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Monthly or billing CONTRACTS

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by hobbsd, Jan 27, 2006.

  1. hobbsd

    hobbsd LawnSite Senior Member
    from west wi
    Messages: 448

    I am restructuring / getting serious about my LC business and am wondering what peoples opinions are on making monthly service contracts verses billing for the actual work. Do customers really want monthly? I live in the Midwest and my work is different almost every month due to the changing weather.

  2. paponte

    paponte LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,366

    We bill out maintenance monthly, and anything else not on their service agreement is due on completion. :)
  3. kppurn

    kppurn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 426


    Are you billing your maintenance, let's say mowing for example, "per occurrence" at the end of the month or do you have a flat monthly rate?

  4. cleancutccl

    cleancutccl LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 698

    I bill monthly, usually for my customers that includes mowing for the season, fertilizer for the season, and shrub/small tree maintenance for the season. I add all that up and divide by ten. They get an equal monthly invoice from March to December.
  5. cleancutccl

    cleancutccl LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 698

    The first thing you need to do is figure out on average how many times a season you are mowing.

    TURF DOCTOR LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,138

    How many accounts are you servicing a year.
  7. paponte

    paponte LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,366

    Both. Depends on what payment plan the customer signs for. :)
  8. bigjeeping

    bigjeeping LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 903

    same thing here!
  9. hobbsd

    hobbsd LawnSite Senior Member
    from west wi
    Messages: 448

    Ok, a lot of different replies...
    I usually bill on a monthly basis, but for the exact work done. I am wondering if it is smart to use the flat rate per monh system. I suppose I could make some intelligent guesses, but who knows what the weather will do, or if I will start april 15th or may 15th, Ive had years where ive done leaves up to Dec. 20th and then years where I was done the first week in Nov.

    Anyway, Do customers like the option of flat rate billing, or do they prefer the slightly more complicated but more accurate method of charging for actual work.

    Thank you.
  10. Precision

    Precision LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,995

    my customers love flat rate billing.

    Up until this year I gave an ala carte choice of services.

    You want mowing, edging, line trimming and blowing $xx per month
    you want hedge trimming too . . add $xx per month
    you want fertilizer . . add $xx per month
    you want weed control . . add $xx per month
    you want irrigation maintenance . . add $xx per month

    Then if you wanted mulch in the beds
    major trimming of trees
    landscape re design
    or other major project they were billed separately with a 40% deposit and balance due on completion.

    All other work is paid one month ahead.

    I figure all work based on time to accomplish come to a total annual price and divide by # of payments I want to recieve. A bit easier for me than some, because we work 12 months.

    That way I figure it up once and the client has a known lawn budget. I makes it way easier to upsell things like seasonal color or other add on's, because they know the base cost doesn't change.

    No credits for short season, no credit for hurricane work stoppage. I give an estimate of 42 cuts per year and tell them if it is 40 they won't complain, but if it is 44, I won't complain. Most see the advantage and those that don't are scum anyway.

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