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Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by TigerPops, Sep 11, 2012.
I price hourly often
We do all our cleanups hourly and don't get many complaints on price. It's like lawns you price some you get some you don't
Most of my cleanups are for my regular lawn care customers. After October 15th, all mowing and cleanups are billed at my hourly rate. I just keep going through my list and hit them all 2 or 3 times. I don't give them any sort of estimate, I just do it and bill them at the end of the month or completion of their final cleanup, whichever comes first. I've never had a complaint doing it that way.
Fall cleanups can be tricky to estimate and the effort required can vary quite a bit year to year. It depends on whether it's wet or dry, the rate at which the leaves come down, whether there are storms that litter the lawn with sticks and twigs, the amount of acorns dropped and whether the wind has blown the leaves from or into the neighbors yards. Ever try cleaning up frozen leaves? That's a ton of fun, lol.
For most one-time cleanup customers I give them an estimate along with my hourly rate and disposal fees. If it's a fairly small job that I know I can estimate accurately or I know it will fall within my minimum fee ($150), I will give a lump sum price, but I don't do many of those.
I fully understand what the others are saying about not working by the hour, but it works for me. My customers know and trust me and know that I work my tail off and that they'll end up getting a good deal.
When you do this flat rate monthly billing do you even up with the customer at the end of the year based on actual times mowed/plowed etc. or leave it as a annual contract and they get billed the same now matter what?
I do this for some clients. I generally don't offer it until I have taken care of their property for at least a few months so I know how long things take and how in depth clean ups might be. So when I offer a flat 12 month agreement price, it's usually based on numbers I already have. And once the initial agreement term has lapsed, I can go back and look at my numbers over that previous 12 months and see if the price needs to be adjusted or not. It's not a perfect science, but it's reliable.
Leave it as an annual contract and they get billed no matter what. If Your quality is there, most customers won't even think about nit picking you. Just make sure you tell clients up front how many approx visits they will receive each season. I make each client sign contracts that explain exactly what they are getting. This eliminates Grey Area and will prevent most problems.