How do YOU determine the flat monthly rate?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Howie's Lawn Care, Aug 28, 2005.

  1. Howie's Lawn Care

    Howie's Lawn Care LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 512

    How do you guys determine a flat monthly rate for a lawn. I was thinking 4.5 times the regular cut price. The grass grows fast in the spring but it slows sometimes in the intense heat. I dont want to bust my ass in the spring and then make barely anything when we have droght like weather in july and august. Does this sound right?


    Do you tell them the per cut price or just try to sell the monthly deal? I know I'm not paying $112.50 PER MONTH when I can pay $25.00 PER CUT. I'm confused and need help so I don't phunk things up next year. I mow some condos and some people pay monthly where as some pay per cut. Some people get 2 cuts and pay two times what the other person with two cuts pays. One customer has already caught on and I'm afraid she's going to become a pita. I'm already in a bad situation because the guy before me mowed these condos for $60.00 per month. He lived in one of them and got sick with cancer this spring, recently died. I mow 13 of these condos now, and there are 2 in each structure. I have some in rows and other alone. They are small yards but $60.00 per month is cheap. I'm afraid if I raise it to $70.00 or $75.00, they're going to **** their pants, only the ones paying per cut that is. If I upset one, I'll upset the others. It wouldn't suprise me if they hired some laid off punk because of the price increase. They'll regret it if they do. I always do an excellent job (mowing, trimming, edging, blowing) on every yard. I'm just going to level out the price and make it the same deal for everyone. Let me know what you guys think. I know the rates are low, but its my first year and I'm limited by my motor mobility, so I went low on price to build up yards. Thanks for any advice in advance.
  2. SOMM

    SOMM LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 425

    Your monthly rate sounds reasonable (minimum for a 1/4 acre or less incl. fertilized 3 times a year, 1 preem(so you can start season earlier in feb/march instead of April, 1 broadleaf control, and one annual seed broadcast) if the route is building - otherwise if they're the only customer out that part of town/co. - the rate needs to go up for now, perhaps. We like the numerical figure with two decimal-places you've come up with as showing alot more thoughtfulness than saying: " $115 or $120 -even".

    90% of what we do is managed monthly remittances, same price each month.
    We add hourly clauses for excessive overgrowth and obstructions removal, seasonal leaf removal, and bed maintenance ("postage-stamp" yards sometimes get incusive bed maintenance for slightly higher than you've indicated, per-month).

    Best regards on that.
    Whatever makes cashflow for you is good.
  3. jerryrwm

    jerryrwm LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,274

    Take the per visit price and multiply that by the expected number of visits per season. (Down here we base our pricing on 40+/- visits per year and we are doing something to the yard every month.) Then divide that by the number of months, either annually or the length of your season. If you are not there during the winter months some people may not want to pay you when you haven't been there.

    ie. $30.00/visit X 40 visits = $1200.00 $1200.00 / 12 mos = $100.00/mo.

    or $30.00/visit X 30 visits = $900.00 $900.00 / 9 mos = $100.00/mo.
  4. Mancinioldhorse

    Mancinioldhorse LawnSite Member
    Messages: 69

    I figure out what the visit rate is...say $35.00

    35.00x 41 visits=$1435.00 divided by a 12 mo. contract =$119.58 or $120.00mo.

    Just remember, if you are giving your labor away, afraid you will lose your customers, You will! You will lose em when you go out of business. You have to value your labor....don't overvalue it...but value it....if you don' one else will!

    Value yourself and your labor, and then sell it!
  5. Howie's Lawn Care

    Howie's Lawn Care LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 512

    Ho do you determine your visits? Don't they vary from year to year?
  6. Mancinioldhorse

    Mancinioldhorse LawnSite Member
    Messages: 69

    Off the top of my head...without a calendar in front of me.

    it's approx. like this in my area

    4 visits in april may june july august sept. =24 visits
    3 visits in march & october....9 visits =33
    2 each in nov and feb 4........4 =37
    1 each in dec jan 2 =39

    but remember there are always at least 1 and sometimes 3 months with 5 weeks in essentially 40-41 visits
  7. westwind

    westwind LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 444

    season up here is based on 26 service weeks in the growing season.
    8 month season. fall clean-up+spring clean-up+(mow price mutiplied by 26)
    total plus tax divided by 8 months. payup
  8. MacPhersonlawn

    MacPhersonlawn LawnSite Member
    Messages: 170

    We have 26 mowing weeks per year here (May 1 - Oct 31). For montly billed mowing customers I just divide the 26 mowings by the 6 months (May - Oct) and get a monthly billing amount. Montly level billing is an option for my customers, I don't require it. From experience I have found that people who select this option care more about a level amount and not what the amount is. The people who pay by the "mow" are always the ones most concerned about cost. They are the first ones to say "don't mow today, it's to short".
  9. Nathan 281

    Nathan 281 LawnSite Member
    from MN
    Messages: 79

    So your going April - November? do you get any no pays for November because you have allready finished the fall clean up and they get the bill after
  10. olderthandirt

    olderthandirt LawnSite Platinum Member
    from here
    Messages: 4,899

    28 mows most of the time in Ohio, if more I reconcile the the amount on the Dec. invoice and they owe more or I would owe them.
    If for some reason you feel that you won't get 28 mows in then you can offer additinal service to make sure you come in on the + side on your last invoice.

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