How many of you bill one flat monthly rate??

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by WJW Lawn, May 25, 2007.

  1. WJW Lawn

    WJW Lawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,330

    For basic lawn maintenance that is. How does this work for you? How do you structure it? Im tired of the "hey will you cut my lawn this week crap" I have a few that do it...and Id like to give flat monthly rates in the future. Any suggestions? Help? *trucewhiteflag*
  2. Liquidfast

    Liquidfast LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ontario
    Messages: 739

    Over 1000 posts???????

    Dear Customer,

    Your monthly fee is $xxx.00 per month. Your monthly fee begins April 15 thru May 15.

    Thank you, you rat bastard and have a nice day.

    Or, to offer some sort of incentive, you can always say you will bill from the 15th to the 15th and for the months with 5 weeks, they receive them for free.

    Whatever works.
  3. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,087

    I do.... and they pay for the month at the first of the month.

    This is the only solution to the problem.

    It's not a really easy transition to make. You'll loose some of the loosers, and you'll also have lower close rates with new prospects.... BUT IT IS TOTALLY WORTH IT.

    I'm going into my 9th season of this method... I didn't have them all 100% like that 9 seasons ago. But it only took one aggrivating season shortly after I started it to make the decision this is an across the board company policy, NO EXCEPTIONS!

    I've been preaching this on here for years, and if I couldn't do things this way, I'd sell out tomorrow. I just don't need the aggrivation.

    Since I started doing it, it has worked out flawless for both parties. A few wet years we had there even went a bit to the favor of the customers, especially those that didn't renew in a following year.

    But I will admit that I have finally ran into one snag, just this spring, but it is an extreme circumstance. You can read the details here....
  4. David Gretzmier

    David Gretzmier LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,645

    All mine are monthly, all are year round, and I wouldn't have it any other way. for some folks, they'd rather pay 100 bucks a month than 40 bucks a cut. at 30 mowings, it is the same money.

    It is better to make this transition on January than june. You need a written contract so you don't get ripped by the new customers that you join up in april that try to fire you in october. They have to pay per item if they cancel the contract at any time.

    start now by making all new customers monthly, then in October let folks know next year will be monthly year round only. You'll have some that baulk, but in the end you'll be the winner.

    HOOLIE LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,981

    For all new clients I bill monthly. I've debated forcing the old ones to switch, and might do so in the future. But for now just the new clients.

    What I do, I give them a package of mowing and leaf removal. I just estimate how much the leaves will be and build in into the price. Then...if they cancel in October, well, they've paid me all year for leaf removal that I won't be doing. So call it even. Get paid in advance and make the final payment due before you're done working. Stack the odds in your favor much like a casino would do :)
  6. Rons Rightway Lawncare

    Rons Rightway Lawncare LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,164

  7. Grass Kickin

    Grass Kickin LawnSite Member
    Messages: 167

    All mine are monthly, all are year round, and I wouldn't have it any other way. for some folks, they'd rather pay 100 bucks a month than 40 bucks a cut. at 30 mowings, it is the same money.

    This is how it is done!

    Hoolie, I had that problem and this is how I fixed it......I told anyone who wanted to pay weekly that I have to charge them the going per cut rate which is about 30.00. For a yearly agreement, I can afford to give a little bit of a break in price for that commitment. I also added that a service agreement would not be augmented until it expired so if gas went up or something happened that would normally constitute a raise in price, I wouldn't do it to those customers who signed on. On a customer account that is per cut....any price increase was fair game from week to week.
  8. dhardin53

    dhardin53 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 710

    I have one large commercial account that flat rate per month. It works out well for me, and the customer loves it. If is rainy I don't make as much, but when its dry like now I'm money ahead. It started April 15 to Nov 30.
  9. GreenT

    GreenT LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 42,962

    Flat monthly billing is the ONLY WAY to do business.

    I'm new at this but I just can't see how anyone can run a service-based business any other way.

    "I think I'll skip this week, it doesn't look too bad"

    Think about your cable bill, water, electrical, internet access, etc, etc. Landscape maintenance is a cost of home ownership and most people that care about how their property looks will find the way to budget for it.

    I base my rates on 42 cuts per year. For example: 42 X $35 per cut = $1,470. Divided by 12 months, it means the customer will be billed $122.50 per month for a one year agreement.

    Someone said this system makes it a harder sell but that is OK. Do you really want a marginal customer that maybe shouldn't hire a professional contractor because they really can't afford it? I don't. Serving a customer (and yes, that's what we do, serve) is a long term commitment and I don't want them or, specially me, uncomfortable about the arrangements.

    In order to grow we need to know what our future income will be. It affects our planning, budgeting, and strategy. Working week to week, cut to cut, will never allow you to do that.

    Excluding future new customers, I know exactly how much I'll gross next October. Wouldn't you want to know too?

    Just my .02

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