 497

    Go buy the season, what ever your season is. 28 weeks, 32 weeks. bill buy the mouth." by the cut" won't work. they will kill your from calling off to much.offer seasonal packages to accommodate each customers needs, you will make out in the long run!
  3. Freddy_Kruger

    Freddy_Kruger LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,064


    I was planning on billing by the month because that's what I already do in snow clearing but when I read JustMowIt's site it seemed to make good sense. They bill credit card or debit 24 hours after each cut. I can't do that yet but it seems like a good direction to travel in...On the other hand.

    Well how would I go about seasonal contracts without an actual contract. Probably an agreement but I don't want to be bound by price either. Being new to the game I might majorly screw up estimats and since I won't be doing too moch of the work, I don't want to lose money. I'm going to time out each job with 21" mowers. If I can profit great, bigger mowers then... But if not I have to raise the price.

    I think at justmowit they have this attitude that the customer can come and go as they please but if they cancel out on a cut more than once in a blue moon they can find another service provider.
  4. BLS 2002

    BLS 2002 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 39

    I was thinking of that today as well. Some older clients live on budgets and i was thinking on offering them a yearly billing contract. Let's say I mow their grass 25 times a year and bill for 12 months instead of 7 or 8. That price sounds better than what you would bill for the month. Also if you mow 5 times in may and only 3 in july it would all even out at the end when you adjust their rates to account for how many times you actually mowed for them. So I did some calculating and was thinking of actually going over this when I did estimates to make it sound more appealing. My minimum and average is about 30. So lets say I mow mr smiths yard 25 times in a year for 30 each mow. With a 7 month billing period they would be charged 107.14 a month.. if they were to go with the 12 month billing period it would only be 62.50 a month. Sounds much more appealing doesn't it? Plus you have money coming in all year round. I would also let them know that their rate would be evaluated at the end of the season for any adjustments to accomodate for what i have or have not done.
  5. ed2hess

    ed2hess LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,381

    The older people are the less likely to go for the 12 month deal. They just don't seem to be able to grasp the idea of making payments and the grass isn't getting mowed in the winter. We have tried every idea trying to explain it and not much sucess. On the other hand the newer generation is looking for a low monthly payment and they like it a lot.
  6. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    You have to do what suits you best and to some degree your customers, but mostly you because it's your business. Whichever you decide will end up marking a road for you that you, your customers, and your business will follow for many years with various degrees of success. Certainly billing is an important aspect because of the almighty dollar, but it's not what makes or breaks you, either.

    That having been said, I bill mine by the cut, always have, and most likely always will. That's just how things are, most of my customers like it and the few who don't either tolerate it anyway or they call someone else, but yes there are a couple of accounts on monthly bill, one is a commercial contract and the other is just the way it worked out, whatever.

    I will say I am noticing with contracts it does appear one would make out in the long run, but charge enough per cut to begin with, and it shouldn't matter. Besides, some of my customers count their nickels and it would never fly, this contract thing... As for me, I have no problem with it, either.

    As for me, I like to get paid. When the work is done, it's always cha-chinga time payup payup payup
    No floating balances and having to worry about some two or four-hundred dollar float not coming around. It kills me to worry about money and so if I lose out a little because I'm by the cut, then I'm cool with that because when someone doesn't pay, all I'm out of is one cut as well (ok, maybe two cuts ... maybe)... Same goes for bounced checks, less money at stake because in the end, if someone does not pay you, there really is nothing you can do that guarantees your money.

    With contracts, it balances out in another way: You lose more when you lose, but you make out on all the rest.
    Is one better than the other? Not really, I don't think so... But it makes a difference depending on who you are and what makes you tick.
    So, flip a coin if you still can't decide.
  7. Freddy_Kruger

    Freddy_Kruger LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,064

    You bill them on line or in person while at the job or do you drop off a bill each cut?
  8. mike lane lawn care

    mike lane lawn care LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,707

    i am very accomadating. i usualy have the customer tell me what type of payment system they would like. if it is not reasonable i would offer an alternative.
  9. FreshCutz

    FreshCutz LawnSite Member
    Messages: 27

    i get payed for the first cut at the time i cut, then give them a bill for the month in advance. I just started, and picked up 8 accounts in the last 5 days. All 8 were told 1st bill due on the 1st of April, then on the first day of each month thereafter. (level billing year round)

    Messages: 36

    Simply Stated Show Them What You Would Charge Them For A Week. Ie.. $25wkly X 4.333 = $108.33 Monthly. That Is What We Do So That We Collect Once A Month And We Do Not Miss Out On The Months That Have 5 Weeks

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