When do you guys get going on the mowing around here? April 1st? Do you guys use contracts on residentials? Just a couple questions to see wahat it is like in your areas. I,m trying to get my people on with a contract stating 26 cuts april 1 through sept 31 any more would charge extra for.This keeps them from telling me the grass doesn't need cut (when it really does- I busted my arse double cutting there lawns multiple times last year).
Anyway just lokin for comments
I contracted about 60% of my residentials last year. If a new customer wants to start the season with me I will send out my service checklist to them. It lists the services I offer in a seasonal package along with a brief description. They check off what services they want an estimate on. Then I estimate each service and send them a contract which shows the annual price of the package along with the monthly payments.
If I pick up a customer after the season starts I usually just bill monthly for the services that were done that month. The following season I will contract them.
It really helps take the guess work out of scheduling. Before I contracted I would not know for sure what services the customer would want. Also, with the payments being spread out over 9 months, I have equal amount of money coming in, even in the slow months.
Most importantly, track how long each job takes even if you work alone so you can adjust your rates the following season accordingly. Its Ok to be a little off the first year as long as you fix it going into the next year. Time tracking is the key.