Help... Seasonal monthly billing vs. per cut

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by Lawn-Scapes, Aug 19, 2001.

  1. Lawn-Scapes

    Lawn-Scapes LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,810

    I'm thinking of going to a monthly billing system next year. I'm tired of the paperwork involved with per cut basis and waiting for a check after work is performed.

    So what I want to do is take the average cuts per season (30) multiplied by amount per cut (say $90). $2700 divided by 9 months of billing is $300 per month.

    My first bill will be sent out on March 1st and payments must be received within 30 days. So now I have some start up $$ before I even start mowing (April 1st).

    Now the last bill should go out November 1st.. but I'm thinking that it should go out late November after the last cut in case the customer was over/under the 30 cut average... and bill accordingly.

    Should I guarantee a certain amount of cuts?

    Or should I base it on 32 cuts and if I don't make it... oh well.. they pay it anyway?


    Any help would be appreciated!!!
  2. Guido

    Guido LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,087

    If you do that, not only can you gurantee steady income year round, but you can charge for those extra few cuts and the price will look more reasonable to your customers because its broken down.

    You should also offer some kind of discount in case they offer to pay you up front or half and half, etc.

    I wouldn't worry about refunding the 2 cuts, just make sure you have an act of god clause in your contract, you can probobly come pretty close to the # you say you are going to do unless you get some good rain, etc.

    Good Luck!
  3. Lawn-Scapes

    Lawn-Scapes LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,810

    Thanks guido.

    I'd like to keep it 9 months. I'd rather not become a yearly 'regular' monthly bill to my customers. I think they would appreciate a break between seasons more...

    The only thing that's buggin' me is how many cuts to bill for and how to handle billing over and under that said amount.

    Thanks again.
  4. Lanelle

    Lanelle LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,361

    I've seen quite a few contracts based on 24-26 cuts per season here in the DC area. Surely you know how many cuts you have billed for. Another way of doing the billing if your customers balk at the straight contract billing is to bill monthly for the cuts done. This might be an interim step to getting the 9-month contracts accepted. Also be certain to deal with leaf clean-ups in your contract or you'll be doing them as part of the cut and losing money.
  5. trimmasters

    trimmasters LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 264

    I would say have a blance of end of month billing of actual services preformed and set monthly rate, That way if you have a really wet season you won't get burned.
  6. Guido

    Guido LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,087

    I would bill the normal month of mowing regularly, but do it just for mowing. Its easier to sort out that way. Bill the shrubs, leaves, aerating, etc seperately the month you do it.

    God forbid you say you include trimming shrubs and you figure your price into there, and tommorow they go out and by 500 little shrubs to plant all over the yard!! :)

    You never know what you can trap yourself into!
  7. Lawn-Scapes

    Lawn-Scapes LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,810


    This is what I am doing... I know I set per cut basis. I have some on bi-monthly billing and some monthly... for services rendered.

  8. Lawn-Scapes

    Lawn-Scapes LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,810


    I wouldn't think of including other 'extra' services into it... too many variables come into play...
  9. cutntrim

    cutntrim LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 474

    Ahhh...if only we had $90/cut average lawns as well...

    Our system - 28wks+fert. program divided into 7 monthly payments. Post-dated checks. All other services billed seperately.

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