How do you charge?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Nw. Shadesofgreen, Nov 24, 2003.

  1. Nw. Shadesofgreen

    Nw. Shadesofgreen LawnSite Member
    Messages: 91

    Just wanted to know how most people set up there contracts. I suppose it depends upon your area and lenght of season. I personnally set up almost all of my year round customers on a 12 month payment cycle.

    It seem to work great for not having to starve in the winter when work load is less. But it sure does get tight in the summer when overhead is higher.

    Any suggestions on how to over come the summer overhead and still come out ok in the winter would be welcomed.

    Thanks Mike:cool:
  2. lawnman_scott

    lawnman_scott LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,547

    If you charge $1 per month every month, or charge $2 per month for 6 months, or charge once per year $12, you still come out with the same amount of income. Maybe you need to come up with a workable budget.
  3. bayfish

    bayfish LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 641

    Most customers are happier with the 12 month because they feel your available to them all year. Plus when other LCO's contact them, they can say they are under contract with someone.
  4. Willis

    Willis LawnSite Member
    Messages: 176

    Try a shorter billing cycle for some of them or at least your new accounts for now, until you can have enough to stretch them all 12 months.
    Go Tacoma, WA.
  5. AztlanLC

    AztlanLC LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,051

    I think lawnman scott answer real good to your question.
    This remained me of a joke about a guy who goes to the pizza place the lady ask in how many pieces he wants his pizza to be slice 8 or 4, the guy answer 4, if you cut it in 8 I won't finish it.
  6. T.E.

    T.E. LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 799

    I think lawnman-scott said it best. Putting the customers on a twelve month schedule does not increase my profit, it just lengthens the time period the money I have already earned takes to come in. I for one want some time off in the winter. I have never lost customers because I wasn't around in the winter months.

    Contracts have their place,they are fine for keeping the record straight on what the price is and terms of work, and etc. They do
    not however guarantee one that they will get paid I know I had a contract for an account and they moved off and left in the middle of the contract! too bad so sad!

    I also have full service accounts that I have discussed a twelve month payment schedule and the customer said they would rather pay as they the service was performed,so it all comes out the same money wise. Just my thoughts, Tony
  7. precisioncut

    precisioncut LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 653

    I have a 12 month payment plan available. Like everyone said it doesn't increase profitablity just gives me income in my off months. Some customers like it because it make thier payments smaller. I let the customer choose-12 months, 8 months, monthly, or pay at time of service.
  8. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,497

    It just doesn't seem to work up here. For commercials, that the plowing and ice management is going to be implemented, it's a good thing, as they like a steady budget number. However, for the standard residential, if you give them shorter bills in the summer just to leave some for the winter, it is too much potential for people thinking they can "drop services", or pay late because it's the "off season". Pesonally, I don't want to be chasing more money than I already have to winter months.
  9. KerryB

    KerryB LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 661

    I agrre with Runner for you guys and gals that are in the colder areas its too risky. But here I overseed with Per. Rye and I cut just about every month. If I am not mowing I am still on the property 2x a month in the winter.
    Most of my customers are commercial and they like having the same payment every month, and so do I. lol
  10. tiedeman

    tiedeman LawnSite Fanatic
    from earth
    Messages: 8,745

    would have to agree with Runner on this as well.

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